Back about Back about 69 years ago Whoopee, a 1950 Chevy 1/2 ton, came into existence as a service truck at my father's implement business..Ten years later it became my everyday driver and fun truck, then came Vietnam and Whoopee went away but not out of my mind. Flip forward to 2013, I'm retired and looking for something to do during the cold Minnesota winter. I found a 1959 Chevy 3100, with overdrive, just looking for someone to bring it back to life. Dassel Minnesota is not a thriving mecca of activity BUT it does have Nicholsen's Auto Restoration. This is a father and son team who are masters at restoration/building of older vehicles. I did the "gopher" work and they did the stuff that required talent. During the winter of 2013/2014 Whoopee II changed from a rusting Georgia truck, found in Staunton, Illinois now getting a makeover in Minnesota.
I chose to keep Whoopee stock but not all original as aftermarket pieces had to be utilized to minimize labor costs. People who accomplish a restoration do not realize how rusted a door, running board, tailgate or grill can become just sitting in a field or in a dirt floor barn, these pieces were obtained at Bow Tie Truck Shop, at that time located just 20 miles away. She has a 235 ci 6 cylinder engine with the smelly Rochester carburetor, 3 speed on the column with overdrive. I chose a Chevy Vega Orange color with blue accent in honor of a dress my wife purchased, for our first date back in 1968. The engine ran well so it was not torn down nor was the running gear. She is a basic truck model, no radio, basic heater hanging down in the middle of the passenger compartment, 2-55 air conditioner, vacuum wipers (getting changed to electric), manual roll up windows, small rear window and the oil bath air cleaner. If you ever have looked for a nice hood emblem for a 1959 Chevy truck you know how difficult that can be, they do not make an aftermarket emblem. A $500 plus estimate to restore the original was problematic so I began asking swap meet attendees to keep their eyes open. As luck would have it, one was found, $150, but in pristine condition. I took the new bed wood, the prior guy put in unfinished but not rained on, and routed the edges, sanded and applied multiple coats of spar varnish. Cliff and Ed did their magic to repair the multitude of sins the flat black paint covered and I sanded, sanded and sanded until approved by Cliff. I also learned that PRO-15 does not come off ones bald head, when painting under the frame, it has to wear off!
The spring of 2014 we had the finished product. It is fund to drive, especially when overdrive kicks in and the old 235 doesn't wind up so much at 50 mph. I haven't taken it to, but one, got a trophy at it, competitive car shows just take it to get together with like minded people. My eldest son says he gets it when I'm gone as it is now a "family heirloom." He also wants me to put a 350 in it, add new suspension, brakes, rear end and transmission, I told him he can when I'm gone. Hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I did working on Whoopee.