Leroy Garrett’s 1957 Chevrolet Pickup
Customer: Leroy Garrett
Lives in: Oregon
Vehicle: 1957 Deluxe Chevy Truck
What is the story behind this vehicle?
Purchased the truck in 1985. My Wife worked with a lady who’s teen-aged son owned this truck. It was very fast and she was worried that it was too much truck for him. My wife cut a deal for $1500 and brought it home. It really did haul the mail-the lady was right to be concerned for an inexperienced driver. It had a 350/350. It had huge wide tires on the back. It was in good to fair condition because there was hardly any rust (note: this was California)It was painted Metallic Blue with white pin stripes that had been poorly executed and was badly faded. The bed was in fair condition but the wood was rotted. It had stock running gear under the front end and leaf springs in the rear. The body was in good shape.
What other vehicles do you own?
At the time this truck came into my life, I also had a project car that was a 39 La Salle, a 1963 Chrysler 300 Sedan, and a 1962 240 ‘Z’ Car. I had just completed restoration of a 1965 Mustang. My driver car was a 1965 Ford Econoline Van. This truck was moved to the top of the ‘next’ line. Plus my wife’s car.
During this time, we were blessed with a son. Needless to say, everything in our world was upside down. No more extra time/money to work on project like cars. I mention this because after our son was born we decided we wanted to move to Oregon. Moving a family of 3, two dogs, a cat and Grandma was enough but to add to this list relocating 7 cars (plus grandma’s that made 8) forced me to take action that I have often pondered and frankly regretted. I sold all but the 57, the Van, my wife’s car and Grandmas and we moved to Lebanon. I don’t regret the 240 Z or the Chrysler but my heart still pangs for the newly restored Mustang and sometimes even for the La Salle that might have been a beauty.
Once we were settled in Oregon, I set about getting the 57 restoration complete. I worked on it for 3 years and it’s been complete for about 7 years now. Here are the things that have been done to this truck:
- Plymouth Valarie Torchin Bar Front In with Disc Brakes.
- 350 Crate Motor with 85 Camero tuned port fuel injection.
- 350 Trans rebuilt.
- New Curry 9 inch rear end with limited slip differential.
- Disc brakes rear suspension is a no limit 4 bar with coil overshocks.
- New 16 inch wheels and tires (which my wife still complains about because she wants wide white walls and they don’t make them wide enough in 16 inch).
- Engine has Vintage Frontrunner Air with air power steering and power brakes.
- The body and paint was done by Collision Auto Repair in Waterloo, OR.
- The paint is white pearl and probably the most attractive part of the restoration.
- The bed is red oak and has 6 coats of Marine Spar Varnish on all sides with stainless steel bolts and strips.
- The gas tank was built by No Limit Engineering and has intank fuel pump for the fuel injection. It’s made from aluminum and is mounted by the rear of the truck and removed from the cab.
- All Glass was replaced. The grill was re-chromed before they started repopping it. So it’s original.
- Everything on the outside of the truck is stock. All chrome and stainless steel trim replaced with new.
- Interior hasn’t been finished.
What other vehicles do you own?
1965 Ford Ranchero is the only antique. We have our two driver cars. The Ranchero is the project I’m working on now.
Do you have any advice for people thinking about doing a restoration project?
Have a patient wife who doesn’t ask you how much money you’ve got in that thing… and only restore a vehicle that has parts that are being repopped for everything. If you buy an off brand car you’ll have a hard time finding parts.
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