Sam Wanty's

1969 Chevy K-20

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25 July 2006
# 1601

From Sam:

           I figured it was about time to show off the the machine I call my baby. I purchased her two years ago for $100 from my uncle/neighbor. He knew I was into old trucks after pulling home a '67 C-10 from my other uncle/neighbor, and after playing with my Dad's badly abused '68 C-20.

           So, that's how I came to own this 1969 K20. When we attempted to pull her out of the snowbank that she sat in, I made a VERY stupid mistake. I hooked the chain to the drag link, and when my uncle gave her a good yank, the front wheels sort of went perpendicular to the way the truck was pointing. Not good.

           After getting her out, we tried to straighten the drag link by running a chain under the truck to the back and pulling on it with another truck. Yeah, "redneck ingenuity" at its best. Let's just say I had one tire steering while I was pulled home. Good thing I lived a whole mile away from where the truck was. muwahah.

           Alas, after a little fresh gas and readjusting the points, the 292 sprung to life. After a jimmy-rigged 1964 K20 drag link was put in place to steer with, she moved. Don't worry, I have the proper drag link. .

           So, work started. Kinda. First, was the removal of the old long step bed. Don't worry, there was nothing left of it ...basically a steel box and tailgate sitting between the tires. No fenders. Nada. Oh well, good thing I have that '67 C-10 for a parts truck.

           Insert donation number one. An old whiskey sign was used for some of the patch panels in the cab. What a great plan THAT was. But oh well, it worked!

           Later on, I started to use old fenders and such for patches. Worked much better. However, at this point in time I realized the price of a new '69-'70 grille. So, being the frugal-minded person I am, I decided to tear the front clip off.

           Insert '67 part truck again. It donated its grille and hood for this project, along with two front fenders for patch metal. Luckily, I also found a swap meet steal for a pair of '67 fenders, for free -- I only had to pay shipping out of Chicago. Woohoo. When those arrived, and the bondo removed and patches installed, and bondo for the weld seams applied, progress was made once again.

           At this point, there was nothing left on the front of the truck. So, it was time to install a rad support. The '67s had seen better days, in other words ... the bottom half was GONE. Then, after a brilliant idea to weld the '69 bottom and the '67 top together ... my Dad and I stole the '68s rad support. Minimal rust damage. Progress again!

           Now it was time for the doors to be welded. The passenger side '69 was fine, so I patched that up with my trusty Lincoln 110V fluxcore. However, the driver's side was pretty well shot. Sooo insert '67 donor AGAIN.

           Stole the door, and was in better shape. Welded up that small problem and tah dah: doors almost done! They just need to be finished.

           That leaves the bed ... which is still in the process of getting worked on. Haying season interrupted the "process." Go figure.

           Body work aside, there has also been modification to the driveline, which consists of: 292 L6 SM465 4 speed some transfer .. I think 205. 4.56 or 5.13 rear end headers installed. Currently awaiting the installation of my Offy 3x1 intake.

           Well, when spring rolled around and body work failed to keep my attention, headers were installed, and voila! Instant fun! Now, the front driveshaft is currently sitting on a back shelf, so 2-wheel drive was the only option, along with having no front sheet metal aside from the newly acquired and painted '68 rad support. No other sheet metal besides a cab. My cousin and I were in for a good time as the frost broke, and snow melted. We had ourselves a mud drag strip. Now, before anyone worries about safety ... well ... we all do stupid things. No one got hurt. So ... no worries!

           That's about it. I'm currently just doing body work when I have the time and ambition (money is no option when you can weld and have loads of scrap sheet metal). Future plans are to install the intake, put her back together, paint. and ... enjoy!

           Paint color schemes you may ask? Probably red with a white cab roof and window pillars. Or maybe black. Or ... I have five gallons of Safety Red and Gloss Black industrial paint.

           At 18 years old, I'm having a darn good time, and not looking back (since I don't have a rear view mirror yet ..).

           I'd like to thank everyone at the Bolt, along with Inliners International, for helping me along this dusty dirt road to Old Iron-dom. Sorry for the long story. I guess that's what you get when you mix the two passions of a journalism student.

           Here is a link to my photobucket with a few more pictures. Oh, here's a thought-provoking question: would my truck be a '69 since that's what the VIN says...or a '67, since that's what it will look like? .

Later days ...

Sam Wanty
Bolter # 4529
Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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