Thursday, 29 November 2012

18th November 2012. The Green Jalopy wins its first award

I was at the monthly cruise-in a couple of weeks ago. I took my grandson with me so that he could see the cars and trucks. I saw many of the usual people do the drive through, the majority of them were newer Mustangs, Camaros Corvettes and a good share of "souped up" hotrods. Being at an organized event with these beefed-up mechanical bullies is a bit intimidating. I was neatly tucked between the trash dumpster and another vehicle for protection.

While at the cruise-in, a young man approached me with a flyer and said his wife had specifically asked him to give me one. He said there was a car show in a couple of weekends at the fairgrounds in an effort to raise money for a scholarship. The scholarship is named in honor of a fallen police officer, Sgt Daniel Dale Green. I thought about it for a few days and decided to enter my first car show.

Saturday arrived as a damp, windy (did I mention cold), overcast morning. I waited until morning to bring the green beast from the protection of the garage because I didn't want the dew to blanket her with moisture. With ramps down from the night before, it was a simple task of driving the truck onto the trailer, strapping her down and "off to see the wizard" we'd go. I should add here that the reason I didn't drive the truck to the show, even though it is local, was because I would be required to drive through downtown Tallahassee. Downtown Tallahassee to those that do not live here is surprisingly hilly and almost always full of stop and go traffic. The jalopy has rear brakes only...and they are mechanical and NOT hydraulic. Enough said!

I arrived about 9:00 AM with jalopy in tow, was told where to park my tow vehicle and was asked "does it run"? I guess if it doesn't have fat tires with flames painted on the hood and have at least a 350, it may not even run. I assured her that it did and she pointed to the place I should park. I slid the old gal into line in just a few minutes and started preparing her for the many eyes that would be "checking her out". We were parked next to a beautiful white Corvette and a Mustang Mach 1, and on the other side another beautiful burnt-orange Vette. I told my neighbors that I was in good company whether they were or not!

The show was relatively small, maybe 35-40 cars and low key. I was thankful for the setting, although it was a bit cold and blustery. There were bagels, hot coffee and later chicken and side dishes to eat. Police Officers were everywhere and polite, honoring their fallen brother. There were drawings, a silent auction for numerous gifts and, lastly the awards. I did win a mini-mag flashlight with a price sticker still on it for $17.99. My entrance fee was only $15.00 for early entry, so I made out quite well.

Having never entered a car show before, I don't know if this is a common custom or not but in our packets we were given a voting card to help determine which entry was the "favorite". It was the first prize given. The people had spoken and Mrs. Green was there to hand out the awards in her son's honor. It was announced that the vehicle chosen was Mrs. Green's favorite and evidently the People's Choice also. The announcer said the People's Choice Award for the Daniel Dale Green fund for 2012 is the 1928 Chevrolet Truck. The jalopy had just won its very first prize and in its very first show!

All said and done, a good day for man and beast. We won't be quite so intimidated at the next show and/or the cruise-in and who knows the plaque just might go with us and maybe, just maybe a muscle car or two might cower a little bit when the green jalopy comes screaming putt, putt, putting) around the drive-thru. After all, we are the People's Choice and the jalopy has the plaque to prove it! 

All in a day! It was windy, cloudy and kind of cold but we all stuck it out and nobody complained that it was too hot. There was only one other truck there so I guess I had a bit of an advantage. All in all it was a good experience.

I've resisted the temptation to enter anything considered competetion or a show. I wasn't interested, didn't want to "waste my time". I had better things to do, and besides I don't know any of those people. Excuses, biased opinion, or maybe just the fear of flying! I don't know why I was not interested in taking the jalopy to a car show but suspect it was indeed the fear of being embarrassed if someone asked a question I couldn't answer or the jalopy just not matching up with the competition. We all justify our actions (or in my case no action).

But now, for the future, well who knows?????

Below are a few pictures of the day, the cars, and of course the award winning Green Jalopy.


Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The Green Jalopy has International Appeal


This last Saturday we had a visit from two students from Taiwan. Their hosts are good friends of mine so they came over for refreshments and everyone had a ride in the Green Jalopy, including the host family.

Everyone had a great time.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

10th April to 17th April

10th April - New Wiper Motor

Last night I installed my new electric wiper motor, arm and blade. Originally it would have had two holed to bolt it down and a centre hole for the shaft. The electric motor I have only has the shaft, which has a rubber washer and nut on the outside of the window to tighten it securely. I will probably fill the two remaining holes with stainless steel bolts and nuts for looks. I also had to drill a 3/8 inch hole to enable the motor shaft to go through the hole. I need an in-line fuse and a toggle switch to finish wiring it and it should be good to go.

17th April - Possible Road Trip Hauling the Jalopy, and a bit of Maintenance?

Linda and I are planning to haul the jalopy to some friends of ours that live about 3 hours away, to the centre of the state near Disneyland. We are not showing the jalopy, it is more like our informal car club group that meets at the burger joint. Most people just show up, park their car or truck and sit around and chat. I don't think they give prises or anything but it doesn't matter to me anyway, I'm just parking and chatting. We are leaving early Saturday morning and coming back on Sunday. I will actually park the trailer at our friend's house and drive it to the show just a few miles away. Should be lots of fun. The car show is just an excuse for us to go see our friends.

My left rear wheel still moves a tiny bit, which is a bit of a concern, and I will check it out before we leave..  bearings?? I have also noticed one spoke on the same wheel seems a little loose., so when we get back this will be one of my first retirement projects to check all the wheels.

18 April - Someone is Raining on my Parade (or car show to be exact)

A little snafu possibly on this weekends planned trip to the car show. There is a 40% chance of thunder storms here in Tallahassee Friday and a 30% chance on Saturday in the middle of the state where we are heading. I wouldn't mind a little dampness on the jalopy but I don't want to see it sit outside in the rain and get soaked either. So, depending on the weather, we are either taking or not taking her. We can still go to the car show or not, sip some wine, eat a nice meal and have lots and lots of laughs.

19th April - Now Lets Check out those Wheels, and yes!! The weather Update

This afternoon I will check out the rear hub on the axle and if required fit a shim. We had a "bottom drop out" rain storm yesterday and I couldn't even have the garage door open to get any light. Hopefully this afternoon will be a little nicer and with the door open I can play around.

We have suddenly gotten into rainy weather, which is typical Florida weather. Usually it will rain every afternoon and then turn super humid and the sun will come out. Yesterday it just poured most of the day and right up until almost 8:00. So, checking out the forecast, we are NOT going to drag the jalopy down state this weekend because it is an 80% chance of rain Saturday up here and 70% chance of rain down there Sunday. I am not taking that chance of getting the old gal soaked. It is disappointing because this was our only chance this summer to make it down there and be with our friends because of obligations on both sides. We will just drive down and spend Saturday night with them and come home Sunday (in the rain both ways I think).

Will check around and see if I can find some brass shim material. I'm also thinking the other wheel should have turned the same number of turns and would probably need the same treatment, so I will check it out at the same time.

21st April - Maybe Next Year, also "The Countdown Begins"

Well sir today I was supposed to drag the jalopy to a car show 1/2 way down the State of Florida. I've cancelled the hauling part but we are still going down to stay with friends and go to the car show. The chance of rain here today is so high that it isn't funny and the same down there for tomorrow. I am just not going to subject the jalopy to that much moisture for the entire weekend. We have planned this for awhile now. Oh well, the best laid plans of man or mice....!

I am happy to state that I am now in my final count down to retirement. I have about 328 hours until I am no longer employed. My co-workers asked if we could have a luncheon on Friday. I am thinking that if it is nice weather that I might drive the jalopy. That would be fitting I think and I can come and go at odd hours to avoid heavy traffic. What a way to depart and drive off for the last time, two old relics heading into the sunset.

