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Old 01-15-2016, 08:13 PM   #1
Hatch83
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1952/3100/uk

In this thread you will see a brief break down of a few key stages in the build of my 1952 Chevrolet 3100.

I have always been kind of crazy about classic cars. my first real classic was a beautiful 72' ford capri (Tawny gold, amazing condition) I had her for a couple of years an was bitten by the bug in a big way. I had always had it in my head one day i would like to have a "refurb/project" car. As it was however the capri was in such beautiful original condition, it would have been a bit of a crime to mess around with her. In spring of 2013 i made the hard decision to sell her on (albeit for a lot more than i originally paid which helped soften the blow!)

I absolutely love american muscle cars. One of the things that had always drawn me to the capri is that it was one of the more 'american looking' classics that weren't impossible to find/crazily expensive in this country (UK) I had fallen in love with the 3100's years before and After much umming and ahhhing I finally decided this was the next model i wanted to go for.

In may 2013 after a lot of shopping around i found a great company called farm fresh based in essex in the UK who specialised in importing american classics. Attached are a few pictures of when i first found her.

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Old 01-15-2016, 08:21 PM   #2
Hatch83
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Re: 1952/3100/uk

So as you can see she wasn't in the best of conditions, she was a non runner, didn't have the best patina and the body work wasn't incredible.

Looking back with a few years experience and not a small amount of hind sight-i should probably have saved up a little more to find something needing a little less work doing as would have saved a little in the long run, however at that point i was a bit of a novice and i had pretty much decided i wanted to do a nut and bolt restoration anyway and frankly just fell in love the minute i laid eyes on her!

attached are a few pictures of her being delivered

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Old 01-15-2016, 08:30 PM   #3
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Re: 1952/3100/uk

Now in my naivety I am slightly embarrassed to admit that after reading all these forums i kind of had fantasies about working on this in my garage in my spare time-learning how to build it as a went along etc etc. Unfortunately with two (very) small children to look after and a new business to run, I quickly found that in this my head was very much in the clouds. The next six months she basically sat in my garage and in that time i managed to read a small fairly uninformative book on rebuilding a truck and removed about 5 body panels. It was quickly evident that carrying on like this i wouldn't have it finished for like 4-5 (hundred) years.

But the real nail in the coffin to the idea of me doing the work was that i even did an small evening course in welding at my local college, which all though fun and informative i realised with out a lot lot more work i was never going to be able to do the work at a standard i wanted (I am a tattooist by trade and in all honesty it has taken me 6 years to get to a standard i am happy with!)

So i kind of went back to the drawing board with how to proceed.

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Old 01-15-2016, 08:39 PM   #4
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Re: 1952/3100/uk

Around this time (late 2013) i met a guy called rich who was a mechanic with his own garage that worked around the corner from my studio. He had some space and was interested in doing some work one the chevvy. At the time it was just him on his own so didn't have a lot of time to throw at the project but this worked out well for me as well at it gave me time to save up as we were going along.

So the next six months were set slowly taking the chevvy apart. the pictures attached show some examples of this.
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Old 01-15-2016, 08:54 PM   #5
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Re: 1952/3100/uk

The rest of 2014 was a bit of an up and down year in terms of progress. we made some great headway with the front end initially in that i decided to go with a Mustang 2 front clip with ifs/disk breaks/power steering etc. After a lot of shopping around i hear some really good reviews of the heidts mustang 2 so had that imported and installed. I then had what (looking back on) id describe as a bit of a brain malfunction...It had always been my intention to make this a modern running vehicle but look as traditional as possible on the outside. I did however get a little lost with the original idea of making a muscle car in favour of making it modern...I basically over thought it, read a lot of forums about mpg/ performance etc and convinced myself it would be a good idea to put a diesel engine into it. We did plenty of research into possible engines that would work and even found a really nice BMW 3lD engine out of a 5 series which richard started to install.

