Kevin Thomas'

1949 Chevy 3600 3/4-Ton 5-window

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04 July 2005

From Kevin: 

       Hi fellow Bolters! Well, I finally got around to taking some photos of my 1949 -ton Chevy 3600 for The Stovebolt Page!

       I purchased the truck about a year and a half ago. My Dad had told me about the truck sitting near the church they attend, and how straight it was.

       One Sunday afternoon, my wife and I decided to stop at the house and inquire about the truck. The owner was gone so I talked to his son. He told me that he and his Dad had been planning to restore the truck, but had just never gotten around to it. I asked him if I could go look at the truck and he agreed.

       The truck was setting around back, beside a barn. It was, in fact, fairly straight but the body had some surface rust. It had not run in several years and the family was using it to store dog food in! The truck had a 216 engine, and a granny 4-speed transmission. It had new, dry-rotted 15" tires, and rusted chrome Mojave wheels!!

       The kid told me that his Dad used to drive the truck to work and that the engine had been overhauled. I finished looking the truck over and asked him to contact me if they ever decided to sell the truck.

       I had all but forgotten about the truck when one evening my phone rang. It was the kid's Dad. He told me that he had thought it over and if I wanted the truck, he would sell it to me. I asked him some questions about the history of truck and he said he had owned it for about 25 years. He had overhauled the engine about eight years ago. But when he got it started, it had a noise in it. So he just sort of gave up on it.

       He also told me that an old, full-service station in Joplin had bought the truck new and used it in their business. Its original color was blue.

       I brought the truck home and bought a fresh 1957 235 engine that I got from a friend for $300. We installed the engine and I had the radiator renewed. We recovered the seat. I completely rebuilt the brake system. The pinion seal was leaking so I replaced it. As for the wheels and tires, I got a set of the original split rim wheels, and tires given to me by a friend.

       Since that time, I have been tinkering around with the truck and just driving it about every three days. It is a work-in-progress.

       One day, I will do a frame off restoration on it. However, I cannot get too carried away with it, because I have a frame up restoration in progress on my wife's 1950 -ton 5-window Chevy that her Grandfather gave her.

       I will update you as the progress moves ahead on the trucks.

Kevin Thomas
Webb City, Missouri

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