23rd April - Where is that Damn Shim Material

I have not yet located any "shim material" That means I haven't pulled the wheel yet. I need to get working on it because Friday is my last work day and as mentioned I want to drive her to work and leave early. I may do it even if I don't get the shim fixed and installed by then. It would be no further than I would have driven it this past weekend...had I taken it to the car show.

23rd April - Success with Shim Material

Good (Tuesday) morning to ya. It is just before 6:00 AM on a cool morning. I've been up since 2:30, went running at 3:30 and at work shortly after 5:00. Retirement is coming faster than a run-away train and I have my arms open to welcome it. The closer it gets the more excited I get and the more little projects I think of that need doing. I have so much to look forward to and I can't wait to start.
I may have found shim material at last. It looks like I can buy shims already made and sheets of brass of different thickness.

24th April - Yes We have Shim

I finally got some brass shim material this afternoon and have just got home from having dinner with Linda to celebrate my 65th birthday. Tis the reason for the season and my impending retirement.

I will pull one wheel tomorrow night, and in hindsight I remember when I pulled the other rear wheel I bought a wheel puller but the wheel came off pretty easily. That should have told me something at the time.

25th April - Some Good News. Wheel Wise, Well Maybe.

The axle key looks pretty good, with no slop and came out rather reluctantly. I can see the writing on the key, which makes me believe it is rather new. There is some grease on the axle taper which I will clean before I start playing with shims.

Here's another view. There is some grease around the slot where the pin goes in, otherwise it is pretty nice.

26th April - The News Keeps Getting Better.

"A funny thing happened on the way to the Colosseum." I pulled the wheel last night and this afternoon I cut the shim to size, looked at the axle then the hub and both seemed impossible. I took some de-greaser and cleaned all the grease off the axle and the hub. Now the shim, that damn thing is a pain, The size and fit was perfect and I have a little left over (it came in a roll 6" x 100") The piece I used was about 2" X 4"...So I have a tad bit left over, about 94 inches!

Being the first time I had done this,I couldn't decide if I needed to put the shim on first or try to install the wheel and work the shim in and around the axle.

First try: I wrapped the shim around the axle but the wheel is so heavy that I couldn't lift it onto the axle.
Second try: I tucked the shim into the (clean and shiny) hub. Guess what? The wheel is still heavy! Both times I was able to sit the wheel onto the axle but neither time could I rotate the shim into position...then I realized the pin was not installed. Took the wheel back off and the shim wasn't lined up properly anyway.
Third try: I pulled the wheel back off and and put the pin into place, then looked hard at the axle. As I ran my fingers across and around, I realised that the retaining washer was not able to make full contact and actually stood about 1/16 away from fully seating. There was my wobble! My Aussie mate Ray had told me to beware of the washer but when I added a washer on the other side (back awhile ago), I bought more than one and with a larger hole, which enabled it to seat further. I went to the bin and pulled a washer out, put it on the axle, added the original washer that had been installed and there is no more wobble AND I didn't have to shim it, which is not to say I won't have to do eventually.


I will know tomorrow for sure but for now I feel confident that it is fixed.

27th April - Freedom at the Age of 65

Well people, today is the last day for the Mohican's, in a couple of hours the jalopy and I are driving out of sight and out of range. The truck drove very nice on the way to work this morning. It still has a little bump and grind, but all in all I think it was a smooth and non-incidental ride. Pray for my return ride!

Below is a picture of me, the truck and my best buddy at work (I am the one with no hair ha ha)

Next time I greet readers of my blog I will be Jerry, the retired gentleman from Tallahassee.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

30th March - 9th April 2012. A Few Finishing Touches, Here and There

30th March
Last night I removed the top rail from the bed of the truck as i did not like the gap between the top side board and the rail. I added a piece of oak 1/4 round, glued it and used a brad nailer to attach it to the top side piece. Now when I put the top rail back on it should fit pretty close and tight. Tonight will try to get it coated with sealant and tomorrow re-attach the top rail. I am also going to install inside-cove around the frame of the bed. Something to fill in the cracks up both sides of the bed and across the front. I will of course give these new additions the same treatment as I did the bed, i.e. black paint, wipe off, sand and then a good coat of Australian sealant.

