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#1465668 Thu Sep 08 2022 05:49 PM
21 Images
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 89
Donald S.
1953 Chevy 5-window

I bought this truck in 2004, the year before Hurricane Katrina hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Ironically, I purchased the truck from a man who was part of the Hurricane Hunters at Keesler Air Force Base. A good picture of the grey "before" truck is on the picture that has the text and bordered by blue.

I kept buying parts after the hurricane when I did not have time to work on it because of my business and hurricane damages. After much thought and deliberation I decided to do a complete frame-off restoration and make the truck like it could have been back in 1953, except for a nice paint job and rims. Now that it is done, I get more comments and compliments about the fact that I left it with a 6 cylinder and didn't put an LS in it.

Actually, I did not start working on the physical sheet metal and replacement of parts until probably 2014.

I did a couple of things to make the truck safer to operate: dual master cylinder and power front disk brakes.

The whole frame and cab was stripped, de-rusted and EDP-coated prior to powder coating the complete frame. I liked the EDP coating that it would get paint where you could not even see (behind the double wall in the back of the cab). The underside of the cab, inside of the fenders and under the running boards have thick truck bed coating to help preserve it.

The whole interior was covered with Dynamat for sound and heat. I also included a YouTube link at the bottom to hear the difference with and without it. It is great stuff!!!

It still has the original torque tube drive shaft, but I did have the rear end gears changed by Stans Powertrain so I could at least do 55 mph locally. The kingpins were rebuilt and I kept the front straight axle. Lowered leaf springs were added all around to improve the stance.

The paint job was completed in August 2018 by Lawless Customs in Slidell La. The color is Camaro Synergy Green. It seems a little darker than Synergy Green, but I am happy with it. Oh, by the way my favorite color is blue, not sure how I ended up with a green truck.

It took most of the next year to complete it. My brother-in-law, who built cabinets, custom cut and routed the Cypress wood for the bed. That seems appropriate for our location in the south. I finished it off with ebony stain and several coats of gloss urethane. The bed strips are also stainless steel for longevity.

The truck was completely rewired throughout; added hidden turn signals; installed a modern retro looking radio, hidden speakers and even a sub. (I like the bass). I rebuilt all of the gauges and changed the wipers to electric instead of vacuum since the power brakes were now using the vacuum. All of the lights are LED and much easier to see, including headlights. All fasteners were changed to stainless steel.

All of the original glass was replaced with smoked glass and all new gaskets. Both vent windows were completely rebuilt and powder coated black to match the original accessory step on the running boards. I added stainless steel bumpers instead of chrome also for longevity.

The engine ran well already and did not smoke so I just cleaned it up and painted the 1956 235 engine, added an Offenhauser dual manifold, dual carburetors, headers and dual exhaust. I included a YouTube link below to hear the dual exhaust. I have seen a lot of different colors of engine "grey" colors, for that year, so I don't know which one was correct. I chose to use Bill Hirsch's high temp grey engine enamel. It has held up very well. I topped the engine off with chrome valve and side covers.

I added custom Boyd Coddington 17" aluminum rims, with lower overall height tires to maintain the overall diameter of original tires with 16" rims.

I first took it to Crusin' the Coast in 2019 on the Gulf Coast where over currently 9,000 classic cars will be here this year. I plan to continue to go and I would encourage anyone with a classic to come. It is a week of cruising 26 miles of beach with plenty to do and lots to see!

The truck has been to several local car shows (that do some kind of fundraising for a good cause) and has won several awards. At one of theses shows, I was answering many questions for a seemingly long time. One man left me a business card. He said to send him some text and pictures of my truck -- that he had a magazine. He really liked the fact that I pretty much kept the truck stock. So this year my truck was previewed in the April 2022 Gulf Coast Motor News magazine. You can see this in the two pages pictures outlined in blue borders in the Flickr link below.

Here are the YouTube video's one of which let you hear the difference between a door closing with Dynamat and without (big difference) Dynamat [][/color] and the 2nd one being the dual exhaust sounds. Dual exhaust sounds []

The 3rd one is a 6 min. slideshow of my frame off restoration from start to finish 6 min slideshow []

Here are some additional build pictures [] on my Flickr account.
Last edited by Southerntruck; Tue Oct 18 2022 04:51 PM. Reason: added some

Please don't tell my wife how much this thing cost!
This guy talks funny!

1953 Chevy 5-window in Gallery Forum
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 2,511
Workshop Owner
What a beautiful '53. thumbs_up Thank you for posting.


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: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,067
John I think she is a beauty as well green is a popular colour

57 3200 pickup 265 V8 with service tray
J Lucas #1465707 Thu Sep 08 2022 10:09 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 89
Donald S.
Thanks man! It was fun but a lot of hard work.


Please don't tell my wife how much this thing cost!
This guy talks funny!

1953 Chevy 5-window in Gallery Forum
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 563
Nice truck, nice job!
You get a pat on the back from me! chug

Jim Schmidt.
Bucks County, Pa.
1953, 3804
Pix in Photobucket []
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 89
Donald S.
Originally Posted by 53 green 1- ton
Nice truck, nice job!
You get a pat on the back from me! chug

Thanks, shake

Please don't tell my wife how much this thing cost!
This guy talks funny!

1953 Chevy 5-window in Gallery Forum
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 89
Donald S.
Another thing I should have included in my original post but did not was the many times I used the “search” field on this site to get information as I was reassembling my truck. Something as simple as where the parking brake spring attaches to the frame or what oil to use in the transmission. Oh and here is one to pay attention to. Modern fuel obviously no longer contains lead. The old engines need it as part of the lubrication, so……. Go buy a lead substitute additive. I use this.


Last edited by Southerntruck; Tue Oct 25 2022 04:43 PM. Reason: Added image

Please don't tell my wife how much this thing cost!
This guy talks funny!

1953 Chevy 5-window in Gallery Forum

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