1953 Chevy 3100
17 January 2006
About a year ago, I decided I wanted to restore a Bow Tie truck. I could not decide whether to Hot Rod one or Restore one to how it was in the show room. Finally, I came to the conclusion that all these kids in their rice burners with coffee can exhausts needed to be shown real tire-shredding horse power.
So I found a 1973 Stepside in great condition that I didnít mind hacking up since their a dime a dozen. Just about the time I started to give it some more ďCow Bell.Ē the US Navy decided I would be of better use to them overseas for a couple of months.
Picture this -- here I am on the other side of the world helplessly watching Hurricane Katrina destroy the town I live in on CNN. All hope was lost when I saw a reporter standing on a Interstate 10 overpass, due north and about 15 miles north of my house, and the water was just below the bridge (I heard it was 40 feet at my house).
Now I have to choose -- try and salvage what's there, or build something new? I decided I would like to Rat Rod an old Chevy Truck. I wanted a í46 but I also liked the ADís. I drove as far as Zephyr Hills, Florida (hauling my 18 foot trailer) looking for one that was in decent shape and reasonably priced. All I found were overpriced show trucks or trucks that I could have thrown a cat through the rust holes in the fenders.
In the end, after searching for months, I found this Ď53 about 20 miles from where I work and the old man that sold it to me only wanted $4500. I guess I should have looked in my own backyard before spending probably about that much money searching every car show I could find within driving distance.
Now here is the funny part. I figured for my price range anything I found would be in pretty bad shape, but at least rebuildable. After seeing this truck and driving it, itís in such good shape it would break my heart to cut and weld on it. The only major body damage is a hole in the right rear fender and the holes in the bed rail where someone installed the tool box. Their isnít any jagged sawzall holes in the dash from botched stereo surgery. About the only thing un-original I can see at this point is the 12-bolt rear end and the later model inline six.
So now Iím back to square one -- Show room floor restoration or only bolt on parts that can be reversed.
Donít you just love this hobby?
Bolter # 9370
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