Mark Zambrzycki's

1951 Chevy 3800

"Epic II"

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11 September 2006

# 1662

From Mark :

           Arf! Hello, all. I just bought a 1951 Chevy 3800 pickup on eBay. It was 750 miles away in Edmonton, Alberta. We went up there to conclude the deal, and found the auld girl not up to a trip of that length on a tight schedule, so we arranged transport so she could be home in a week. She's bone stock, original, and apparently always worked and never neglected until sometime in the last decade.

           I've had Stovebolts before. My longest (and best) association was with a '53 3100 which I bought for $400 in Klamath Falls, Oregon in 1978. I drove that one home (600 miles), went over the undercarriage (spring hangers, brakes, tires, kingpins, bearings, everything) and worked it for six years with one breakdown. I replaced the melted 6V generator with a $40 rebuilt 12V alternator from someone's shelf. I discarded the regulator, changed out the bulbs, coil and condenser, but left the starter because it still worked - better than ever. I expected it to be next, but it never failed.

           In 1984 I thought a small reward for service rendered was in order, so I drove her to a bodyshop and told 'em to make her prettier. They did. Well, about two years after that, she was rammed while hauling topsoil for my Father by a brand-new Buick driven by a ... lady ... who ran a stop sign at high speed. She (the truck) was written off by the insurance company. I should have fixed her anyway. I know that now. I've missed her terribly in the intervening years, and I trust that this new, older replacement will be a worthy successor.

           "Epic I" had been repowered by a 235, but this new girl - to be dubbed "Epic II" - sports her original 216, along with the factory's idea of appropriate gearing. 4.56-1, is it? Too low for today.

           I've been around surface transportation most of my working life (I'm 50) and I've always had a thing for old machines. The first semi I drove was a '56 Mack model B, and the first American bike I rode - and owned - was a 1936 Harley-Davidson Police model. I went from Alaska to Mexico - and back - on that old bike one year.

           I have a lot to re-learn.

Mark Zambrzycki
Bolter # 11713
Surrey, British Columbia

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