Fred Stevens'

1951 Chevy 1/2-Ton


"Lurch"


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19 June 2006 Update
# 1229

From Fred:

        Here's a couple of pics we took earlier this month. Combines the best of both the worlds that I live in -- old Stovebolts and steam engines.

        The photos were taken at Steam Railroad Institute in Owosso, MI where I volunteer a couple of days a week. Currently, we are running a 45 minute trip three times daily on weekends. We're using Flagg Coal #75, a small tank engine for motive power. We will be offering "North Pole Express" trips after Thanksgiving using a much larger locomotive, Pere Marquette #1225 (see website for more info).

        I've been busy this spring making "Lurch" into dependable transportation. The whole fuel system had to be gone through, gas tank, fuel lines, fuel pump and carburetor, etc. Also did the Patrick's ring and pinion change and had radial tires installed. Right now, I'm in the process of replacing the old rotted out rear engine mounts and am preparing to replace the windshield gasket and glass.

        Here is a "gag" photo we staged just to give people something to talk about.

Fred Stevens
"fredstev"
Bolter # 8611
St. Charles, Michigan

        ("Something to talk about" !! I'll say! These were such great shots, we had to "super-size" 'em ... be sure to click those links! ~~ Editor)


24 September 2005
# 1229

From Fred: 

        We spotted this truck on the way back from our son's home. It was sitting in front of an antique store and had an old Harley Davidson Hummer strapped in the back. There was no "for sale" sign on the windshield so I just assumed that it was an "attention-getter" for the store. We browsed around the store, picked up a couple of items, and when we paid for them, I asked if the truck was for sale. It was, indeed!

        OK. Out the door ... and under the truck. This thing, although it looked really nice, had to be a bondo special. Right?

        Hmmm.  No ... a little light rust under the floor panels, a perfectly good frame, signs of recent grease and lube job, new exhaust system and so forth. More like looking at a nice 10 year old truck instead of a nice 54 year old truck.

        Back in to talk to the owner. He said that it was a 1951 1/2-ton and that he had recently acquired it from the local Chevrolet dealership owner. He claimed that it had been his personal truck for several years and had been serviced and maintained by the dealership. Asked the price, he told me (it was reasonable for something in this good a shape) and we headed home to think about it.

        I just couldn't get that truck out of my mind. It was the same color, (although two years older) and model as the truck we'd had right after I had started working at General Motors. That truck was a $80 beater I used for a work vehicle. I never could kill that thing and my brother-in-law and I used it for many hunting trips here in mid-Michigan.

        Went back the next day and REALLY gave the truck a going over. I just could not find one thing to scare me off. I asked the owner how it ran and he tossed me the keys and said to take it for a ride. I took him up on that.  I started the box stock 216 CID engine up and headed around the mile section. It had obvious carburetor problems and the reason for that made itself apparent after about a mile. The engine quit from fuel starvation. The fuel filter was totally blocked and me with no tools.

        That did it. I fell in love with "Lurch" right then and there. The slightly embarrassed owner and I negotiated a price.  I picked it up the next week drove it home.

Fred Stevens
"fredstev"
Bolter # 8611
St. Charles, Michigan 

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