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Old 02-13-2011, 11:32 AM   #1
chevyrestoguy
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Project '64

I have owned Chevy trucks for years, and have had most all of the styles except oddly enough, my favorite one, the 60-66 version. I've seen some nice ones but it always seemed like there was something around the house that needed my attention (and money) more, so I always passed. I've always been keeping an eye open for one, but because I have so many other projects, it had to be cheap and close by. I'm always looking through Craigslist for parts, and always look through the local area for Chevy trucks. Well, last Thursday, I stumbled on an ad that read, "1964-to1966 Chevy truck", and it was 8 miles from house and it was listed at $300. Needless to say, my Spidey Sense was tingling, and I had to go and look at it.

The owner was a guy going to school full-time who had no money, and the truck was constantly being bounced from friend's house to friend's house because he had no place to keep it. It was at a cousin's house who was going to be evicted, so the seller was desperate. While I was looking at the truck, HE was knocking the price down. I stayed quiet and cordial, and finally he got down to $200 and I just reached over and shook his hand and said I would take it. He was a nice kid, and I wasn't going to let him whittle down his profit anymore.

The truck wound up being a 1964, 3/4 ton. The engine is missing, the 4-speed trans is still in it, and the interior is complete. The body has definately seen better days, but the thing that sealed the deal was the fact that it had factory in-dash air and tinted windows. I've never seen in-dash air on a '64 because I was always under the impression that the in-dash A/C option didn't come out until '65. This thing has all of the A/C-specific holes in the firewall so that leads me to believe that it's all original. I'm going to pick it up in a few hours, and after I get it home, I'm going to do some more investigation because the A/C has really got my interest. Anyway, enough of the BS. Here's the pictures:







It's also got 3 tanks and they are all still in the truck. For starters, it needs a new grille, marker lights, hood hinges, rear window, taillight lenses. It's also missing the A/C stuff on the firewall on the engine side.

I have a '79 Suburban (454, th400, disc brakes, power steering, A/C) that is going to be the donor to get this truck back on the road. I want to build a cool Home Depot hauler and parts chaser. I am naming this truck Project Cheapskate because I want to spend as little as possible. I plan on hitting the swapmeets, wrecking yards, and Craigslist for parts, and I am going to utilize a lot of parts I already have. I am going to sell off or trade a lot of my excess parts to buy what I need, and trade work with friends to get anything else. This is going to be fun.........
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Old 02-13-2011, 07:01 PM   #2
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Re: Project '64 Cheapskate

That is a nice looking starter truck. With the amount of knowledge you have you should be able to build a very nice truck on a small budget. Good luck and keep posting pictures.
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:36 PM   #3
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Re: Project '64 Cheapskate

Thanks, Mike!
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Old 02-13-2011, 10:01 PM   #4
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Re: Project '64 Cheapskate

Nice find and for the price you can't go wrong. I have only seen a few factory AC 60/66 trucks before. Considering how many of these trucks don't have factory air it's a rather rare opition back in the day and your looks like it is the orginal. So what's your plans?

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Old 02-15-2011, 11:51 AM   #5
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Re: Project '64 Cheapskate

My plans are to use the '79 Suburban as the donor (454/th400/power steering/entire front suspension, brakes and hard lines, and anything else I can use). I am also going to find the missing pieces I need like marker lights, taillight housings, etc, by hitting the swapmeets, wrecking yards, and even using other people's junk items and restoring them. I'm not building a show truck. I just want to make a very solid, dependable parts chaser using all used OEM parts that are readily available.

I'll restore it in the future, but I've found over the years that the quickest way to have your project get way out of hand, over budget, and over schedule is to try to eat the elephant in one bite. Plus, the vehicles I've had the most fun with were the ones that were a little rough around the edges but had super dependable drivetrains.
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Old 02-17-2011, 05:52 PM   #6
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Re: Project '64 Cheapskate

Hey your truck was a good deal. I see parts around for cheap so that shouldent be a problem. Not too much rust either...
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Old 02-20-2011, 12:54 AM   #7
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Re: Project '64 Cheapskate

Had a good day today. Found a complete aluminum stock grille with buckets, bezels, and headlights for $90 on Craigslist and drove to Anaheim to get it. On the way back, I hit the Truck Shop in Orange and picked up a rear window and seal, and some taillight lenses.

When I got back, a buddy dropped over and said that he might have some of the other parts I need in his scrap pile, and told me he would take a look when he had time.

A very good day!
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Old 02-20-2011, 07:57 PM   #8
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Re: Project '64 Cheapskate

Nice truck looks awsome...I am just redoing a pro street 66......maybe when we get both of them done we can have a go ...chuckles. Seriously great job really like what you have going on there.
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:46 PM   #9
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Re: Project '64 Cheapskate

Had to work on Sunday, and wound up checking out a wrecking yard in Lancaster that's kind of on my way home. I walked through and found nothing, but on my way out, I saw a '63 C-20 longbed in the holding area. I talked to the yard foreman about when the truck was due to hit the yard, and he said "Tuesday afternoon".

