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#1435919 Mon Jan 03 2022 11:27 PM
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Joined: Jan 2022
Posts: 3
1946 Chev 1/2 Ton shortbed

Introducing “Nadine”, a 1946 Chevy ½ ton shortbed pickup. I bought her in Talent, Oregon on Sept. 16, 1995, from the original owner’s son, Ron. Nadine was purchased and registered in 1947 and had always remained on the family farm in Talent. The registration date implies that the model year is ’47, and I have read many articles about this confusing issue, but I prefer to call her a late model ’46 (also, my birth year). Ron asked me, “If you don’t have a chosen name for her, I would like it to be Nadine,” which was his mother’s name. I said that was a fine name, and that I would keep it because it was also my mother’s middle name. [pic 1]
After driving around the farm a bit, I drove her to a shop in Medford for a chassis re-do. My plan for restoration was to retain the original stock appearance with updated drivability. Remember, this was 1995 and my first attempt, so I didn’t know what I was getting into. Anyway, the shop guys found a donor car: 1976 Olds Omega (ala Nova) with a 350 V8 setup. It sounded cool, so I gave the go-ahead. The sub-frame conversion was done, and now I had a sleeper hot rod. All the required systems were jerry-rigged enough to make it drivable to a body shop in Ashland that specialized in restorations.
Up to this point, the project looked promising and exciting. I thought I had left it in capable hands. Then reality happened. Living 300 miles away and busy with family and work made progress difficult. Nadine basically sat for 20+ years, in various stages of disassembly, prep, partially painted, parts primed, untouched, or missing. [pic 2]
Fast forward to December 2019, after retirement and 10 years of medical issues/recovery, the spark was re-ignited. Actually, my wife said do it or sell it. I therefore found Brothers Garage, a newly formed son-father team willing to take this project on with me. I would provide the finances, go-fer duties, research, and grunt labor. Brothers would provide the build expertise (their second build project!). Nadine was then rescued from Ashland and hauled to Portland. Once in the garage, the first step was to inventory all the parts and pieces and assess their condition. Given the amount of neglect and rust, the original plan was modified to do a complete frame-off restoration. The general build philosophy was to re-build original parts where feasible and replace with new OEM parts or performance upgrade parts when available, with a little “customizing” as needed.
Then the fun began. While going through the inventory, the realization hit: I had neglected to collect the documentation for the donor car, so without the VIN we were flying blind (lesson 1). The first step was to remove the engine and tranny and then do a lot of research to discover what we had. What did we discover? An Olds Rocket 350. I knew it was a 350, but not a Rocket. What a surprise and what a history. I had this re-built by a local engine shop as stock with a mild CompCam upgrade. I also discovered that this GM engine was built by the Buick division, so the top-end replacement/upgrade parts were confusing to find (not necessarily interchangeable). The TH350 transmission was re-built by a local shop upgraded with a stage 1 shift kit. The alternator and starter were taken to a legendary local shop. When I picked them up, the owner told me that they were re-built with original Buick parts. The front-end suspension was original Omega, so finding upgrade performance parts was straight-forward. The bed was completely missing except for the two bedsides, and no bumpers. And lastly, the bench seat seems to have disappeared over the years (still searching).
Since Covid-19 hit, progress has been slow, which seems to have been a blessing, because during my research I found From what I have read in the forums, etc., there is a ton of knowledge out there. Now that Nadine is close to the “figure out how to put it together” stage, I know that I will have many questions and be looking for those hard-to-find parts; and sharing what I have learned thus far the hard way. [pic 3]
Rick Ogle
West Linn, OR
Last edited by Peggy M; Sun Jul 17 2022 06:57 PM.
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 2,476
Workshop Owner
Hello Rick,

What an interesting story and a great retirement project. I am looking forward to following your progress as I have a '41 (same body style) that I've been saving for a future project as well. Please post more pictures when you can.

Welcome to the Stovebolt, I'm glad you found us.


J Lucas

1941 Chevy 1/2-Ton
1942 Chevy 1.5-Ton SWB
1959 Chevy Apache 31 Fleetside
1959 Chevy Apache 32 Fleetside
1969 Chevy C-50 Grain Truck

My Flicker Photos! []

Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 21
Hi Rick, I'm your neighbor to the north, Phoenix, OR. Sounds like you had serious problems with the Ashland bodyshop.
Would you be willing to PM me and let me know who that was? Sounds like I don't want to use them in the future.😎

First truck 1956 Ford F100 frame up restore
1966 Bronco, frame up restore w/upgrades
1942 Chevy 1/2 ton, Barn find, not driven yet
1991 BMW 325ic driven
2005 Chevy Silverado Z71 driven
Joined: Jan 2022
Posts: 3
Hey Gary - I don't have approval yet for PM, so will save that for later. Actually, I live in West Linn (sub of Portland) not Ashland. When you're up this way, give a holler.

Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 53
I think your story about “Nadine’ is great. I don’t like what the guys did to your truck, loosing parts and not getting the job done. I’m happy to see you didn’t give up and you are getting the job done. I traded a 1929 Ford Tudor sedan for my 46 1/2 ton. The truck came out of an auction. The body was good and the frame was good. The engine was a worn out Chevy 350 and 350 trans. But brake system was a disaster with a ton of other problems. It now has a Chevy crate 350 and 700r4 trans. Hang in there. You have the truck headed in the right direction. My cell is 979 324-4454. Shoot me pics when you are close to street time. I’d love to see it. If You have questions text me and I’ll try to help if I can. Good luck. George

Moderated by  HandyAndy, Phak1 

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