1958 Chevrolet Apache Fleetside
14 February 2005
I saw this 1958 Chevrolet Apache Fleetside on the side of the road one day on the way to the dump. I wasn't impressed with my first site of it but I was always interested in buying a 1958-59 Fleetside pickup. I stopped on my way back home and talked with the owner. He wanted $800 for the truck. I talked him down to $600 and told him I would come and get it the following evening.
When I stopped by the next day, no one was around. The Fleetside long box and cab was full of parts and junk. I was having second thoughts. I tried to call him and stopped several times in the next week to no avail. The last time I stopped out, he was home, but the Fleetside was gone.
The owner told me that he brought the Fleetside to a local antique tractor auction and that I would have to go there to bid on it. I told him that if he would take it out of the auction, I would give him the $800 he originally asked for. He said no and to go and bid on it if I wanted it.
The tractor auction he took it to was in Waconda, SD and was nationally advertised and recognized as a superb antique tractor auction. I thought that there would be some high bidders on the Fleetside, but the other cars and trucks were available and were selling for very reasonable prices. I was one of three bidders and the final bid to me was $265. After I hooked up the Fleetside and started to tow it out, a man stopped me and asked how much I paid for the Fleetside. I told him and he laughed and said that he sold that same truck three years prior at this same auction for $700 and that it didn't have the extra set of doors and front end in the box. He said that it looked exactly the same as when he sold it. Needless to say I was feeling pretty good about my purchase.
When I got home, I called the previous owner and asked him if I could have the hood ornament that he had on his bench. He said that I could and then asked how much I bought the truck for. I told him $265 and he in turn told me that he was going to keep the hood ornament. Sore looser!
As I cleaned all the garbage and parts out of the truck, I started to realize what great shape the Fleetside was in. The floorboards were in factory paint yet and nothing but surface rust. The front fenders were starting to rust through at the bottom, but the brackets were in excellent shape. The door bottoms were both completely intact and the cab corners had rusted out. The bed boards were so rotten that I busted them out by hand. The inside of the box and tailgate were almost dent-less. The frame still had large amounts of factory paint on it. What made it look so bad was the junk and the fact that someone had started to sand all the paint off of it and that is as far as they got.
I decided to get it running and fix the brakes. I replaced one rear leaf spring (I just happened to have a set at my Dad's farm) and the water pump. I did a tune up and fired it up. The truck ran great and I couldn't detect any blue out of the exhaust. I checked the lights and switches and everything worked with the exception of a tail light bulb. Blinkers, heater, radio .... everything worked. The truck even had new tires on it!
A couple of weeks later, I saw an add in the paper for two 1958 and one 1959 Apache pickups. I called and went to take a look. The first one was a 1958 Fleetside long box with the wrap around rear window and deluxe cab and windshield trim. It also had the original V8 and the V8 hood emblem. It was a complete truck with near perfect doors, windows and chrome grill and bumper.
The second one was a 1958 short box with no box. The doors and fenders were in pretty decent shape and the only thing missing was the box.
The third on was a 1959 Fleetside long box with a V8 and deluxe trim on the cab, windshield and the long trim running down the sides of the Fleetside box. It also had a rear bumper, chrome grill and front bumper.
The owner was selling the stuff for his son to get them off of his yard. He wasn't going to budge on his prices so I gave him what he asked for. $380 for all three Apaches with titles!
I dragged them home and thus started my Fleetside kick. $645 for four trucks. How long can my luck hold out? I sold a few parts off of one and paid for all four trucks.
The picture of the turquoise pickup is another I picked up later. That's another song .............. story.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Steve's got a number of trucks in the Gallery : a 1965 Chevrolet Pickup Truck; a 1959 Chevrolet 3200 Apache Fleetside; a 1971 GMC 2500 LWB; a 1948 3600 LWB 3 Window; a 1951 Chevrolet 3100 LWB 5 Window; a 1952 Chevrolet 3100 SWB 5 Window Utility; a 1957 Chevrolet Suburban; a 1958 GMC 100 LWB Stepside Big Window; a 1958 Chevrolet 3200 Apache Fleetside a 1951 Chevrolet 1.5 T. Flatbed; a second 1959 Chevy Apache Fleetside 3200; a 1960 Chevy Apache Shortbox; and a 1947 Chevy LWB Stepside. As of Stovebolts were not enough, Steve hasa a saga about bringing his 1969 Corvette back from California; and a piece from Corvette Fever on finding a 1966 Corvette! ~~ Editor
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