1946 Chevy 1/2-Ton
From Dave :
Pam and I live in Taylors, South Carolina, and how we acquired “Lucille” is truly a story mixed with dreams, having fun, and just plain luck.
In 2006 I retired from years of working for numerous engineering firms. My wife, Pam, and I moved to Taylors, South Carolina, where we downsized and bought our very first “new” home in a new development. For us, all this “newness” meant that a pickup truck would surely come in handy to deal with all those outside projects and landscaping.
One day, I went to the local Chevrolet dealer to view their display of new pickups. I believe a “white sale” was going on at the time, meaning you could get a deal on a number of different white trucks. I looked them over and hemmed and hawed. I just couldn’t get excited over these new trucks.
In all my 60+ years, I never owned a pickup truck. I’ve always wanted one, but for whatever reason it never happened. Now, maybe, it was the time.
After leaving the dealer, I went home and said to Pam, “Ya know, they’ve got trucks there, but for some reason I just can’t get excited. They all look the same.” I felt there was nothing unique about them. I remembered back in earlier times when there was so much style built into vehicles. I wanted a truck with good old-fashioned style -- something out of the 30’s, 40’s or 50’s. I thought there must be that kind of truck out there. An old truck you could use in a light-duty manner plus have fun with at the same time.
Pam said, “Well -- go look for it!” And so I called her bluff and started my search.
Initially I set my sights on a 5-window 1950’s model Chevrolet pickup. It had to be a Chevy -- I grew up with them!
It didn’t take long to discover that these trucks were in short supply. The ones I ran across needed a frame-up restoration. I questioned myself about just where in the world would I restore such a truck? I really didn’t have the garage space nor did I think I had the patience to endure months, if not years, to get it running.
So my wife suggested that I look more into a truck that was partially restored. Um -- maybe “suggested” is putting it mildly. She knows my lack of patience and how long I would stay focused on such an involved project. So I should probably say she mentioned it more than once with her hands on her hips in that “persuasive” way she has of getting her point across!
Anyway, about a week later, Pam spots an ad in the local Greenville newspaper for a 1946 Chevy pickup which had been restored.
“Holy smokes” I said, and quickly found out that this truck was sitting in this guy’s garage about 10 miles away!
I couldn’t believe it when I first laid eyes on “Lucille.” (Being a redhead, the name appropriately fit.) She was in good looking condition from the outside and came stock with that famous 216 cubic inch inline six-cylinder power plant.
I made the seller an offer, and he soon accepted on that September day in 2007.
Now the fun begins! It was a miracle that I was able to drive Lucille home without either breaking down or being unable to brake. Surprise, surprise … Lucille broke down right in my neighborhood! I couldn’t get her started no matter what I did. But, thanks to a kind neighbor, we towed her to our home and into the garage she went.
So, what’s wrong with Lucille? Well, let’s first remember that she’s 62 years old. She needed someone to take care of her. Most of her problems were from deferred maintenance along with lack of proper on-going care.
Lucille’s crankcase was over filled with black gunky oil, her oil pan and valve cover leaked excessively, the battery was shot. Brakes … what brakes? And, to keep this list short, her steering was scary. To this date, her check list of needed repairs has grown quite lengthy. But you know what? We’ll get there one step at a time!
As of this writing, Lucille is in better operating condition. No more oil leaks exist. Her carburetor has been rebuilt and timing / rpm’s are where they should be. She’s got a new 6-volt battery and at least her front brakes have been re-done. Also, adjusting that pinion gear has improved her steering stability on the road.
We still have a ways to go though -- fix the horn, instrument panel, windshield wipers, and get that spare tire properly mounted just to name a few.
In the final analysis, Lucille is just plain fun! We get lots of smiles and waves when we have her out and about. I mean, just look at her! You can’t help but smile! The photo of Lucille here was taken at Campbell’s Covered Bridge, South Carolina. It is the only remaining covered bridge in the state.
I have more pictures on my Webshots account. The other day, we found an old restored gas station near Tryon, NC. We plan to take Lucille up there for some more pictures. The price of gas posted was 19 cents for regular and 23 cents for premium!! Just like back in the '40's!!
We had a great time at the Southern Stovebolts GABFest at the Spartenburg, SC car / truck show this past June 14th. "Lucille" won a trophy at the show for "Best of Show - Truck"!!! Totally blew me away!! Thank you for honoring Alvin with the Stovebolt flag!! Hopefully the "Southern Stovebolts" group will grow!
In closing, thanks to all of you at Stovebolt.com for your knowledge and kindness. The web site and people are awesome! I could not have done it alone! We've learned so much and will continue to do so in order to keep "Lucille" the honored American treasure that she is
David & Pam Wolff
We hope to get the report on the Southern Stovebolt GABFest for the Events page soon! Looked like a LOT of fun, and some great pictures were sent. And CONGRATS on the trophy! Outstanding ~~ Editor