So, I went to work early to offset the time, and I split at 1pm. Went to the yard, and it wasn't out yet, so I waited like an expectant father until it came out. Once it did, I jumped on it like a rat on a cheeto. The body was pretty beat, but complete. The interior was stripped out, not much there.

I grabbed a pair of hood hinges, both aluminum headlight bezels, both front marker light assemblies, both rear taillight assemblies, driver's armrest, and a perfect tailgate w/chains and trunions for a grand total of $127.00

I plan on going back to grab the fender extensions, the upper and lower valences, and possibly the steering column (automatic).

It's still got the custom cab front windshield stainless trim and sail panels (It's a '63). Unfortunately, the steering wheel was gone.
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:04 PM   #10
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Re: Project '64 Cheapskate

So you are starting this sickness again huh.lol On to another project? Yeah you've got it bad my friend.lol Good luck with her, I'm sure she will be really nice when done.
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:35 PM   #11
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Re: Project '64 Cheapskate

You found me, Kabwe....I'm guess I'm busted, huh? Psst..don't tell any of the guys on the 55-59 forum that Ive been two-timing them over here.

I'm still focused on the '55, but I'm going through that fun phase when you get a new project and you learn tons of cool stuff everyday. I'm building the truck that will haul the parts for the '55 around.
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Old 02-26-2011, 10:24 PM   #12
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Re: Project '64 Cheapskate

The weather was awful today, with 34 degree temps and a stiff 20mph wind, but I still got to work on the 'ol beater. I spent the last few days cleaning and detailing some of my wrecking yard parts, and today I put them on.

The first thing I did was to remove both broken hood hinges and replace them with the 2 excellent ones I bought for $9 each at Pick-A-Part. Then, I installed the front marker lights that I paid $8 each for. I buffed the lenses and straightened out the bezels and hit them with some double-o steel wool. The hood opens and closes sooo nice now.


Then I moved to the rear and installed the $51 tailgate and the $6 taillights. The girl at the counter at Pick-A-Part felt bad for me and discounted the taillights because the bezels were wasted. After about 40 minutes of hammer and dolly work and some steel wool, they look pretty decent.


I'm still working on the grille, so I wasn't able to install it yet. I pulled off one of the fender extensions and plan on doing some welding on it to fix an ugly area where the camper support struts went through it. Plenty of things to do!
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:48 AM   #13
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Re: Project '64 Cheapskate

Nice work man! It's nice that you found a truck this vintage in a pick a part. It is pretty rare, it seems to me, to find anything pre-'75.
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Old 03-01-2011, 02:32 PM   #14
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Re: Project '64 Cheapskate

Man, that is so true. But if you've got a late-80s/early 90s GM front wheel drive car, it must be pure heaven. The secret of the self-service yards is just keep hitting them and if you're lucky, you'll get to the good parts before it becomes stripped-out carcass.

I found that '63 by pure luck. I'm going back on Friday to see what's left. Might be ugly........especially if the scavengers tried to gut the interior armed with only a cresent wrench and a claw hammer, which is very common out here.
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Old 03-01-2011, 02:56 PM   #15
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Re: Project '64 Cheapskate

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Originally Posted by chevyrestoguy View Post
especially if the scavengers tried to gut the interior armed with only a cresent wrench and a claw hammer, which is very common out here.
Seriously. And now that saws-all's are easier and cheaper to get, it is even more dangerous out there.
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Old 03-02-2011, 01:07 AM   #16
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Re: Project '64 Cheapskate

This truck lived a hard life, and had a cabover camper for a good part of it's life that caused a lot of issues. The rear cab mounts are broken, and there are areas all over the truck where the metal is torn because of the forward camper support struts and the spare tire that was mounted in front of the grille. I grabbed the driver's side cowl extension to show you some of the damage:


The metal is torn badly, and the previous owner drilled numerous holes. The paint on the truck is original, and I want to save what's there because I like the patina. This repair is going to be tricky because I have to hammer and dolly the metal back into place, shrink the stretched areas, make a few patches, and at the same time save as much of the original paint as I can. I saw a link on this site about a guy in Texas who used CLR and a Scotchbrite on his '59 ElCamino with AMAZING results, so I just had to try it for myself:


CLR is amazing! I used very little with some hot water and just light hand pressure on the Scotchbrite.


