While on the hunt for a Fairlane convertible, Jim saw an ad for a ’49 Chevy pickup, a “project” truck that really sparked his interest. After talking to Karen (always the supportive partner), Jim followed up and answered the ad. What he found was a disassembled ’49 Chevy five window truck with a bed full of rusty parts. What he envisioned was a fully restored classic. Jim was a plumber and accomplished carpenter by trade. This project would require learning a new array of skill sets and knowledge. Always determined, never deterred, Jim trailered the truck home. While his initial aspiration was to restore the truck to its original glory his idea quickly changed as he envisioned a high-performance street-rod with a hot drivetrain, modern suspension, and luxury conveniences. And so it began; a three year rebuild and restoration project that would involve family, friends (both old and new), and fellow enthusiasts from his car club, the Tappet Twirlers, and others.
Jim found a disassembled ’49 Chevy five window truck with a bed full of rusty parts. What he envisioned was a fully restored classic. Always determined, never deterred, Jim trailered the truck home. With the help of his sons, Randy, Brad and Todd, a frame off restoration began in 2000. Over the next three years the truck was reassembled to the exacting details Jim envisioned when he trailered the truck home. While Jim leaned on club members and friends who readily advised and assisted in the rebuild, his son Todd researched the technical aspects and was passionately drawn into the project. A Mustang II front end from Fat Man Fabrication was installed and a 350 cubic inch crate engine was dropped in after being tweaked to produce 300 hp. A Turbo-350 automatic transmission was used and a positraction rear end from a 1979 Pontiac Trans Am completed the muscle. Sixteen-inch wheels and tires were installed along with 4-wheel disc brakes. With the “mechanicals” complete, it was time to work on the modern
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