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Old Chevy gets a new makeover

An on-farm restoration brings a rare 1955 Chevrolet back to life again

Dean Foote of Killarney, Manitoba, wrote to tell us about the 1955 Chevrolet barn-find truck he and his family recently restored. Here’s what he had to say.

“When I found this truck, it had been stored in a garage for the past 20 years. The previous owner had thoughts of restoring it one day and had completely removed all of the dash components and the truck wiring. It was all rolled up in a mess in a box sitting on the seat, but it was all complete. We towed it out of his garage to find that the brakes had seized up from sitting.

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“Thanks to the Internet and advice and guidance from several helpful people, I found out that it was a 1955 Second Series, one ton truck (Model 9430). It has a 235 Chev engine in it with a four-speed transmission with the granny gear. It has the nine-foot box with a wooden floor and a hoist. When we got it home, we had to take apart the wheels and free the brakes up and do a major check over. The parts that were needed on the chassis were replaced. Next, we had to do some makeshift wiring to see if we could get the engine running. All was good and we had it running like a top; we even took it for a four mile ride with a makeshift tank in the back of the truck with the gas line hose running past the passenger side window, resting on the mirror and back down the hood to the carburetor. My wife didn’t like this as you could see the gas running through the fuel line to the engine compartment.

“At that point, we knew now that it ran and that we could drive it; so now it became a family build. First of all, we tore the body off, right down to the chassis. We stripped everything apart and took just the chassis to get sandblasted, primed and painted. All parts were sandblasted and the body parts were soda-blasted, primed, and painted. The chassis, wheels, hoist, and plumbing were all done. Next, we installed the 235 original motor back into the truck after refurbishing it and putting in the transmission, connecting the driveline to the rear end. After we had gotten all the primed and painted body work back from the body shop, we installed it all back together. All of the linkages from the brakes, throttle, and emergency brakes had to be reinstalled.

Here’s the result of Dean’s efforts. The Chevy has new paint and a new lease on life.

Here’s the result of Dean’s efforts. The Chevy has new paint and a new lease on life.
photo: Dean Foote

“Then, the biggest thing was all the wiring that had to be figured out and done, which was very time consuming and required a lot of mental thought; checking and rechecking everything to ensure that it all works from the wiring to the hydraulics for the hoist, brakes, and everything else to make sure it was in good running mechanical condition and was deemed safe to drive on the road. The original chrome was also sent away to be re-chromed. After completing our project, we found out from GM of Canada there where only 465 of these trucks built in Oshawa, Ontario, that year and the motor that is in it was the original motor from the factory. Of these 465 trucks that were built, this truck was the 208th one that was built of that line.

“Since finishing this project, I have enjoyed taking this truck out on the road for leisure drives to town as well as various car shows around southwestern Manitoba. Since finishing this truck, I am now working on my latest (and third) rebuild project, which is a 1950, five-window Chev 3100 1/2 ton.”

Dean, thanks for sharing that with us and our readers. An official Grainews cap is on its way to you, and we’re renewing your Grainews subscription for one year.

Do you have a classic farm machine or vehicle you’ve restored or just kept running over the years. If so, let us know about it. Send some information a few high-resolution images to me, at [email protected] and we may feature it in an upcoming issue of Grainews. If we use your submission, we’ll also send you a Grainews ball cap and a free year of Grainews for your efforts.

About the author

Contributor

Scott Garvey

Scott Garvey is a freelance writer and video producer. He is also the former machinery editor at Grainews.

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