1950 Chevy 1/2 ton
My grandfather purchased this truck in the late 60’s/early 70’s to cart dirt bikes around in Orange County California. It got passed around the family a bit and was used as a work truck for a while. Sometime in the 70’s my grandpa removed the straight six and installed the engine (390), transmission, and rear end out of 1960 series 62 Cadillac. My grandparents divorced in the 70’s but my grandma told me that when he brought the Cadillac home, she told him “That Cadillac is nicer than the truck, why would you take the engine out of it?!”. Everyone in the family said this truck was a 49 but after doing some research (using this site) it is a 1950 3100.
I remember seeing the truck when I was a kid in the 80’s/90’s and thinking it was so cool. I got married, went into the service, had kids and had no time or money for 20 years. The truck sat out in the high desert from the early 90’s then moved over to my aunt’s backyard where it sat some more. My uncle tried to get the truck running again but he passed away in a motorcycle accident in 2014 then my grandfather passed away in 2015. My Dad passed away in 2018, I needed a distraction so I pulled the truck out of my aunt’s backyard in December of 2018 and brought it to my house in Ventura County California.
I took the truck down to the frame and had it all blasted. As far as sheet metal, I had to replace the tailgate, front bed panel, drivers cowl, and both front fenders. Someone had bought some used fenders for it but when I went to put them on, I realized they were for a 2-ton truck so I ended up buying new ones. I really wanted to keep the Cadillac motor so I spent way too much money on flaky engine builders. I tried to keep the Cadillac Hydramatic transmission but the cost/benefit just wasn’t worth it so I used an adapter and a TH400. The engine was having issues after I installed it so I pulled it and found a running 1958 Cadillac 365 to use for now. The 390 is sitting in my garage and I’ll probably fix it and replace the 365 at some point. I kept the straight axle and just rebuilt all the suspension. I did add power steering and disc brakes.
I have four daughters. My wife and girls helped with color matching and they picked the color. I built a paint booth in the garage and painted the truck piece by piece with single stage mini-cooper ice blue (came out more green than blue but we really like the color). I’ve got a few things left to do but the truck is now on the road and is super fun to drive. No idea how much money I’ve spent on it. I had a bit of a scare at the CHP office, the officer was verifying the VIN number and he said “I think there is supposed to be a VIN number on the frame, underneath the cab…..” then he trailed off and signed the verification doc….
Last edited by 50shep; Wed Feb 01 2023 12:25 AM.