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Old 06-26-2015, 01:42 PM   #1
GAc10boy
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"Oaky" Farm Fresh '73 Short Step

In my search to find a decent truck to drive around while building my '71, I've been on the lookout for another squarebody. I absolutely love the 73-80s so that's where my search started. My criteria wasn't too lofty other than I wanted it to be running and driving, swb, and have some sort of character (i.e. not primer). Well, i found just the truck last night in a '73 chevy swb stepper. I usually try to stay away from the term "barn find" but in this case I think it actually fits. This is a true barn find.

Now the story of the truck: Apparently it was originally purchased by Gordon County (GA) for their grave digger to use. Yes, grave digger. The grave digger used it for roughly a decade and, when he retired in 1990, the County gave him the truck as a retirement gift. Well, shortly after retiring the man passed away. Then, as oftentimes happens, the truck was parked. But in this case, it was parked in a partially covered barn with an oak tree hanging over it. Thankfully the truck was driven every few months over that 25 year period (which is what I think saved the motor/tranny). Unfortunately, the truck weathered the wrath of the oak tree and has a significant amount of moss and other tree-like particles stuck to the paint - hence the name Oaky.

The guy I bought it from was a friend of the family's and bought it at their estate sale. He wanted the tractors. They wanted the truck gone. You can see where this is going. He had to buy the truck to get the tractors.

When he first got it it wouldn't run consistently, so he changed the plugs, fuel filter, fuel pump, cleaned out the fuel lines, and gas tank. He also took the carb apart and cleaned it up really well. One thing he didn't do, which i think he should've done before driving it, was change the oil. Either way, it currently runs like a top and the transmission shifts well. It holds all fluids and isn't currently leaking anything except it needs a radiator.

A little more about the truck itself: The truck appears to be mostly original with a V8 and th350 with 4:11 gears (remember this was a work truck). It has definitely had at least one paint job, maybe two. So the character is definitely there, though maybe not in the way I'd hoped since it has a few layers of paint from the poorly painted white, to the black, to what I believe is the original color: yellow.

One weird thing about the motor: The guy swears up and down its a 327. The tag on radiator support says it's a 250 inline 6 and the spid on the driver fender well says it came with a 307. The vin just identifies it as a v8 truck. So not only is it in inconsistent across the usual identifiers, I thought they switched to 305s and 350s in 1973. Guess I'm wrong or they just used leftovers from the 67-72 trucks. Motor could've been swapped to a 327 along the way as well but that doesn't explain the 307 on the spid.

Anyway, the truck has it's share of rust issues as you can imagine. Bottom of the driver's door, a spot in the passenger floor pan that's been poorly patched and the passenger fender well and cup. The bed is in great condition. It's a base model truck with rubber floor mat, am radio, no ac, manual brakes, but does have power steering. All the glass is in really good shape. Came with the original title passed down all these years and has a fair amount of documentation. All gauges work as well as headlights and taillights. Supposedly it only has around 70k miles on it. Came with a new hood, too. Not sure if it's NOS yet but it will all (including the truck) be delivered to my house tomorrow.

Now, my plan is to put new tires on it, change the oil, put new plug wires, new radiator, drop it, clean up the paint as best as possible, and go through the brakes. This will not be a show truck or even a nice patina truck but it will be a fun cruiser for me and my family.

The tires, oil change, radiator, and clean up work begins tomorrow. Stay tuned. Much better pics of the whole truck tomorrow.









And the reason we call her Oaky.


With new tires, pre-wash. Hankook Optima H724 225/75/15


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Last edited by GAc10boy; 06-27-2015 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 06-26-2015, 02:02 PM   #2
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Re: "Oaky" Farm Fresh '73 Short Step

Pretty cool. Sounds like the guy was mis quoting the 307 engine. Possibly the radiator support was changed out at some time. Have you tried to clean it up yet?
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Old 06-26-2015, 02:12 PM   #3
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Re: "Oaky" Farm Fresh '73 Short Step

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Pretty cool. Sounds like the guy was mis quoting the 307 engine. Possibly the radiator support was changed out at some time. Have you tried to clean it up yet?
I thought so too but i asked him directly about that, especially once i cleaned off the spid, but he was hellbent on it being a 327. So i just let it go.