1st April
I have the truck bed back together and have pretty much removed the open space from under the top rail to the top of the side pieces. I had to re drill some holes in the metal support bars but not in the wood so you cannot see any of it. I am still going to "frame out" the bed with some molding trim, mostly to make it look like a professionally made bed.

5th April
Today I received two aluminium step plates for the jalopy. It may not look original but it sure is going to look good.

This Saturday evening is the monthly get together at the local burger joint. I hope the weather holds out because I'd sure like to drive on down and show off the jalopy. it would be the first attendance since before restoration. I've invited a lot of people to come by an enjoy seeing all the diversity and to chat. It should be fun.

I still need to figure out the positioning of the aluminium step plates before Saturday night. Sure hope the weather holds out cause if it is raining or threatening rain, I wont be going.

Also I installed the rubber molding on the windshield this past Sunday. I've had it for over 6 months and could never figure out how to put it on and for it to stay. Whenever I started putting it on, it would peel up and come right off. I literally had to pinch it on, hold it down with my other hand and slowly work toward the other side of the windshield. It was hard work but satisfying to finally get it on! It took me over a half hour to get it on, step by step, inch by 1/4 inch. It fought me every step of the way but in the end......I won.

6th April
A not so good pic but with the top rail back on. If you compare this pic with the one outside my garage, you can see the previous gap and why it bothered me.

This is the passenger side with the top rail removed (see the metal bracing sticking out at a 45 degree angle). There was a gap between the top of the side wall and under the top rail that slanted out.

Looking from the passenger side to the driver's side. You can barely distinguish between the 1/4 round and the top of the side wall because it has been painted, sanded and sealed with the same process as the entire bed received. However, if you DON'T see it then all the is doing exactly what I wanted it to do and that is fill the gap that was bothering the heck out of me.

Also, see the filler cap for the gas tank. I don't think I will ever regret taking the tank out from under the seat and moving it behind the rear axle. I won't be hauling anything back there so it isn't in the way at all. As of the time I took this pic, the molding around the deck (between the walls and the bottom of the bed) has not been installed yet.

7th April
It looks very, very good for the trip to the Sonic (burger place) this afternoon. The weather is supposed to be nothing but sunshine with temps in the 80 F range. I am going to get the step plates mounted and possibly make a bow tie out of wood to mount on the tailgate. I know it isn't original either but there is nothing anywhere on the truck to identify that it is not a Ford.  There is the radiator emblem and now I have the step plates that are Chev...but there in nothing in the back. It will be to scale and nothing gaudy.

8th April
Well....................... we went to the local burger joint for the car gathering this afternoon. We got there in time to get the last parking space. The jalopy looked so good and heads were turning. I decided to back into the parking space so we would be headed in the right direction when we got ready to leave. People walked over to ask about her. We had one 50ish lady walk up and said she was driving down the highway and saw the jalopy AND that was the reason she turned in. She came over and talked about wanting a jalopy like our jalopy. We encouraged her to keep looking and she agreed she would. One gentleman talked about having a '28 that he had sold a few years ago. He now has a '29, which he had driven to the gathering. He showed me several things under the hood that may have been changed out.

My neighbour was there and said he was excited about hearing it run. I got in to start her up. I turned on the key and listened for the fuel pump to sing its familiar tune, pulled the choke and hit the starter. All I had was a click, click, click. What I had was one seriously dead battery How embarrassing. My neighbour saved the day by jumping the jalopy with his truck. We got it started and I drove her home while there was still some daylight. I left the little woman watching the raffle drawing. When I got home I realized she had the house keys. I had to call her to catch a ride with the neighbours.

