Bruce Plagman’s 1935 Chevrolet Sedan
Customer: Bruce Plagman, Georgia
Vehicle:1935 Chevrolet Standard 4dr sedan model EC
How long have you owned this vehicle?
I purchased this car in December of 2011
Where did you get this vehicle?
I was looking for a 1936 Ford for an anniversary present for my wife, she had a picture of her father leaning against the front door of a car and we determined it was a 36 Ford so I purchased the car from a retiring farmer in southwest Minnesota that he had listed on craigslist. In talking to him, he mentioned that he was selling this farm and moving into town and would be losing his barn so he had to sell both the 36 Ford and the 35 Chev. The 36 Ford had been his father’s car and the 35 Chev his and he had owned the 35 since 1972, so I purchased both cars and had them shipped down to Georgia. They both had been sitting in his barn for 30 + years only started every once in a while and driven only around 10 times in the 40+ year period.
What condition was it in when you got it?
I was able to drive the 35 Chev off the transport trailer and into the driveway but that is as far as she would go. The 30+ years of sitting did a number on the fuel system along with many other moving parts of the car. The body as you can see in the pictures was very solid, no badly rusted areas of the car just 80 years of parts deteriorating not only mechanical parts but body and glass parts as well. She only had 36k miles on her after all those years so I wanted to keep it original both in paint color, engine and electrical system meaning keep the 6 volt.
What kind of work have you done on this vehicle?
I started with replacing the fuel system, fuel tank, lines, fuel pump and overhauling the carb so I would be able to run the engine and make sure it was solid before tearing into other parts of the car. Mechanically all brake components needed to be replaced or reworked like brake cables, freed up. Once the brakes are completed all shocks were replaced as well as the exhaust system. After completely everything underneath the car, I started on the engine electrical be either replacing or rebuilding, generator, starter, coil, spark plugs, wires maintaining the 6 volt system including moving the battery from underneath the front floor to mounting it on the firewall under the hood. Once the electrical was completed started replacing all the rubber components on the engine, belts, hoses and had the radiator redone. All engine and transmission leaks were fixed and the car was finally mechanically completed so the body work could start.
I body was disassembled but stayed on the frame for restoring. The body was very solid including the wood, no bondo was found and only one crack in a front fender needed attention. The car was painted to its original color scheme of Pinehurst Green on the body and black fenders. All the chrome pieces were either replaced with new(if available)like the bumpers or rechromed/polished on the door handles, headlight bezels, etc. A new vinyl roof insert was installed along with new glass were required like the windshield. All rubber window seals, etc. were replaced with new parts. All the interior parts that could be painted were like the window frame and the front dash/instrumental panel. The engine was painted as well making this 1935 Chev look better than she did from the factory.
Also 5 new tires and tubes were installed on the 17 inch wire wheels along with the original hubcaps that were rechromed.
Is there any other work that you would like to do on it?
The only other work that could be performed is to replace the interior with an original Mohair material. The interior in it today was replaced back in 1972 but still looks extremely good.
What was the hardest part to find?
In the end there were a number of parts that required a lot of research to find the right part, in some cases parts were rebuilt or rechromed. But the hardest part to find which was critical were the running board mats. There were a number of aftermarket solutions but I wanted the original look and for a long period of time The Filling Station was back ordered on this part. One day I was actually calling in to place an order for a universal running board rubber when The Filling Station’s customer service person said why was I ordering the universal one when you had just gotten stock in or the original design. I obviously was over the moon that I could order the right part to finish this project, so it was a happy ending.
What other vehicles do you own?
I am actually a collector of International Harvester vehicles including Scouts, Travelall, pickups and a Fire Truck ranging from 1940- 1975. I own 10 of these in addition to the 1936 Ford and the 1935 Chev.
What is your next project?
My next project is taking two International Travelall’s one a 1967 and the other a 1968 and making one very nice 4×4 out of the 1968. Each project takes around two years from the time I start on the mechanical items before doing the body and paint work until I have a finished project that is ready to show off. I keep the projects as close to 100% original as possible.
Do you have any advice for people thinking about starting a restoration project?
Once you start a project you must be willing to complete it meaning just painting a vehicle is not a restoration, everything that goes on that new paint must also be as nice/new which means replacing or resurfacing everything. You also have a trust people and resources and like I mentioned earlier, the customer service people at The Filling Station do a wonderful job.
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