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7 May

Got some work done on the exterior. Greg and I spent the better half of a f’ing hot day basically wet sanding the exterior with CLR and Scotch-brite and then re-buffing it with chrome polish. Still needs a bit of work and I plan on repeating the entire process several more times but its getting there. Looks nice with the shine and a some reflections happening in the paint. …the dark green is the original Juniper Green.

(will update w/pics of the tailgate asap)

2011-03-30 16.16.37

2012-05-06 09.15.26

2011-03-30 16.16.26

2012-05-06 09.16.40

2011-05-06 16.01.50

2012-05-06 09.17.14

1951 Chevy 3100 1/2 Ton

2012-05-06 09.15.37

Door art.

29 Mar

I think I’ve finally settled on the door art and overall concept I’ll be going with!!
Its been on my mind since I got the Bessie and I could never settle on any one idea until recently. I decided that I wanted a St. Louis City or Missouri State Parks theme with a slammed and rodded twist. The USDA logo is real but I have no information for US National Forest vehicles in MO so that part is made up but its based on the layout of the 1950’s logo for the USDA Hotshot Fire Crew of Angels National Forests in California.

Well, here it is…

1950’s US Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Mark Twain National Forest (Missouri), Utility Crew 13, Truck #2 …the ‘govt. use only’ part will go on the bed side just behind the cab.

(this is me, freehand on a Wacom tablet with Photoshop and time to burn)

Boredom strikes!

7 Nov

Got bored over the weekend so a couple friends (Brett and Greg) came by and we went to work making Bessie a patina’ed two-tone.

Its hard to tell cause the photos came out so bright but we took a power sander and a ton of paper to the top after we painted it. I’ll be working on it a bit more each day over the next couple weeks.

2011-11-05 14.35.53

2011-11-05 14.35.30

2011-11-05 14.39.20

2011-11-06 14.16.50

Fun stuff!

3 Nov

Got a bunch of new toys in the mail over the past couple weeks.

Vintage porcelain bobble hula girl
NOS Airway illuminated compass
NOS bumpers + stainless domed bolt kit
Mint Guide 7″ yellow lens fog lamps + NOS “Fog Lite” switch
Repop Guide tail lamps
Repop Stop-Ray tail lamp brackets
’50s external sun visor
“Sleepy” Headlight visors
Speedo and Combination meter rebuild kit
Rebuilt 1bbl Rochester B carburetor
A pile of random gaskets, seals and stainless hardware

2011-10-27 17.31.06

2011-10-27 17.31.30

2011-11-04 18.07.18
^ Notice the difference in the lenses. I went with the plastic lens on the new tail lights because they appear to let more light pass through where as the original glass lenses seem more opaque. The new lamps also take a 21cp Stop bulb instead of the original 6cp bulb.



Diggin’ in.

14 Apr

Finally got out and started gutting the cab of superfluous wiring and whatnot, and decided to take a stab at fixing the speedometer after pulling the dead AM radio. It’s a frickin 60 year old, brittle, cloth covered rats nest under the dash.

Looks like theres more body rot than I first suspected … In addition to the inner and outer cowls, and the inner and outter cab corners, it looks like I’ll probably have replace /patch both sides of the floor and the and the cowl to cowl plates below the door hinges.
I’m torn at this point… not sure if I should gut it and begin a full restoration or just get it cleaned out and keep it running, replacing only what really needs replacing.
I’m leaning toward the latter just because I’d like to use it for a few years til I put it outta commission for up to several years while it’s undergoing a full restoration.

2011-04-13 18.31.22.jpg

Thought this was kinda cool … its the date that’s stamped in the back of the speedometer.

2011-04-13 18.35.00

There’s no VIN on the truck, didn’t have em back then unless your particular state issued a series, but the body number says my truck came from the St. Louis plant and rolled off the line in August of 1951.

2011-03-30 17.01.15

2011-05-07 17.45.23

head casting code

Also took some BlueMagic chrome polish to the dash paint. I figured it was a mild enough abrasive/polish that it might just work to get the rust/oxidation/60yrs of dust off … it did.
I also bleached the last 60 years of ass grime outta the vinyl seat cover and fixed the speedometer. It works but the needle was dry and warped and the tip broke off, so I ordered a load of parts to refinish the gauges.

…and while I was ordering those parts, I came across a matching 1947-51 oil bath air cleaner that I’m going to gut so I can run a paper or oiled fiber filter (K&N) but keep the original look. There’s nothing wrong with the one I have now but I think oil vapor gets sucked into the engine and causes it to smoke when it idles.

Under the shade tree.

21 Mar

Been cruising in the ol’ girl as much as possible. Fast food, the hardware store, friends houses, aimlessly around town, you name it.

The more I get to know this truck the more I’m starting to notice the shade tree modifications and repairs that have been done over the past 60yrs. For instance, the rear bumper isn’t a rear bumper at all. Rear bumpers were offered as an option in ’51 and the farmer who originally purchased this particular truck opted not to get one. Instead, sometime later when they added the home brew hitch they used a ’47-53 fromt bumper and braces mounted to the frame at the rear as main supports. …it’s probably plenty strong but I don’t trust it and its all coming off in favor of the bumperless look.

2011-03-21 18.17.02

2011-03-21 18.19.47

2011-03-21 18.17.47

2011-03-21 18.18.07

2011-03-21 18.23.08

Its actually pretty well made. Heavy steel, solid welds and even a license plate light.

The tail lamps are an interesting mess too. Not sure what the brackets came off but I’ll be replacing them with the correct repop brackets when I redo the wiring.

2011-03-21 18.20.58

2011-03-21 18.21.41