We've had several laughs about the afternoon and tomorrow the trickle charger will be hooked to the battery. In the future, this will be an item to check before we head to the local hamburger joint.

9th April
Driver's side step plate installed. I know it isn't original but I don't care....I like it and anything that will help keep the running boards from getting scratched, marred, molested or paint my friend. It is always scary to be drilling holes into newly painted surfaces.

9th April
Check out the home-made bow tie logo. The only identification on the entire truck is the little emblem on the radiator shroud. There is nothing anywhere else on the body that is readily available. So, with the introduction of the Chevy step plates, now I have this little tail-feather waving at the cars and people behind me. I went to the shop Saturday morning with an idea in mind but for the life of me couldn't get the idea to become a wood design. After awhile it started materialising and using scrap wood left over from making the bed, I came up with the bow tie.

So, then I took all the pieces to the garage, attached them to the tailgate with a brad nail gun, sanded the rough corners just a bit and carefully painted it black. I think it adds just enough contrast to make the bow tie stick out and yet not be gaudy. I am very pleased with the end results and really took very little time to build (or install).

"It looks good right there Jerry!" As my brother would have said, "nail it". All in all this was an improvement as far as protection of the paint on the running boards. Secondly, it looks really good and last but not least it gives some identification to the truck. On the back of the truck...the actual license plate or license tag says: "My 28".. And yet so many people came up to me and asked, "What year is it?" We got so many compliments on the over all looks, paint, etc. It made me proud to own this piece of Chevrolet history. People thanked ME for bringing her down to the car gathering! 

Another angle of the bow tie. I'm liking it!

The step plate is "set in place" and clamped. Next  step is to drill a hole in each corner for the stainless steel screws that will hold it in place. I used a tiny - rubber grommet under each hole (between the plate and running board) to elevate the plate just enough for moisture to evaporate, and also to give a little cushioning and not have metal to metal. Gotta love that Chevy logo.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

At Last Relax and Enjoy. The Hard Work is Finished.

18th March 2012
I think I am finally done working on this thing, body wise that is. At least all the major things. I am sure I will be tinkering for the rest of my life, or at least I hope I am. I took the maiden drive through the neighborhood yesterday afternoon. These are the latest pictures.

Now who is a happy boy?

The new sign writing on the doors is from a good friend in Australia, Grant Fowler, who is doing a fine job restoring a 1928 tourer. Check out his progress at

March 2012

1st March
With some luck, I might be able to set the bed (ute) on the frame this evening or tomorrow evening. Linda's brother is visiting for two weeks and he would be needed (maybe Linda too). Once I get it set on the frame, I can drill some holes and mount some round-head bolts through the floor and into the frame. Once mounted, I can then put the rear fenders on, the two top rails that flare out from the bed, and one piece in front, top, next to the cab. I am putting all stainless steel screws, nuts and bolts. Hopefully I will never see any rust or patina again! Not in my lifetime at least and I hope there is no such thing as rust in the next!

3rd March
It is amazing to me the things I have found that needed tweaking - while I was doing something else to the truck. I am either very lucky, or observant, or there are more things wrong (wore out, need adjusting, etc.) with the old gal than I could normally find just washing and cleaning her up. It almost scares me when I find these things and realise I may have been driving with so many potential problems hanging over my head, and don't know it. Working on the spokes has been especially rewarding because I have found something wrong with two out of four, and the other two have already received some tender - loving - care. I think I should look at the motor mounts, etc. just in case. BTW, the body guy found several things that were not snuggled up when he was under the truck and working on her. Maybe I need to invest in some loctite and hit every single bolt and nut. (Loctite is a substance that is used a lot with Harley Davidsons because they shake and rattle so much that nuts and bolts tend to loosen. In case you are not familiar with it.)