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Old 01-15-2016, 08:55 PM   #6
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Re: 1952/3100/uk

nice start! good idea to buy what you see when you see it, I havent completely learned that lesson yet and have missed out on some great stuff!

as a bmw fan, I love the diesel. they dont tout the diesel models here in the US because it would hurt sales of the performance models, true story.
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Old 01-15-2016, 09:02 PM   #7
Hatch83
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Re: 1952/3100/uk

In early 2015 Rich also took on a really talented body work guy who whilst the work was slowly progressing on the front end was able to start doing the body repairs on the can.

Unfortunately as you can see from the attached pictures when we actually got the cab off it was actually in a lot worse condition then initially thought so there was a substantial amount of work to do. all of the rusted sections/corners/arches etc were cut out and re welded back in. I was very excited at this point to see this start to come together like this (though obv still with a bit more work to go on it)

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Old 01-15-2016, 09:10 PM   #8
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Re: 1952/3100/uk

Now at this point there was a bit of a hiatus! unfortunately Richard had an offer to go an work for another garage and after much thought decided to close his own place. On top of this i unfortunately had a personal loss in the family and so trying to find another place to work on it was not high on my priorities, so we shipped a million and one different pieces of the chevy back into my garage (I can say now Its a lot harder to get it in the same amount of space once its been taken apart!)

It sat there for most of the year with not a lot going on. However I was able to go through a list of all the hundreds of little fun bits that was need to finish off the truck (every thing from light bezels to bed wood to ariels to battery trays) and with all this stuff having to be imported from the U.S it seemed to make sense to get it in then.

It was also during this time i started to have series nagging doubts about the bmws setup we had started on...

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Old 01-15-2016, 09:25 PM   #9
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Re: 1952/3100/uk

I spent a lot of the summer phoning around a number of different specialist classic car garages looking for the right place to go to and although spoke to some great companies no one really jumped out at me.

However fate was kind and in early august (2015 now) I got chatting to a client who had a close friend who was the foreman of a very well known hot rod specialist, but had just decided to take the plunge and start out on his own. The chaps name was Steve and his company was called Old Bones Custom Fabrications. I went out to meet Steve and was blown away by how incredibly switched on and professional he was, but all very friendly and keen about the project. We spoke at length about the project which tbh had started to feel quite "directionless" and discussed what i wanted to get out of it. I was pretty bowled over by his confidence and knowledge and decided he would be the right person to take control of the project and move it forward.

It was going to be early oct that he had space to take the truck in so had to wait patiently-very excited to see it all moving again.

By this point i had also completely fallen out of love with the idea of the bmws Engine. After losing my close family member a few months earlier i just kind of felt life was to short to worry about mpg etc, and if i am spending all this time/money on this project i might as well make it as fun as possible! and i decided that seeing as the whole truck was kind of having a "fresh start" now would be a good time to just pull the diesel engine off and start again!

And so after doing some more shopping around i decided to go ahead and order a chevrolet 350 small block with 330 bhp setup with edelbrook etc. Although Steve had no space to take the truck yet he was able to start on the engine-and i was incredibly happy when i got these pictures sent back to me!!

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Old 01-15-2016, 09:26 PM   #10
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Re: 1952/3100/uk

Little bit Prettier then the BMW?
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Old 01-15-2016, 09:36 PM   #11
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Re: 1952/3100/uk

So finally Oct 15' swing round and the truck was delivered to Old Bones.

Steve hit the ground running and was very quick to take the old engine off, take the chasis back to basic and build it back up with the new engine. He also put did al little tweaking to finalise the mustang two front end to have his seal of approval.

Before we had been playing with the idea of trying to crowbar the bmws rear axel onto the chasis-and although potentially a cool idea, i kind of felt that it would be more "right" to keep everything chevrolet on the truck now. And on his advice (and his contacts!) he was able to find a really fantastic rear axel out of a Firebird (I believe) which he had professionally refurbished and started to size up for the back end.

