1949 Chevy 3100 1/2-Ton Panel Van
20 July 2006
New to the group and wanted to share my 'Bolt! These pictures of the Panel in its various forms through the years.
My Grandfather traded his home-built dune buggy for this 1949 1/2-ton Panel in 1962. We're from Bakersfield, California, and he spotted it there near a dairy farm. He says they were using it as a chicken coupe, and it was "covered in chicken (bleep) !!"
It was used as a fishing wagon for he and my Dad until sometime in the '60s or early '70s when he painted it orange and began hot rodding it -- which was bound to happen as he built and raced cars for many years. My Grandmother crashed her car into the side of it at some point, which explains the '53 doors.
The 8.2 GM Hotchkiss axle, Centerline wheels, traction bars, overload springs and shocks were some of the "upgrades," along with the pop out windows and rearview mirrors, which were a swap meet find. He also dropped in a 396 BB Chevy and TH400 trans.
Eventually, my Father traded his Nash to my Grandpa for the Panel and drove it through the '80s. He finally blew up the motor around '87 and it was parked.
After he passed a year later, the Panel was shuffled around within my family, and my Mother was wise enough to keep it around for me to decide if I would want it. In March of this year, 20 years after being out-of-service, I happened to be on a trip to California from Arkansas where I currently live. I stopped by to see the vehicle for the first time in years. I fell in love with the truck, and returned in May with a trailer to bring it home.
I'm currently in the process of restoring it myself and hope to drive it back to California in spring of '07 to visit and show my Grandpa.
Thanks for the great site. I hope I can contribute info. If anyone has any questions or wants to come see the truck, I'll be glad to help out!
Bolter # 11633
Heber Springs, Arkansas
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