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1953 Chevy 5-Window 1/2-Ton

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Owned by John Smith
Bolter # 26358
Tampa Bay, FL

Join the talk about this truck
in the DITY Gallery

02 May 2011
# 2891

More pictures of my old truck

From John :

This truck was originally purchased in Alabama as a farm truck. It was never titled (Alabama didn’t have titles back then) or registered to be driven on the road, just used on the farm. So when I purchased it, I had an interesting time between the two great States of Florida and Alabama securing a title for it. After lots of letters and affidavits, I am titled as the original owner of it -- a ’53 originally purchased by someone born in ’56.

I wish it was one of those pristine finds you hear about all the time where it was sitting the last 50 years in some barn. This was not the case. It had a very tough life.

Someone had the idea to make a street rod out of it and chopped the frame and welded on a car front suspension. The two didn’t match up so they welded steel plates around it to make their own channels. The big problem was it was crooked as can be. The back end of the frame wasn’t much better where they tried to add a Camaro rear end to it. The frame was a total loss.

We pulled the body apart and had it sand blasted. Everything looked good so we started hunting for a donor truck. Weeks turned to months which turned into years and the parts sat waiting. Then one day I found the perfect donor: a 1979 3/4-ton. The donor had a bad engine, with a new transmission and body that was junk.

So we had a donor frame. The engine I used as a core for the rebuilt engine. I got the rebuilt mounted to the frame and running and then the project sat for years. My wife kept accusing me of just hoarding parts. I would still go to swap meets and buy parts but they would just get labeled and put away. Of course, over the years I’d forget what I had and now have quite the surplus of duplicate and triplicate parts.

Fast forward to the beginning of 2010. I happened on a 1965 Chevy 1/2-ton that needed some TLC and we purchased it. What was supposed to be just a little touch-up work became a complete restore. But I was hooked again.

When the ’65 was complete, I immediately started back on the ’53. At present I estimate I am about 50 to 60% complete on the ’53 and hoping to be done by year end.

The project included new disc brakes all around, new engine with lots of chrome, A/C, dual exhaust, custom interior, all new tinted glass, new bed and more.




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