1951 Chevrolet 1/2-Ton Pickup
20 March 2006
I bought my ’51 for $50 dollars back in 1976 just after I graduated from high school. The original engine had a cracked block, so my Dad and I swapped in a ’63 230 6 cylinder. Of course, that meant we had to swap in the ’63 3-speed as well. We had to open up the rest of the driveline, too by installing a ’65 Olds rearend. I installed hubs and brake drums up front from a ’53 Bel Air so that I would have a small GM bolt pattern and five lug wheels all around. That started a long line of Cragar mags on the truck.
I drove the old truck a little during my college years, but I finally started driving it regularly in 1983. After tiring of the old (new) 230 6 cyl., the truck finally earned its name, “Rockettruck” in 1988 when I swapped in the 455 Olds with its Turbo 400 and a ’74 Nova rearend. I also installed the Nova subframe about the same time. After a new paint job in 1999, it’s been pretty much on the road as my “driver” ever since. Isn’t driving the old truck the point of it all anyway?
The old truck has a lot of history. My Dad, who died in 1987, helped me build the truck in its early years and drove it some. Both of my sons drove the truck as well. My youngest son took his date to the prom in it and proceeded to smash my newly chromed grille (grrrrr … I made him buy me a new one!). Of course, my wife has driven it many times, too. These days I just get in it and go … I’ve driven it to Missouri, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and of course many places in Ohio.
I minister at a small church in Wheelersburg, Ohio and use the truck every day -- to and from the church, making hospital calls, meetings, etc. But I’ve got to be careful … a 55 year old, bright red Chevy pickup is pretty noticeable, which means no burnouts or stoplight drags! I wouldn’t want to leave the wrong impression!
Thanks again for including my truck’s picture in the “Gallery”!
Bolter # 9987
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