A 'virtual garage' of antique Chevy & GMC trucks from around the World
1959 Chevy Apache
25 February 2008
From Steve :
Hello. This is my first submission to the Stovebolt Gallery. Back in high school in Oregon (1971-72), my first vehicle was a 1959 Chevy Apache 3100 [ pix ]. It had a 235 CI straight 6 with 3 on the tree. The six gave me so many problem with blowing head gaskets, I replaced it with a 1958 (from a '58 Apache that was being scrapped) 283 V8. The old truck screamed.
In January 2005, I once again got the desire for a 1959 Chevy Apache pickup. Living in Massachusetts, it is hard to find one for a reasonable price. I started my search on the Internet and in April I found just the right one. The problem -- it was located in Washington State!
The truck was being sold as part of an estate sell. The woman's Mother had been into restoring old vehicles, and this was one of them. When she passed away, the daughter got the job of clearing out the estate.
The first picture I saw made the truck look orange. (It is really fire truck red and white.) I made a deal for the truck ($6,800) and spent another $1,000) to have it shipped from Washington State to Massachusetts. In April of 2005, it was shipped east [ pix ].
When the truck arrived here, I suddenly realized that there were a few problems with the truck. Overall, it was in good shape but mechanically, it had problems. First was that the original 235 Six had been replace with a 350 V8. Not normally a problem but it wasn't a small block Chevy 350 -- it was a Pontiac (neither a big block or small block). It just didn't fit right. There was a header on the driver's side and the stock cast iron exhaust on the passenger's side. [ engine compartment pix ]
Electrically, the wiring was messed up. The signals didn't work and head lights would blink on and off. When you hit the brakes, both front signals would come on. Also, the emergency brake was no where to be found. Power steering and brakes had been added along with tilt steering wheel. There was so much play in the steering you really had to work at keeping it on the road. [ interior pix ]
I fixed the steering but in Massachusetts you much have a safety inspection to put it on the road. No way would it pass. This doesn't mean I didn't take it out that summer. Here she is at Liberty Tree Mall in Danvers, Massachusetts.
Since 2005, I have slowly begun to fix some of the problems. I am now installing a new wiring harness from front to rear. I have the parts for the emergency brake but, that is another project. I am also looking into removing the Pontiac 350 and replacing it with a 283, 327, or 350 Chevy V8. There is a Mustang II front end conversion kit I am also looking into to help with the steering problems. The body is straight with little rust so most of my work will be mechanical.
Wish me luck!