Armando, one of our hike leaders visited Michael in Santa Rosa recently. Michael shared this photo of Mando’s classic pick-up in front his house. Mando in responding to our fellow hiker Larry gave him and us some background on his new, old wheels.
It’s a 54 Chevy. I looked for about 3 years for a Chevy in the early 50’s. My criteria was:
all original components, no modifications, very little rust. It was surprisingly difficult to locate one. I looked at several in the greater Bay Area and the Central Valley. I found this one on EBay. It was in a barn in the Mohave Desert. It had been a ranch vehicle somewhere in that area. The guy I bought it from restores military vehicles and he’d purchased it thinking he’d restore it and decided to just resell it.
I replaced all the glass, all of the rubber in the cab and redid much of the wiring. I pulled the engine out last June and had it rebuilt at a machine shop in Petaluma. The engine had never been opened up and the head, block and crankshaft were all in great shape. All of the internal components on the engine are new (and all stainless steel) and it can run on unleaded fuel now. I rebuilt all of the components on the engine (carburetor, etc) and took my time putting it all back together.
This was a project that involved a few hours a weekend with a few full days of mechanical wrestling.
It was a fun project and I got to use my Dad’s shop tools for much of the work, so this was a wonderful meditation of sorts reflecting on a lot of the things my father taught me.