H A Umanos'
1952 Chevy 3100 Stepside
14 February 2007
From H.A. :
Hey y'all! Our 3100 arrived at our place this month from Cool, Texas. Who would have guessed that a matter to review submarine detection devices in the middle of Texas would have led me to this '52 Chevy Stepside.
"Cool" was sitting on the side of the road just waiting for a new home. Solid body, hardly any rust, basically stock, cherry red, and just enough chrome. I stopped, made a quick walk-around, took down the number, but I wasn't quite ready to make the commitment. But then, driving on to my meeting , I called my wife, described this red pick-em up truck and she wanted it -- really wanted it (believe me, it was her idea). How good is that??
Ever since my Army days at Ft. Polk, Louisiana (1/40 Armor), some 30 years ago, my wife would have us pull my (our) '67 Vette over on the side of the road whenever we saw an old Chevy truck (for sale or not). Even while on our recent Christmas trip to see our boys in Gainesville, Florida -- home of the men's basketball and football national champions -- she envied a 3100 as it drove by us on the UFcampus.
So while stuck on I-95, driving back from Gainesville, I called "Cool's" owner and without ever cranking it over, we concluded the sale. (Despite my years of lawyering, the transaction was handled all over the telephone.) I knew this was the right decision when the car haulers called me soon afterwards to tell me that they had just off-loaded the truck and were driving it into our neighborhood. I did, however, have to let the driver out of the truck once he parked in our driveway, as the driver's side door was stuck and the window wouldn't roll down from the inside. (By the way, I only have good things to say about the folks that arranged for and transported our truck up here. If you want their names, let me know.)
My wife and I then took "Cool" for our first drive. The interior was in great shape except for the missing accelerator pedal and the mass of wiring visible under the dash. No rips or tears, and the headliner was completely intact. The engine cranked right over and we were ready to go.
Stopping ole "Cool" was a bit harder than I thought it would be. At the opening of our cul-de-sac, just 100 yards from our driveway, I scared myself and the little safety girl guiding the grade schoolers across the street.
The steering was fine and it moved through second and third with just a bit of grinding on my part (the throws are a tad farther and wider than my Audi TT) -- but I loved the feel of that four speed on the floor.
My wife also got a bit of a scare on this first outing when we turned left on to our street and, ironically, her passenger door went flying open. What a hoot!!!
I'm hoping we can turn "Cool" into our Sunday driver. Watch for for this Chevy around our nation's capitol -- the Mall, the White House and on the Hill. The bikes will be standing upright in the bed as we make our way toward the bike paths off the George Washington Parkway and touring through Old Town.
But first, I've got to work on those safety items: a new dual master cylinder with booster; front disks; brake lights, seat belts and doors (and windows) that open and close when we want them to. Those big mirrors have got to go as well.
My wife really wants to drive this truck to the gym and to run errands so power assist steering and a hydraulic clutch are probable upgrades in the future as well. With the help of your forum and support of other Stovebolters, hopefully we can get started on making this all happen. (Without a garage or a basement, I'm going to need a lot of help -- any takers??)
Oh yea, as I toured through the Stovebolter site and the various links, I couldn't help but notice the Naval Academy site -- the West Point of the south. Let me suggest you visit the real West Point.
Hope to see y'all around the District.
H A Umanos
Bolter # 13142
Falls Church, Virginia
Another East-coast Bolter! Yup, I'm sure we'll catch up with this one. We'll be sure to wear our "Beat Army" sweatshirts ~~ Editors
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