6th March
Stellar day all around, and with the help of my brother in law and Linda (with Sadie supervising), we got the bed set on the frame (unattached at the moment) and the fenders kind of barely on. I am going to have to come up with some kind of a spacer to put between the rear fender and the bed...and some longer bolts. The big thing was to set this heavy-ass bed on the frame and to match-up the hole cut in the bed to set down over the petrol filler neck without doing any damage to anyone or anything! It fit perfectly...YEA! We had torrential rains and tornadoes all around the area Saturday for the entire day, so I stayed in the garage and working on finishing the bed. Sunday was cold but sunny and we put the dang thing on.

I have been waiting for months and months to see these two together again. Everything fit perfectly together and I could not be happier.

February 2012

February- Yippee!! The jalopy is looking like a million dollars and will soon be back home. You could see my grin from the moon.


2nd February
As of last night the jalopy had one beautiful coat of green and she was about to get a 2nd coat. Tonight she was supposed to get the trim (fenders, bumper, radiator shroud, running boards, light buckets) all painted. I was at the paint shop until after 9:30 but didn't go tonight due to some errands I had to do. I did get to drive it onto the trailer and haul it to the paint shop myself. That means she runs and also means that moving the gas tank from under the seat to the back works! None of those guys could figure out how to start her. Ha, ha. Unfortunately, she had a near dead battery so we had to keep jump starting her and when we tried to unload, she ran out of gas! I am taking my battery charger and a full gas can with me tomorrow and hopefully if it doesn't rain I will be able to take it back to the body shop for installation of all the parts taken off.

The colour she is painted is so attractive and the black is going to highlight the green. I was so impressed with the colour choice. Whomever picked that colour is a near genius....he's writing this blog I think! Heh, heh, heh.

OK, these guys are such perfectionists that last night I wanted to just scream out...."alright already just paint the damn thing. Remember all of the sanding I have been doing? Well, the old gal was already as smooth as a baby's bottom and covered with a last coat of primer. So we got to the painting shop and we took 400 sandpaper and lightly buffed the entire surface. Then we wiped and blew the dust off. Then we pushed the chassis inside of the painting booth and wiped the entire surface down with a liquid cleaner and immediately wiped it dry with a cloth. Then they taped and papered her off. Then she got wiped down again. Then the doors closed and she got wiped down again. Then she got a good, good coat of sealer all over the body (it was black). Then she got wiped down again with a tacking cloth. Then a coat of paint. Between paint cups, anything not painted with the first cup got wiped down again with the tacking cloth. After that I got to go inside the booth and take a quick see and the owner (of the body shop...he was also the guy painting), told me to go home and get some rest. He stayed around to put on a second coat and I bet he wiped her down again before the 2nd coat.

Today, I know they painted a rough texture on the running boards to keep them from getting slick when damp or wet. They were supposed to paint the black tonight but at this point I don't know for sure what they have or have not done. It has been pretty exciting though. Oh, and I was invited to watch him mix the paint according to a computer recipe. It had green, blue, yellow, black, golden yellow, white, clear, reducer and something else that was clear. That was bizarre to watch and see it come out the most beautiful green you will ever see.

8th February
I went over Saturday morning early to the body shop thinking I was going to be driving her home right away. Of course she was not ready and there were still things to be painted. I worked on the things that I could do and didn't make much progress, and the parts that needed painting were still hanging and not painted. I was getting more and more frustrated by the moment. Now I am thinking it will be the next week before everything is painted, allowed to dry and finally installed.

Long story short, the hood is not on, the rear fenders not on (because they connect to the bed and not the frame), headlights not on, etc. We did reinstall the cowl lights and cleaned up some of the wiring so that was a good thing. The doors were hung (one side window has been broken from the start and has not been replaced yet). The window was a last minute thing and because it hasn't been replaced yet, the door handle hasn't been the passenger door doesn't latch (it is taped shut)! Well, because of my moaning and groaning, the young fella working on it decided to get me and the jalopy the hell out of there and Saturday afternoon (door taped), we shimmied on to the house to complete the work.

