Ed Cain's 1951 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup
Customer: Ed Cain
Lives in: Arizona
Vehicle: 1951 Chevrolet 3100 pickup (1/2 ton)
How long have you owned this vehicle?
I bought the pickup in February 1982, so 34 years, although it doesn't seem like I've had it that long until I repair something that I've already done once or twice before!
Where did you get this vehicle?
I had been looking for one of these Chevrolet "Advance Design" pickups for about a year and found this one in Hemmings magazine. It was located in North Chelmsford, Mass., about an 8 hour drive from where I was living on Long Island at that time. Negotiation on the price went fast and easy asa the seller was recuperating from a wedding. The drive home was another story. It was 22 degrees out and the truck's heater didn't work, weather stripping was non-existant and it had a slightly bent rear wheel which was duly noted by almost every passing car. No spare of course. I made it home without incident but it took days to warm up.
What condition was the vehicle in when you got it?
The truck was basically solid and had a 235 short block installed recently. Being an East Coast truck it had rust in the cowl, cab corners and floor. It needed a bed, some glass, upholstery and weather stripping along with brakes. It was painted a sort of olive green color with huge "west coast' mirrors and green shag carpet.
What work have you done on this vehicle?
First came new brakes with 4 wheel cylinders and Master cylinder. I rebuilt the differential, eliminating a loud howl, rewired a good part of the truck, rebuilt a cylinder head which for some reason wasn't done when he rebuilt engine as installed and put in a new southern yellow pine bed. I should mention that all this work was done in my driveway as I had no garage. I also used the truck as my daily driver. In 1985 all the rusted areas had ben repaired with new metal and the truck was painted the original Forester Green, the same paint that is still on the truck today. Whenever it got above freezing I'd wash off the road salt and wax everything every few months. The paint was the only thing I didn't do myself. In 1985 we moved to Phoenix and a house with a three car garage!
Is there any other work that you would like to do?
Right now it is just case of maintaining it . I was 42 when I bought it and 75 now and things are harder to do and take longer!
What were the hardest parts to find?
Probably the factory radio and the NOS Deitrich sun visor.
What other vehicles do you own?
Just thus one which at times has been more than enough.
What is your next project?
I don't have one right now other than staying ahead on maintaining the truck and attending various car shows and tours. The truck as won an AACA Senior award along with 9 preservation awards. It has been on the cover of the Vintage Chevrolet Club of America publication the Generator & Distributer, a Hemmings truck calendar and an article in Antique Automobile magazine.
Do you have any advice for people thinking about doing a restoration project?
Take a lot of pictures then take some more!
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