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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

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This truck, when purchased for a restore, was a 2nd owner truck from Georgia. “Old Joe” owned it since 1969. The truck was driven back from Georgia with no issues then a plan was made and truck was disassembled.
Initially it was to be a quick makeover however the deeper into it we got the more issues we saw so the plan changed to an off frame total restore.  The intention was to have a restored truck with some luxuries (a/c, steering, brakes) but still look like it came fresh from the factory. I personally have always liked something that looked professional and engineered vs…  well everything else.
The 6 cylinder was kept because it is now something different and cool instead of the usual small block v-8 that everybody has. The engine was in excellent shape but we wanted a factory looking A/C instead of an “aftermarket” look so we found a block from a mid 70’s nova that had the bosses on the block for GM a/c brackets. Of course the engine was rebuilt in house. We used the original head and a Clifford Research aluminum intake because it had water heating provisions. We also used a Stovebolt Eng Co split exhaust manifold.  The original 1 barrel air cleaner was adapted and enlarged in the rear for a stock look. We changed the original 3-speed for a manual 3-speed w/overdrive. The differential was rebuilt and the case replaced with a posi-traction unit. All suspension and brake components replaced. Front sway bar added along with power steering and power brakes. Frame was rust free but was blasted, epoxy primed and painted. 2” dual exhaust with a balance tube was run out over the left side axle and exits together behind the wheel for a factory look.
There was rust in the usual places on the cab– rockers, “A” pillars, some flooring, doors, cab corners, hood and fenders.  Fenders, rockers and doors where replaced with new, hood had patch panels welded in the bad areas, along with the “A” pillars and flooring. All parts not replaced were soda dipped.  We did find an issue with the dip process. While it worked great on most parts the cab had an issue with insulation between the roof and inner panel retaining moisture and eventually rusting both pieces. The roof panel was cut out large enough to insure all the rust was removed and then another panel welded in.
The bed had a steel floor “butchered in” which required replacing the front bed panel and making up and welding patch panels in the inner side panels to where it meets the floor. The passenger side bed had a fair amount of old damage which had been repaired with body filler. This panel was metal worked back to shape. The driver side bed was in such bad shape that it needed replaced. As no new side panels are available we took 2 long wheel base “1/2 patch panels”, made a buck and cut and shaped front and rear panel ends to the correct length for this truck and welded both together. The bed flooring is southern yellow pine, as was original, and we researched the factory formula and made up the board paint in house . We did deviate just a little from stock with SS strips and tailgate latches.
The truck was etched primed, epoxy primed, blocked a minimum of 5 times and finished in PPG basecoat. All paint was done before assembly. The interior was done in acrylic enamel.
The interior was left basically stock. The only visual change was an old looking modern radio and a different gas pedal setup because of the intake manifold change. The original cluster was repaired and new plastic lenses. All the glass was good but replaced with factory tinted glass. Vintage Air A/C was added and louvers cut into the dash for a factory look. (When we disassembled the seat for upholstery we found a bag of 1966 half dollars stuffed inside.) All new wiring harness were made up and replaced.
Maiden voyage was a trip back to Georgia towing an enclosed trailer with zero issues.

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