Ken Ziegler's

1951 Chevrolet 1/2-Ton 5-Window Pickup

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30 January 2006
# 1395

From Ken:

         Hi! I'm retired and have loved the classics since I was a kid - cars and trucks that is! My truck is a '51 Chevy 1/2-ton 5-window, painted Hunter Green. I've owned it for about seven years.

         The truck came off a farm in eastern Pennsylvania so it's sort of a "local" truck to the area. In fact, one of the first things I did when I got it home was to remove the front seat in order to begin the cleaning process and really check for rust, etc. Low and behold, there sitting under the bench was a two foot long wooden sign with the name of the farm and the rusty chains that probably suspended it from the farm entrance railing. Pretty cool, and a real touch of nostalgia to go with the old truck! The sign is hanging in my garage workshop and certainly will go with the family when I and my wife move to the Pocono Mountains for retirement living in the next two years.

         The chain of ownership has been sort of interesting. The truck lived most of its life on the farm but eventually was bought as a project by a young guy. He did all of the body work, replacing a lot of the metal with NOS, some bondo and just plain old good body work. A weird thing is that it appears he did not do a frame-off and, unfortunately, with the exception of replacing the original 216 engine with a 235, nothing was done to the wiring, drive train, suspension or breaks. Even the interior cab was all stock with the exception of missing a radio and original heater. The truck actually has an old Mopar heater in it right now but that will soon be remedied thanks to another Bolter that lives in my area that I am corresponding with to pick up a true Chevy heater.

         Anyway, about ten years ago the truck was given (can you believe it?) to an attorney as payment for some legal work performed for the guy that did the body work. I bought it from the attorney. I no sooner got it home when the attorney called and wanted to buy it back. Ya know, in life ya win some and ya loose some! Obviously, I kept it.

         I'm currently working on the cab. The kick panels have some rust and the tranny cover had to be replaced. There is some other minor restoration needed, but otherwise, everything is there and I hope to restore it to as close to original as possible.

         I have a new wire harness but I may need some help with that project. I was toying with the idea of turning it into a 12-V because I've always had some trouble starting it with the existing 6-V system. However, a local mechanic that just really enjoys working on the truck has convinced me to leave it stock.

         One more story, this one about the pic here on the right, where my truck is sitting in front of an old-time garage. The garage is still in business and owned by my mechanic who is a retired cop. The garage was owned by his Dad and uncle for 40 years and, believe it or not, started business in 1951. The garage sign hanging over the double wooden bay doors actually has the anniversary date posted to it. My mechanic has been a gear head his entire life and actually use to drag race trucks back in the '50's and '60's (legally, on a track ' of course). Since I told him about The Stovebolt Page, I think he's become a regular reader. He's pretty much become the go-to guy in the area for many of the classic car and truck owners and he does a nice business just working four days a week ' when he feels like it. When you step into his shop, it's like stepping back in time because the place is loaded with old car parts, mags, tech manuals, hanging signs and posters, and just old STUFF! It truly is a garage museum. I'd tell you where it is ' but then I'd have to shot you. Only kidding!!

         I’ve been looking for a set of original hub caps for the truck for quite some time. I have '55-56 caps on right now but it sure would be nice to have the correct ones. So if this article does make it to the Gallery and someone knows where I can find a set of original chrome hub caps for my '51 Chevy, please email me.

         That's it. Thank you for The Stovebolt Page and 'thanks' to all the Bolters that contribute their knowledge, humor, and willingness to help others through their many postings.


Ken Ziegler
Bolter # 9282
Haddonfield, New Jersey
(in the southern portion of the state, outside Philadelphia, PA)

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