Gary Wagley's

1949 Chevrolet Model 3107 Canopy Express

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22 January 2007
# 1788

From Gary :

         This is my frame-off restoration of my 1949 Chevrolet Model 3107 Canopy Express. Matching numbers, original engine, radio, fresh air heater, radiator, even original keys. It has 55K original miles.

         This truck is the deluxe model with WSW tires, chrome beauty rings and hub caps chrome grill and bumpers, dual tail light option, right seat option (both seats have factory leather upgrade). The Internet estimates only 570 of these units made in 1949.

         I found the truck on eBay late 1994. It was represented that it had some rust in the bed and tailgate. I had it shipped from West Virginia to Arizona on an open transport.  When it arrived, it must have weighed 200 pounds less than when it left. There was an inch of rust dust underneath it.  The brake return springs were so badly rusted that they broke in transit and locked up the wheels.  I had to drag it off the truck.

         I knew I was in for a project. If the canopy wasn’t so rare, I probably would have used it for a parts truck.  After a thorough examination, I found out that it was a totally original truck with all the bells and whistles available in 1949.  That’s when I bought two other panels for body parts and commenced a frame-off restoration.  The project took me and a friend about nine month’s full time work to complete.

         The truck has won many trophies at car shows and always turns heads.  Most people don’t know that this model was ever factory produced.  I just sold it at Barrett-Jackson in January 2007 to a fellow in British Columbia. 

         My next project is a 1951 Chevrolet Suburban. This time I plan to upgrade the suspension, steering, and brakes.  I have one more 261 that is going to be built slightly with a milled 848 head and a 390 4-barrel.  I’m staying with a World class T-5 5 speed with a S-10 tailshaft.

         I also own a 1950 5-window with a 261 engine, .080 0ver, balanced, 848 head milled .100, clifford 4 barrel water heated manifold, Clifford hydraulic cam, Fenton headers, HEI ignition, Offy valve cover, PCV system, 11” clutch, world class t-5 5 speed transmission. It still has the straight front axle with mono Patrick’s springs and shocks, the rear end is a 3.78 GM 12 bolt.

Gary Wagley
Bolter # 12805
Cottonwood, Arizona

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