The final pieces were painted that afternoon late and they called me. So, I went over and picked up all the parts and took them to the house too. As it turns out, the hood is still at the shop (even now) as I could not find stainless steel rivets to attach the handles (we took them off to enable them to be painted) to the hood. We are still looking but when we find them it will be done and the hood brought to my house and put on the truck. I mounted the headlight buckets, went inside the cab and replaced the largest piece of floorboard because it was never cut quite right, put some door bumpers on the door to make it latch better and not rattle and just did some general stuff. It gave me the opportunity to feel like I was involved. There is still some wiring to be done and clean up but all in all she is coming to the end of that long (expensive) road to completion.

I also need to look at the driver's side rear wheel. I think I may have a wobble when she goes down the road.  Possibly it is not mounted all the way on the axle taper or, there is something not quite tightened up properly. I am going to spend some time in the next night or two and see what is going on. I will pull off the wheel and take a look inside.

9th February
I discovered that the vacuum tank is not connected and is redundant as I have an electric fuel pump. I recently raised it up a bit so I could access no 4 spark plug more easily, but now I will have plenty of room. I bought a brass cap to plug the vacuum take of on the inlet manifold. This is before the Vac Tank was removed.

11th February
This is the "after" picture (post vac tank). It sure looks different (and roomier) under the hood...except that I still don't have a hood.

12th February
I am still without my hood and the glass for the passenger door. The body man was supposed to bring them today and help me install them...didn't happen! He did call me late and told me he was covered with fibreglass and was on the way home to shower because he was itching pretty badly, and will now come after work on Monday. I took the hub cap off the rear wheel and jacked the rear off the floor. The rear wheel actually wobbled. I pulled the cotter pin and tightened it as much as I could but I can't tighten it enough to align the hole to insert the cotter pin. I will fit a second washer and this will take up the slack.

I've been playing around with the jalopy most of the day, doing a bit of wiring, working on putting the headlight buckets back on, etc. Tomorrow I am going to play some more. I just need more time off to get things done. 

12th February
Maybe this weekend it will warm up (the temp went down to the 19's F this past weekend), and I can get the bed thing started. As I've mentioned, I have all the lumber planed, painted black and then sanded to get the surface black off and leave an antique looking finish. I have glued the boards together to make them wider and now have to remove one old board at a time from the bed and cut the new ones to the exact specs. Then I will drill my holes for mounting in the exact same holes so that when I reassemble all the holes should line up. I bought all new stainless screws, nuts and bolts and am ready to go. However, before mounting any of the new boards I have to seal all six sides with a sealant to help preserve the wood.

Anyway, when I get that done and the bed remounted, I will drive her around with my head held high and the biggest smile on my face you have ever seen. In time I will forget all the weeks she was gone, all the heartache, all the delays and all of the money spent to get her where she is today...BEAUTIFUL.

14th February
Last last night we got the hood mounted. I have not seen her with the hood attached in about three months. Wow, what a change a day makes. It is impressive to say the least and I have posted three pictures below of the jalopy with the hood on. I am amazed at how shiny the paint is.

I have given some thought to painting all the little things under the hood but want to get the electrical finished and the bed installed before I do too much more under the hood.

15th February
I just got a nice email from a fellow Chev guy in Australia. A guy named Grant.

He's a nice fellow and is going to send me two decals for my doors but he said he will take his time to make sure the paint is cured first.  Pretty excited and can't wait to get them put on.

18th February
Just woke up and got out of bed, it is Sat morning here and the weather although wet is very warm. Last weekend was colder than the gonads on a brass monkey but this weekend is warm as toast.

I have all the lights connected and working correctly and I bought a cover to go over the entire truck when I am not going to be using it. Springtime in North Florida (as we refer to it) is pretty tough on vehicles and lungs because we go through a long season of pollen that covers everything like a blanket. You can actually watch it fall like snow off the trees. Today I am supposed to help a couple of guys move a big compressor to a body shop. It was part of a deal some bloke with a pickup truck made for putting it back together after a restoration!!!! Heh, heh. I bought it at an auction several years ago and never used it. They need it and I don't so it is a fair trade.