I cleaned off a little spot on the fender right after i bought it but it won't be at my house until in the morning. I'll begin clean up after a trip to the tire shop. I bought the truck up in North GA and wasn't about to trust those tires or radiator all the way back to metro ATL. And I still need to invest in a trailer. So we made a deal for him to bring it to me.
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Old 06-26-2015, 02:41 PM   #4
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Re: "Oaky" Farm Fresh '73 Short Step

I'm sub'd. I love 73-80 squares too.
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Old 06-26-2015, 03:38 PM   #5
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Re: "Oaky" Farm Fresh '73 Short Step

I think that is smart. I purchased a barnfind 1955 1st series with 30 year old tires on it. They are pretty cracked but are bias ply with tubes so I will run them a bit longer but I am watching them closely. When you get it cleaned post a few pics I would like to see how it looks clean. The square body is also a favorite of mine.
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Old 06-26-2015, 04:24 PM   #6
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Re: "Oaky" Farm Fresh '73 Short Step

Interesting history on the truck and a cool find. Was it advertised?

Will be tagging along.
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Old 06-26-2015, 04:31 PM   #7
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Re: "Oaky" Farm Fresh '73 Short Step

I am subscribing to this on for sure now..... Can't wait to check it out in person!

For the record though you are like many of us and are an un-diagnosed insane person with project attention deficit disorder. I am already a member of that club so its always nice to welcome another member.

P.S. I wont tell them that you showed me 3-4 trucks in less than a week that you were going to buy
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Old 06-26-2015, 05:10 PM   #8
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Re: "Oaky" Farm Fresh '73 Short Step

Robbie ,I have a newer door ,not sure which side but will look .If you cut up the old hood I need a small piece .
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Old 06-26-2015, 07:44 PM   #9
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Re: "Oaky" Farm Fresh '73 Short Step

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Originally Posted by Advanced Design View Post
Interesting history on the truck and a cool find. Was it advertised?

Will be tagging along.
Thanks, AD. It was advertised on CL for about 5 hours before i saw it. I called him immediately and set up time the next afternoon to go look at it. Bought it then. It was actually a little worse than i expected but the cool story and originality (aside from the paint) got me. And i talked him down considerably so that helped. Also rust can be fixed or replaced. :0

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I am subscribing to this on for sure now..... Can't wait to check it out in person!

For the record though you are like many of us and are an un-diagnosed insane person with project attention deficit disorder. I am already a member of that club so its always nice to welcome another member.

P.S. I wont tell them that you showed me 3-4 trucks in less than a week that you were going to buy
You are right! It's definitely a disorder....and I'm affected.

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Robbie ,I have a newer door ,not sure which side but will look .If you cut up the old hood I need a small piece .
Thanks, John. I appreciate that! You are always looking out for me. I'll have to come up that way and load up my truck. I think I'm going to keep the old hood on for now even though it has the typical bend from non greased hinges but I have the other one, too, so that may change.
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Old 06-27-2015, 08:19 PM   #10
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Re: "Oaky" Farm Fresh '73 Short Step

Today my son and I literally washed an oak tree off the truck. Was the craziest thing I'd ever seen. I updated the OP to show the truck before we cleaned it up and why we call her Oaky but it's crazy enough to show again here.

But before we do that, a quick update. The PO brought the truck early this morning and I took it straight to the tire store for new tires (Hankook Optima H724 225/75/15) and had them change the oil while it was there. Also, ordered some new plug wires and air filter. Once the truck was back home, my son and I spent the better part of the afternoon scrubbing the truck with a green scotch brite and Meguiar's Gold wash (I think). The truck literally had a ton of leaves in the bed and a bunch of weird, unexplainable things behind the seat as well. Did I mention, this was a grave digger's truck! Anyway, we scrubbed all the oak tree moss and particles off and it has really begun to shine.

The paint, while I wouldn't call it patina, certainly has a unique look - which i like. Maybe multi-layered is the right phrase. The truck was originally dark yellow, then black, then a really shotty white. This now makes two trucks that I have that were both originally dark yellow. My '71 GMC was originally dark yellow. Anyway, the truck cleaned up well on the outside and the inside.

The next things I'm planning to tackle are radiator, 4.5/6 drop, paint the wheels/caps, and exhaust. Might put on a new intake and carb but for now I'm leaving it alone. Longterm plan is to dress up the interior and paint the grille. Really amazed at just how original this truck is. Odometer shows 69k miles and the seat belts still have the plastic on the lower part of the belt behind the seat.

Now, the pics:

Why we call her Oaky.