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Old 01-15-2016, 09:43 PM   #12
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Re: 1952/3100/uk

Oct through to end of dec steve has been throwing some serious hours at the truck and he has done so many things i dont think i have a full list of it all! so am just going to focus on the main bits -but seriously the guys attention to detail has been incredible!

So a main part he has been focussing on is repairing the body work -I have managed to mis play the "before" shots/close ups of what a state some of these parts were in before he got hold of them but suffice to say is fabrication/body work etc is absolutely incredible!

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Old 01-15-2016, 09:56 PM   #13
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Re: 1952/3100/uk

and some more examples of the body work-again I'm sorry i dont have the before shots..-will try and look them out some time (the side skirts especially were completely f*cked!)

(Also a slightly more up to date picture of the front end)

At this point the hood and the bed walls had also been sorted but failed to get some good pictures of those-you will see them properly as this thread continues i am sure!

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Old 01-15-2016, 10:06 PM   #14
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Re: 1952/3100/uk

Looking good! Looks like he's got the metal finishing down.
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Old 01-16-2016, 10:50 AM   #15
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Re: 1952/3100/uk

Very nice. Look forward to watching it come together.
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Old 01-16-2016, 12:04 PM   #16
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Re: 1952/3100/uk

A couple of progress shot of the interiors progress.

Although the bench seat wasn't in to bad a condition I am about 6 ft tall and i found before sitting in the cab did feel a bit cramped. We had a think about moving the seat back etc, in the end we decided and easier option was to completely redo the cushions themselves-so have lost a few inches going back and a couple going down (this photo is just progress pic of us roughly mocking up the sizes-this also isnt the size we settled on!) Steve also customised the back and base wood so they are on hinges giving us a bit of space for storage in the cab.

Also a picture of the mounted Steering column and custom panel/cover fabricated to go over the transmission

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Old 01-16-2016, 12:19 PM   #17
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Re: 1952/3100/uk

Here are a few images of the back end starting to come together. The read diff is now mounted along with the shocks. bed/rear fenders are now properly mounted as well. We had the same issues so many people have in that the shocks are sitting slightly too high for the stock bed set up. Instead of going with the option of boxing them into the bed wood, decided we wanted the wood to be completely undisturbed so we went with the option to raise the wood itself a couple of inches higher.

Fuel tank is also mounted, steve had to move around the fixings and moved the hole (technical term! as we are planning to have the neck coming out the side of the fender) -after making the decision the raise the bed wood as well i think steve is planning on bringing this a tiny bit higher as it is sitting a tiny bit low at the moment!

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Old 01-16-2016, 12:22 PM   #18
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Re: 1952/3100/uk

Cab and front fender etc fully mounted-not much more to say about the picture other than how awesome it is to see her starting to take shape!

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Old 01-16-2016, 03:38 PM   #19
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Re: 1952/3100/uk

Great project! Going to tag along.
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Old 01-16-2016, 03:42 PM   #20
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Re: 1952/3100/uk

Very cool build!
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Old 03-20-2016, 04:46 PM   #21
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Re: 1952/3100/uk

Few little updates on the truck! -heres a bit more of a close up of some of the fabricating/repair work Steve has been doing! -heres some repairs on the front left fender!

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Old 03-20-2016, 04:57 PM   #22
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Re: 1952/3100/uk

A few more shots of the fender repair in progress!

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Old 03-20-2016, 05:10 PM   #23
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Re: 1952/3100/uk

trying a few of the shiny bits on for size!

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Old 03-20-2016, 05:27 PM   #24
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Re: 1952/3100/uk

some progress on the interior-custom seat storage and frame refurbished.

Also after much discussion and on stoves recommendation we decided it would be ace to have the exhausts coming out the side of the rear fenders-heres a couple pics of the start steve made!

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Old 03-20-2016, 05:42 PM   #25
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Re: 1952/3100/uk

Flush Fuel filler cap for the rear fender Steve has finished fabricating. A little different to the usual! And with a push close catch to.

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