After the truck was back to my shop, I closed the door and installed parts all night. If I
The next day, I conned Dan into driving me to Marcel's in his tow truck to bring my Chevy back to my shop for the reassembly. I think Marcel was happy to get the room back in his shop because of the little happy dance he did as we drove off. Dan and I stopped to get a nice healthy breakfast burrito before continuing on to the shop. I hopped in the truck and hit the tortured cat starter and drove the truck in the shop and closed the door behind me, not knowing that would be the last time I saw daylight that day. The rest of that day was spent installing all the restoration parts I got from Stan, trying very hard not to scratch my new paint. As I got to the grille, I had an idea about how to shave the front turn signals that mount in the lower grille opening. I knew there was a company that makes round headlights with LED turn signals integrated into the light. I stopped working on the truck for a little web search to look for the lights. I found them on Yogi's Street Rods site and had them shipped out overnight. Back to the truck, I had an extra center grille section, so I removed the upper portion's inner bezel to see if it would mount in the lower hole. By replacing the lower with an extra upper, I basically shaved the turn signals. After patting myself on the back, I painted and installed the bezels into the grille's centersection. Leaving that night, I had everything done, besides the front and back glass and the interior.
Back at my dad's upholstery shop, I dusted off my cutting and sewing skills. I was doing a
The next day, I drove with no windshield to an upholstery supply house and picked up a few yards of black loop carpet and some vinyl for the tonneau cover. If you have never driven without a windshield, then you haven't lived. There is nothing better than getting hit in the face by all the road dust kicked up by the cars in front and Kamikaze bugs that dive-bomb from out of nowhere. I pulled into dad's shop with bug guts on my forehead, and wouldn't you know it, he spotted the yellowish green goo and started busting up laughing. As I cleaned up, the old man ripped out the seat to get going on the carpet. I laid down a nice layer of pad, as my dad told me that we could use the steamer to soften up the carpet and get it to lay in one piece without sewing. I liked that idea, so I sewed on a heal pad, and then we got to steaming and gluing the carpet down. He was right. Once the last area was stuck down, the floor looked sweet. The seat was in great shape, so there was no need to re-cover it. After a little elbow grease, it was clean enough to install. Then, we broke out the twine and silicone spray to install the glass. The new rubbers made the job easier, but it is very unnerving to sit inside as my gorilla-handed father slaps on the glass. All I could picture was the scene from Terminator, as Arnold punched through the windshield, but luckily, that didn't happen.
The last part of the build was the tonneau cover. My dad had been doing the snap-on-style covers for years and has it down to a science. I like the classic look of it, and all I had to do was get over the 70-plus holes I was about to drill in the bed. I dusted off my sewing skills and started sewing up the tonneau, I got about half way around, when my dad chimed in with "Are you going to f*ck that dog all day?" I got up and let him finish the sewing, so we could get out of there sometime this year. He had it done quickly; I guess the old man sews as fast as he drives. We snapped the tonneau on and high-fived each other-we were done. I said thanks and told Dad I would be driving around all day tomorrow to see if the truck would make the 35-mile drive to work for the first time.
Mario from Porter's Alignment was nice enough to get rid of the nasty pull the truck had-a
The next morning, I hopped in the truck, hit the dying cat key again, and took off for my day of cruising. The first part of the day was great. I took the truck to Porter's Alignment to get the tires straight again and had fun putting around. But, once dusk fell, the good times were over. I picked up my girlfriend to go get dinner. Did I mention it was the first time she had been in the truck? Just as we were pulling into the local Taco Bell parking lot, the transmission decided to just stop working. The truck wouldn't move under its own power, and I knew this was no easy fix. Considering I had to be back at work the next day, I decided to have it towed to the shop and park it.
Today, I went back to work-not with my new truck but in my normal beater. I'm still kind of pissed that after all that sanding, bad food, and lack of sleep I didn't accomplish my goal. Either way it goes, the truck came out the way I wanted and should only need a new transmission to be road-worthy. I have to say I wouldn't have even made it close without the help of some very talented people, and I hope I can repay them someday. The last and biggest thank you will be for the man that taught me almost everything I know and helped me out not just with this truck but with life in general. His name is Sam, and he is my father. Love you, Pops!
Here is a nice shot of the truck in its finished glory. I think it looks good, but because