After new tires, a good scrubbing and wipe down:







SPID
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Old 06-27-2015, 09:01 PM   #11
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Re: "Oaky" Farm Fresh '73 Short Step

If you need an aluminum intake with Edelbrock carb I happen to have one for sale at a friends place now , Oaky looks happy now all cleaned up .But where is the interior ,under hood and bed shot ,you know we need more pics than that .
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Old 06-27-2015, 10:04 PM   #12
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Re: "Oaky" Farm Fresh '73 Short Step

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If you need an aluminum intake with Edelbrock carb I happen to have one for sale at a friends place now , Oaky looks happy now all cleaned up .But where is the interior ,under hood and bed shot ,you know we need more pics than that .
I forgot to upload the cleaned interior pic (updated thread) but don't have a clean bed shot. I haven't even tackled under the hood but I might be interested in the intake for sure. I have a carb. Message me details on the intake.
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Old 06-27-2015, 10:12 PM   #13
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Re: "Oaky" Farm Fresh '73 Short Step

Robbie ,I think its an Edelbrock too ,have not seen it lately but would prefer to sell them together ,I will check on it when Im up there again or get him to take a pic of it .
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Old 06-27-2015, 10:30 PM   #14
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Re: "Oaky" Farm Fresh '73 Short Step

Oh man, Love the truck and the patina. Cleaned up really nice too!
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Old 06-27-2015, 10:30 PM   #15
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Re: "Oaky" Farm Fresh '73 Short Step

Oaky cleaned up very nicely and has a good look ...wearing the history. He looks pretty solid.
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Old 06-28-2015, 02:28 PM   #16
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Re: "Oaky" Farm Fresh '73 Short Step

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Robbie ,I think its an Edelbrock too ,have not seen it lately but would prefer to sell them together ,I will check on it when Im up there again or get him to take a pic of it .
Sounds good, John. Just let me know.

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Oh man, Love the truck and the patina. Cleaned up really nice too!
Thanks, Rodent! I think so, too.

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Oaky cleaned up very nicely and has a good look ...wearing the history. He looks pretty solid.
Thanks, AD. It cleaned up well. Still rough around the edges but certainly gonna be a fun driver.
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Old 06-28-2015, 06:05 PM   #17
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Re: "Oaky" Farm Fresh '73 Short Step

Robbie ,the door I mentioned is off a mid 80's truck ,driver side ,one dent but no rust .Im not sure if it will help you but you are welcome to it if you need it .
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Old 06-28-2015, 08:57 PM   #18
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Re: "Oaky" Farm Fresh '73 Short Step

No problem. Thanks, John. I'm not in a hurry to replace the sheetmetal at all. Just trying to get through the suspension and update the motor now.
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Old 06-28-2015, 09:58 PM   #19
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Re: "Oaky" Farm Fresh '73 Short Step

Man that's a difference! Keep it going!!!
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Old 06-28-2015, 11:39 PM   #20
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Re: "Oaky" Farm Fresh '73 Short Step

Nice!!! What are gonna name it? I suggest "swamp thing"
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Old 06-29-2015, 07:23 AM   #21
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Re: "Oaky" Farm Fresh '73 Short Step

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Man that's a difference! Keep it going!!!
Thanks!

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Nice!!! What are gonna name it? I suggest "swamp thing"
Haha think I'll just stick with Oaky
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Old 06-29-2015, 09:13 AM   #22
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Re: "Oaky" Farm Fresh '73 Short Step

Sounds like a cool story. Oaky cleaned up nicely too. I'm in for the ride.
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Old 06-29-2015, 11:19 AM   #23
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Re: "Oaky" Farm Fresh '73 Short Step

Digging the whitewalls..... She looks good all cleaned up!
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Old 06-29-2015, 10:57 PM   #24
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Re: "Oaky" Farm Fresh '73 Short Step

That truck would look sick with a slammed stance and a sport bumper aged to match the truck colors!!!!
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Old 06-29-2015, 11:18 PM   #25
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Re: "Oaky" Farm Fresh '73 Short Step

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Sounds like a cool story. Oaky cleaned up nicely too. I'm in for the ride.
Thanks, knomadd!

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Digging the whitewalls..... She looks good all cleaned up!
I know you like them whitewalls

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Originally Posted by Mtrhd329 View Post
That truck would look sick with a slammed stance and a sport bumper aged to match the truck colors!!!!
Stay tuned!!
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