Monday, October 31, 2016

Dream Trip First Look

Time and circumstances will tell whether or not it actually happens, but I figured I better start planning just in case. So let it henceforth be remembered that on Halloween 2016, the overgrown boy posted a rough draft of the epic, top of the bucket list road trip he hopes to take in the old truck in the summer of 2018. I'm thinking Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk, CT would make a good starting point...

(click photo for larger version)

Some of the numbers you see are just waypoints to mark the route, but there are several that do actually mark planned stops. There will certainly be more added before the route is final, but for now here we go... #2 is Sawdust, Tennessee, where the fine folks at Possum Holler Garage have provided immeasurable inspiration for my truck project with perfect restorations of trucks like mine. #3 is East Adams Street in Chicago, where Historic Route 66 begins. The Mother Road was decommissioned as a highway in the 80's, but about 85% of the route remains driveable. This trip will follow it from beginning to end. Along the way, stop #7 is the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas. Definitely gonna bust out the spray paint and leave my mark there.

Slight detour northward for #9, Grand Canyon. Flew over it once and was blown away. Can't imagine what it will be like standing on the rim...

#12 is the Santa Monica Pier, where the trip west will be complete and we'll splash the truck with Pacific Ocean water. Then it's a short run south to Huntington Beach for #13, a stop at Foose Design and hopefully a meet and greet with Chip Foose (who you may know from the show Overhaulin'), another huge inspiration for the old truck dream.

A cruise up the Pacific Coast Highway is next, with a right turn at San Francisco to start headin' back east... #14 is Kindig It Design in Salt Lake City, Utah, where Dave Kindig and his crew have been doing killer custom and restoration work for a long time. Their show on Velocity is called Bitchin' Rides, and every one they do fits the show name perfectly. Hope to meet Dave as well, another huge inspiration.

#15 is Eagle, Colorado, where my friends Bob and Laura live. I've been saying for a long time that one day my truck will sit in their driveway and we'll do some cruisin' through the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Really looking forward to that.

#16 is the big one, and the whole reason I want this trip to happen in 2018. The goal is to roll into our 50th family reunion that August in New Matamoras, Ohio, finally returning my '49 Chevy to the place where I saw it for the very first time in the summer of 1981.

I certainly understand that the whole thing represents a pretty tall order, but I figure screw it, if you're gonna dream you might as well dream big. It won't be the end of the world if it doesn't happen, but it will mean the world if it does. And it will all be for Mom. If you're not familiar with the whole story, please check out the link to it on the right of the page here.

Thanks for stopping by! See y'all down the road!


Friday, October 28, 2016

Still Looking for Space

I might be eating cheese and peanut butter crackers for lunch for a few weeks, but when my part time radio station pay hits the bank on Monday, I'll have the money to pay for the '91 S10 and actually take it into my possession. This is a very solid, running, driving truck - a pretty amazing find, actually - and a perfect candidate for the chassis swap. There will be some fabrication involved to make it all work, but we will basically be simply swapping out the S10 body and replacing it with the '49 body on the S10 chassis. This will give us the modern suspension, power steering, power brakes, 5 speed manual transmission and highway friendly gearing we've been looking for all in one shot. The cost of adding all those things piece by piece to the existing chassis would easily run into the thousands, several multiples of what I'll be paying for the S10. The existing V6 will supply the power while I save up for the 350 that will eventually replace it. It's a fantastic deal, and I'm thankful for the patience of Joe, the current owner, while I raised the money to complete it.

The problem now, however, is I have no place to put the S10. We have no garage here at the house, and already two extra vehicles in the driveway. No room. I've been cruising the classifieds, making calls and sending messages trying to find either an enclosed spot with enough room to remove the S10 body and clean up the chassis, or simply store the truck safely outside while I continue the search. And of course the fact that this is a low budget show doesn't help.

If you happen to be local to the Danbury, CT area and know of something around here that might work, please feel free to contact me directly anytime via the email link on the right side of this page.

Thanks! See y'all down the road!


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Slight Change in Direction

Thanks to an exciting and unexpected opportunity, I've decided to alter the approach of the GoFundMe campaign. Those who have been to the page previously will notice that the goal amount has been drastically reduced. This is mainly because I have managed to acquire a running, driving 1991 Chevy S10 at a very reasonable cost. Those familiar with late 40's - early 50's GM truck projects like mine will know that the chassis of this S10 is really what we're after, and it is in fantastic shape. Having all the necessary parts already in place (5 speed manual transmission, drive shaft, rear end, and modern suspension front and rear) greatly reduces overall project cost.

The S10 wheelbase is the same as the existing '49 chassis, so with some minor fabrication we will be able to simply remove the 90's truck body and replace it with the '49. When the chassis swap is finished the truck will look exactly the same as it does today.

We'll still need a complete interior (including all gauges, heat, & ac) rewiring from end to end and a complete rebuild of the planned 350 GM engine that will get us across the country and back (which currently sits in pieces on a shelf at Custom Conversions in New Milford, CT). I will be able to do some of the work myself, but most will be well beyond my skill level, so labor costs will be significant. And of course there's also the overall expense of the trip itself. I'm fairly sure 10k will cover it all. If not, I suppose we'll have to cross that bridge when we come to it.

I have to say that I struggled with the idea of a chassis swap for a long time, because it obviously removes a major part of the truck that I fell in love with 35 years ago. But the natural way this opportunity presented itself leads me to believe that Mom would approve. Those familiar with the story of this truck in our family know that the project and road trip dream have always been a tribute to her memory.

If you're not familiar with the full story, please visit the GoFundMe page to read it in its entirety. And of course if you would like to help the cause with a contribution or a simple share of the GoFundMe link I would truly appreciate it. Please feel free to email me directly anytime via the link on the right here with any questions.

Thanks very much and we'll see y'all down the road!