1949 Chevrolet Pickup
Customer: Mary Corrington
Lives in: Oregon
Vehicle: 1949 1/2 Ton Chevrolet Pickup - Deluxe
How long have you owned this vehicle?
I purchased it in November of 2008. I was looking for a truck like this to pull my teardrop trailer.
Where did you get this vehicle? What is the story behind the vehicle?
I purchased this truck from a co-worker. One day at work I mentioned that I was looking for a 1950 Chevy pickup to go with my teardrop trailer. He said that he had a green 1949 that he could be convinced to sell.
It was originally bought to be a ranch truck in Montana. The spotlight on it is original and I was told that it was used to spotlight deer to feed the family. Remember, this was in the 1950's in the back country of Montana. Deer were plentiful and known for grazing on the crops.
When my co-worker was 17, he drove it from Montana to Oregon where it became a farm truck on the new family farm outside of Eugene. (He is now in his mid-50's.)
What condition was the truck in when you got it?
It was pretty rough when I bought it but mainly intact. I was delighted to discover it was a 5 window short bed (deluxe) with so many of the original options including a radio. It only had surface rust as it had been garaged during most of its time in Oregon. Even the bottom cab corner panels were intact because my co-workers wise parent had placed oil soaked rags there to keep out the dirt and prevent rust. But then it had a broken back window, the bed was trashed, big dents in the fenders, engine with a cracked block and the brakes shot. The transmission needed work too. The interior was obviously original with 59 years of wear and tear. But it was all there and just needed tons TLC and a lot of elbow grease. (And an owner with the inclination and money to fix it up.) Photo #6 | Photo #7 | Photo #8 | Photo #9 | Photo #10
What work have you done on this vehicle?
This is a ground up restoration. Wheels were sandblasted and powder-coated black, then painted the original color and pinstriped. I was given the original wheels with the truck. Those already on it were a bonus. I replaced the hubcaps. I replaced the very old tires with Coker Firestone 16 inch wide whitewalls. Next was complete replacement of the brakes and lines to original. Then came a total engine rebuild with the crack in the engine block repaired with pins. The carburetor was rebuilt and all fuel lines and gaskets and filters were replaced and the gas tank was cleaned out. The transmission and rear end were redone and are like new. Body and paint was done to original color and specifications. The bumpers and grill were rechromed and dents in them were removed. The interior was totally redone. The seats were rebuilt and recovered, new head liner and door panels replaced, interior repainted, roof and back walls insulated, and the broken window was replaced. New molding was put on doors and windows and new channels installed for the door windows. All stainless steel trim was polished and the dents were removed. I had the original heater and original radio rebuilt. Both work great! I added or replaced these original options: rear view mirror, right and left visors, arm rests, side mirrors, back tail lights, NOS front fog/driving lights, NOS radiator over-flow container, horn, handle on spotlight, turn signal control, windshield wiper controls. NOS step plate added to running board. The bed is restored with the as original Southern yellow pine with 8 coats on each side of hand polished spar varnish. New stainless steel strips were used.
Is there any other work that you would like to do?
Very little. I just need to keep her maintained.
What were the hardest parts to find?
The replacement horn was the hardest thing to find. I found one on eBay and restored it myself. Also, original tempered corner windows (not laminated) are very hard to find. The body shop lost the piece of trim that holds the head liner at the back. I could not find a replacement one anywhere. A fellow Chevy truck owner had a connection with a friend who had a parts vehicle and I was one happy camper to get that part.
What other vehicles do you own?
A 1979 Mercedes.
What is your next project?
My next project is replacing the sides on my teardrop trailer.
Do you have any advice for people thinking about doing a restoration project?
Oh yes! It will take 4 times as long as you think and 2 to 3 times more money than budgeted. Work closely with whoever you have hired to do things and be sure all parts removed are labeled and kept in a safe place. My body shop lost or misplaced many of my parts and it was very difficult to replace some of them.
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