As soon as it warms up I'm doing the entire truck!!! I'm still working on the repair of the cowl extension, and I'll post more pics soon.
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Old 03-02-2011, 01:21 AM   #17
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Re: Project '64 Cheapskate

Here is the panel after I did a bunch of hammer and dolly work and slowly stitched the torn areas back together. I drilled about 15 .098 holes to stop-drill all of the cracks. The cracks had spread everywhere. Getting it all dollied and stitched back together helped get the outer shape back to where it needed to be. I'm still deciding on whether to make the patch panels the circular shape or just cut a large square panel that fixes them in one shot. The skin was also torn around the edge of the entire area where it meets the cowl, an area about 10" total. I still have to fill the 1/2" hole in the front corner, but that'll be a snap.
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:19 PM   #18
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Re: Project '64 Cheapskate

You have way to much timne on your hands. :-)
I need to locate a project like this but with a little less damage on it b/c I am not as handy at the metal work as you are.
Do you still have the Camaro on your car lot? :-)

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Old 03-05-2011, 10:51 PM   #19
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Re: Project '64 Cheapskate

Tuning in for this one.
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Old 03-06-2011, 07:52 PM   #20
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Re: Project '64 Cheapskate

nate95gsr-
You are very sneaky, so be careful, I know where you live
If the word gets out to Lynn (my wife, your sister-in-law) that I own this truck, you will never get a Christmas card again........Right now, it's Top Secret. When I get it running, I'll break the news to her and tell her that we can use it to help landscape the yard. Until then.....shhhhhhh.
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:38 PM   #21
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Re: Project '64 Cheapskate

I have an idea for a truck I want to run by you soon since it seems that getting my hands on a 68-72 SWB is going to be next near impossible for the money I want to spend. I don't know if it will work or not. I will try to give you a call this weekend.
Your 55 is looking kick ass with the wheels and all of the awesome metal work on it. I showed some pics of it to a guy I work with who was amazed.
Also I will be hush hush with this truck stuff to Lynn but how much is it worth to you? j/k

Nate

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Old 03-07-2011, 03:48 PM   #22
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Re: Project '64 Cheapskate

I really like the motorcycle turn lights..lol

that truck looks better already...looks like a great truck..I am jealous it has AC...wish my 62 did

keep up the work, u got an engine for it yet ?



Quote:
Originally Posted by chevyrestoguy View Post
The weather was awful today, with 34 degree temps and a stiff 20mph wind, but I still got to work on the 'ol beater. I spent the last few days cleaning and detailing some of my wrecking yard parts, and today I put them on.

The first thing I did was to remove both broken hood hinges and replace them with the 2 excellent ones I bought for $9 each at Pick-A-Part. Then, I installed the front marker lights that I paid $8 each for. I buffed the lenses and straightened out the bezels and hit them with some double-o steel wool. The hood opens and closes sooo nice now.


Then I moved to the rear and installed the $51 tailgate and the $6 taillights. The girl at the counter at Pick-A-Part felt bad for me and discounted the taillights because the bezels were wasted. After about 40 minutes of hammer and dolly work and some steel wool, they look pretty decent.


I'm still working on the grille, so I wasn't able to install it yet. I pulled off one of the fender extensions and plan on doing some welding on it to fix an ugly area where the camper support struts went through it. Plenty of things to do!
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Old 03-07-2011, 05:35 PM   #23
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Re: Project '64 Cheapskate

I would gladly donate the rear motorcycle lights to your project. I've looked at those things numerous times and shook my head, but never put two and two together and figured that they were motorcycle turn signals. Knowing my luck, I'll give them away and then find out that they are ultra-rare lights worth $500.

As far as the engine, the truck with get a complete drivetrain and suspension transplant from a '79 Suburban I have stashed away. It ought to ride and drive pretty nice when it's done.
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:34 AM   #24
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Re: Project '64 Cheapskate

Quote:
Originally Posted by chevyrestoguy View Post
I would gladly donate the rear motorcycle lights to your project. I've looked at those things numerous times and shook my head, but never put two and two together and figured that they were motorcycle turn signals. Knowing my luck, I'll give them away and then find out that they are ultra-rare lights worth $500.

As far as the engine, the truck with get a complete drivetrain and suspension transplant from a '79 Suburban I have stashed away. It ought to ride and drive pretty nice when it's done.
I love it! but why? oh why? cant we just finish the ones we already have started! huh, I have a wife who would love to own that truck! great score I love the feeling of a new toy! as for my 57 its sitting in the snow bank and the 72 im beginning to burn out on! need summer. looking at my 48 chevy yesterday and was really tempted to take it for a little cruise, but a few more weeks and the snow will be gone. enjoy your new toy!
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Old 03-27-2011, 02:15 PM   #25
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Re: Project '64 Cheapskate

Hang in there, brother. Warm weather is coming soon. I love your projects, and was wondering how you're doing. Hadn't heard from you lately.

I stumbled on this one. I've been collecting parts, but haven't had much time to work on it. This entire month has been full of issues, like the complications from the wife's surgery, crazy work schedule, and the fact that my Civic got totalled on Thursday. I t-boned a drunk driver who made an illegal u-turn in front of me. I was running at about 55 mph when I tagged him. Right now, I feel like I got ran over by a bus. Could have been a whole lot worse. I'm glad to be above ground, most of all.
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