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Mechanicsville, Maryland

 

 
  Owned by Odd Strandberg
"Odd"
Bolter # 19732
Sodertalje, Sweden
23 February 2009
# 2543

From Odd :

Hi. I thought that I should send you a picture of my 1956 Chevy (with a '57 Chevy hood) pickup truck. I bought this Task Force Chevy truck from Houston in 1992 as a wreck. I did not see it before purchase. It had rusted out doors, fenders and lower parts of the cab, not to mention the bed.

It was registered for use here in Sweden in the spring of 2002. It was 10 years in the making! (A couple of extensions to the house and an extension of the garage also needed some time.)

It started out as an original truck with a poor backyard engine conversion and stock front and rear axle. Today, it has a Firebird front clip, Camaro rear end supported by Volvo components. Believe it or not, but we have Fiat Ritmo rear springs that makes the rear somewhat more comfortable. Two thirds of the weight is on the front axle which makes the rear a bit on the light side.

It has a 305 engine with a 350 gearbox, GM tilt steering column, Volvo instruments hidden behind the original facing, Opel heater, Chevy van bench seat, gas tank between the frame rails at the back with the filler neck in the right rear fender covered by a Volvo 240 gas filler door. To make it even more international, it is painted (in our own garage by myself and that is for sure not a custom level paint job) in a Renault dark red color.

I made a new bed [ rear image ] out of fiberglass including the tailgate with the Chevrolet name. At the same time, I thought it would be neat with a bed cover so we could carry stuff with us that we wanted protected from weather and people that don’t know the difference between what is mine and what is their's. (Or is it the other way around?)

We (family that is) think it came out pretty decent. It is really easy to make a bed cover like ours. Get hold of a thin sheet of rubber (sometimes used as water protection on patios or buildings with a flat roof) and attach it to the bed along the perimeter with some clamps. Wax it, gelcoat it and put on a couple of layers of glass fiber. When the whole thing has hardened, just flip the cover over and you will have one sturdy cover that won’t sag in the middle due to water. It can be reinforced by glassing in some garden hose lengths and a few more layers of glass fiber. The whole thing is opened with the help of gas shock absorbers used for the rear door of a station wagon. Mine are, of course, Volvo items.

To answer your query if I’m an old gear head, I need to tell you that I’m over 60, have been a car mechanic at the start of my professional life (actually with a stint in Canada as a mechanic and a welder and where our youngest daughter is born) and ended up as a diesel engine sales guy at a factory over here.

But as they say with someone working in an office, by the end of the day you can’t look at your desk and show how many phone calls you have made or if your work will result in a sale. However in the evening you can turn off the lights in your workshop and say with pride “I made that fit tonight.”

The truck can only carry two adults and one Grandchild in a “back to front” baby seat. Hence the purchase of the 1950 Bel Air (my next project) so we can carry both Grandchildren and their parents as well. However, I don’t think that we need any baby seats once the car is ready for the streets. It’s a long process.

The “decoration” in front of the Bel Air is the first 53 parts that I sprayed with primer.

That was a lot of gibberish from the old part of the world. Perhaps you will find some of it interesting.

We use the truck about 4000 miles from May through October and get poor gas mileage. Remember that we pay roughly twice your price for gas. But what the heck!

Thanks,

Odd Strandberg

-30-


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