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My 51 1 ton * #593410 Wed Nov 18 2009 04:16 AM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 49
KeeneBolter Offline OP
Wrench Fetcher
Well, I'm finally getting around to posting my truck. It is my first stovebolt. It is a 1951 Chevy 3800 with a 9' bed. It was a brush fire truck for the town of Jamaica, Vermont. From what I was told it had a big water tank in the back and a PTO driven pump. The town sold the truck in 1990 to the guy I bought it from in June of 2009. He told me he bought it with 14,000 miles on it for 3,000. I bought it with 43,000 on it.

So here is how I came to own it. In 2006 I was driving down some back roads a few towns over from where I live in NH and I spotted it through the woods, it was sitting in this guys side yard. I stopped in and asked about it. He told me all about it being a brush fire truck. The last sticker on the plate was from 2004. All four fenders were completely rotted which made it look worse than it was. He had it oil undercoated a few times because he would drive it all year round but the fenders were just shot. The rest of the truck was in pretty good shape. Good news was he had new fiberglass front fenders he bought for it but never got to putting them on. He had also put new tires and 16" rims on it before he let it sit in 2004. He just didn't have time to work on it and figured some day someone would stop and he would sell it, he figured he would like to get 1,000 bucks for it. That price included the truck, the new fenders, the original 17" rims and hub caps and an old wood stove that was sitting in the bed of the truck. At that moment in my life I had just bought a house that needed alot of work and I was getting married in a few months so 1000 bucks was a lot and I didn't think the future wife would go for it, so I passed on the deal. I told him I would come back for it in a few years if it was still there.

So fast forward to June of 2009. I now have some time and extra money and a wife who gave me the go ahead to look for an old truck, after all, I do need someting to go to Homedepot with. I knew the 51 was still sitting there so one day I got out of work early, went to the bank and took out the 1,000 bucks and headed over to buy the truck. I got there and the guy remembered me. I told him I wanted to buy the truck if it was still for sale. He said it was. So I said "How about 500 bucks cash and I'll have the truck towed away first thing in the morning?". I handed him the cash, he scratched his head a few times and said "yeah, sure". And that was it. I had it towed to my house the next morning.

I worked on it all summer. After I got it running I did all new brakes, lines and everything, so I know I can stop. I just got it on the road a few weeks ago and my wife and I are having a great time cruising around in it. Part of the reason my wife was so excited about this style chevy is that a character in a book she likes drives a red beat up 53 chevy. So I surprised her when I registered it by putting that characters name, "Bella", on the plate. "Bella" also means beautiful and I think this truck is just that, beautiful.

Here are some pics of Bella the day I brought her home.

and here are some pics of the progress now that she is on the road

and here is the link to all the pics in photobucket

Thanks for looking

Nathan Levesque
Keene, New Hampshire

Last edited by J Lucas; Fri Dec 04 2009 03:20 AM.
Re: My 51 1 ton [Re: KeeneBolter] #593430 Wed Nov 18 2009 05:26 AM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,494
J Lucas Offline
Shop Shark
Cool thumbs_up thumbs_up thumbs_up

And it's a one ton! yahoo

Great find.


J Lucas

1941 Chevy 1/2-Ton
1942 Chevy 1.5-Ton SWB
1959 Chevy Apache 31 Fleetside
1959 Chevy Apache 32 Fleetside
1959 Chevy Viking 40

My Flicker Photos!

Re: My 51 1 ton [Re: J Lucas] #601526 Tue Dec 15 2009 11:21 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 18
58ApacheStepSide Offline
Wrench Fetcher
What a great truck and equally great story. It sounds like it was meant to be. Amazing the truck was still there waiting for you to revive her (Bella), and the owner remembered you as well. Have fun with her. I know you will.

Last edited by 58ApacheStepSide; Tue Dec 15 2009 11:22 PM.
Re: My 51 1 ton [Re: 58ApacheStepSide] #601717 Wed Dec 16 2009 02:23 PM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 14,697
Achipmunk Offline
Extreme Gabster
...... nice. and just think. Bella RUNS. You can enjoy the fact that it moves under its own power! Thanks for the pictures and keep us posted.

1937 Chevy Pickup
1952 Chevy Panel
Pictures in my Photobucket
1950 Chevy Coupe

52 Chevy Panel

I'd rather walk and carry a Chevy hub cap than ride in a Ferd.
I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you smile

Moderated by  J Lucas 

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