A 'virtual garage' of antique Chevy & GMC trucks from around the World
1965 Chevy Custom Cab C-10 Pickup Truck
24 October 2007
From Steve :
Before the truck was dubbed “Erwhipee,” it was a one-owner pickup on a ranch in Parker County, Texas just west of Dallas / Ft. Worth. It sat in the sun on the ranch for 25 to 30 years. My Uncle Carl took some pictures of it while looking at some other cars. He knew of my passion for old pickups (among other things) and brought the pictures to South Dakota. Uncle Carl brokered the deal for me and I now own the 1965 Custom Cab -10 pickup.
Uncle Carl had a shop near where the truck sat. So, I decided I would get it running and drive it home. You can read all about that in the “IRWIPI – Triple Dog Dare Adventure.”
The truck was sunk to the axles in the Texas dirt, but the body looked pretty good in the pictures. I knew it originally had a 283, automatic 2-speed transmission and factory overload springs. The original 283 engine was replaced with a factory replacement 327 a couple of years after it was bought. That had been verified by the receipts and the “CE” letters stamped on the engine pad.
As many of you know by following along with the Triple Dog Dare Adventure on line, I was expecting the pickup to be a little better mechanically than it was, and prepared to make the trip.
With a lot of great help from Uncle Carl, once I got to Texas and got my first actual first look, I went to work making sure that the truck was made reliable enough to make it back to South Dakota without (hopefully) any major problems or setbacks. I expected much of the work that we had to do, such as u-joints, tires, brakes, wiring and some glass replacement. But because of the original low mileage on the truck, I was pretty sure that the engine was going to be able to make the trip with a little TLC.
We came to find out that the engine really needed some internal attention that I was somewhat prepared for. After burning a few quarts of oil in a couple of short test drives, we decided that this might be the end of the Adventure before it barely started! I was very close to cashing in the chips and taking a plane home.
A few choices came to mind, but the expense (and some lack of fore thought) made one option of retrieving a newly built 327 I had in my garage, as well as finding someone I could instruct to properly crate and ship it to Texas would kill too much time. Another expensive option was to get a crate engine from a dealer. A third option was to get a junk yard motor and hope it was in good running order. A fourth option, to rebuild what was needed, was hard to imagine because we didn’t know what we would find.
The fifth option came about when Uncle Carl came up with another 350 engine that he said I could use to get me home. That was the ticket. So we swapped the engine out. That was lucky.
The rear end I planned on putting in a couple of axle seals in and maybe the outer bearings. When I pulled the pumpkin cover, I realized it was going to go deeper when large amounts of water came out. I rebuilt the rear end and got a front seal in the transmission while I had the engine out. All seemed ready to go.
I made it home via some crisscrossing back to South Dakota to meet some of the Stovebolters that followed along with the Adventure and offered me services ranging from shops to trailers and towing. Some offered peanuts and beer, and I even got a promise of a Nebraska steak. (Note: I got a steak, but not a Nebraska one. I think I still have that one coming right, Terry?)
Anyway, the Erwhipee truck and I made it home without any problems other than blinker bulbs falling out and the headlight adjusters breaking. Nothing a little duct tape and wire ties couldn’t fix anyway. I also got to meet a lot of Stovebolters along the way who I now consider my personal friends.
Since I have been home, I have rebuilt the 327 engine. I drove it to the Kansas City Stovebolt Reunion (got a lot more autographs on the hood!), and around town to break in the engine. (Here's the information on the Reunion ... and here's a great photo of the Stovebolt Gang in front or Erwhipee ... the truck really is behind all those Bolters! Click the image for a larger view, including names!)
I get asked now and then what color I am going to paint it. I have to point out the bumper sticker that reads “It IS Painted.” I don’t think I have the heart just now to loose the patina that has become a part of why I love that truck. Besides, My gal Laura “CherryBlossum” likes it just the way it is. That’s good enough for me.
I think all of you Bolter’s should get out there and try this kind of recovery with an old truck that has sat for many years and take a 900 -1000 mile trip home. I Triple Dog Dare You!!!
27 August 2007
From Steve :
I thought I’d let you be the first to know and see the new engine for Erwhipee. I finally got the Erwhipee’s engine rebuilt and running last night (I think this was June of 2007). Here's a picture of her in her new spot! Uncle Carl wanted his engine back so, I thought it was time. It just looked cool all shiny and clean. Thought I’d take a picture or two before it was all dirty.
I found some old So Cal finned aluminum valve covers to set it off. Now if I can just find a nice chrome air cleaner that will fit. Otherwise it’s the big black stock air box. That kind of hides too much of the engine.
Laura and I are going down to Yankton, SD this weekend to meet up with “27 Capitol” and J Lucas from Omaha. They are camping out and 27Capitol promised Laura and I some thick steaks. If you remember from the IRWIPI trip, 27 Capitol was out of town when I rolled through Omaha, NE. We have been planning to meet up this summer ever since. I thought it would be a nice break in for Erwhipee’s new engine.
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- DRIVING OLD IRON -