The wife is going out of town to see the grand kids, so I am hoping to start cutting some boards for the Ute so I can begin to think about putting her back together and (she) finally looking like a truck. This is something I have been looking forward to doing for quite awhile now so I hope it goes well.

20th  February
Yesterday I spent most of the entire day doing something on the truck that you can't even see...I tucked all the wires and replaced some of them so that they would be the right length (to tuck them away). A whole day on my back and ya can't even see what I've done! Some of the wires under the dash are still resembling a squirrel's nest but everything else is well hidden and tucked...thank you very much?

Today I almost finished cutting the timbers to size, ripping them to the correct width, drilling the holes for the nuts and bolts (and screws), and put the first coat of sealant on them. The finish I am using is from Australia. With the boards sanded nicely, then paint black, then wiped off, then sanded with 60 grit, 80 grit and then 220 grit, they came out a nice golden colour but with the highlights of black in them. I personally think they are beautiful. I still have the front piece next to the cab to make and the tail gate After that it will be time to start assembling it and getting the old gal back together and road-worthy. I am very excited. I need good weather with lots of sunshine to dry the boards and want to put on several coats. I am not sure if I will wax it or not because of the crevices that would hold the wax and turn white on me. One more good sunny day and I could be finished and then assembling.

22nd February
Another picture of the wood going in the bed

23rd February
I started sanding on the spokes last evening. I lightly sanded one wheel and started the 2nd. When I say lightly sanded, it took me a couple of hours. I decided against pulling the wheels off and opted instead to sit in front and sand, then lay on the floor and do the back side. After that, I wiped-on the same sealant that I used for the bed. I don't want them perfect and believe they will be a nice match for the "other' wood that will be in the bed. I want some of the patina to show through and so far I like what I see. 

I have the two wheels in the front sanded sufficiently (for me). I have applied the sealant to the drivers side and will do the other this afternoon I hope. On that note though I got a little concern last night. I have the right front wheel off the ground and as I was sitting and sanding and rotating the tire, it suddenly dawned on me that the tire and wheel were loose. My first thought was that the last time I had it off that I had not turned the nut tight enough and it had worked loose. I pulled the hubcap off and realised that it was fine but the wheel could be shimmied back and forth almost like the wheel retaining nut was almost off (but it wasn't). As I started looking around to see what would cause this, I noticed the tie rod ends were shaky. I got a 3/4" socket and to my surprise the top bolt allowed me to tighten it several turns. This helped but didn't take all the shake out so I went to the other side of the truck and did the same thing to the driver's side...several turns. After tightening both sides, the play has been taken out of the tires?

I am going to have to implement a check-off list. I shudder to think would could have happened if I had not realised they were loose. This could be one more reason the jalopy jumps and bumps, shakes and shudders going down the road. Hopefully no more. Not long ago I had the left rear wheel nearly coming off and that added some shaking and bumping and wobble, and now this. Yikes. I may end up with the best looking non-driving vehicle in the deep south, US.

Below is a picture of the lumber for the bed.  All of them all lined up and drying from a coat of sealant.

24th February
Sanded and ready for some sealant.

 Same wheel with sealant applied.

And not to forget the rear wheel, with sealant applied

26th February
I worked most all day in the shop (again). Today was the tail gate! I started the Ute building this afternoon very late and of course it is fighting me every single step of the way. I am loving the way it looks, the colour and texture are both exciting to look at. It reminds me somewhat of the colour of the spoke wheels. The holes are all pre-drilled so you would think everything would fall into place. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! NOT! Getting the holes to line up to the metal frame is like pounding a nail into the wall while standing around the corner and hammering on the other side without being able to see the nail. The runners are a problem all of their own. They have a groove (or cut-out) on each end that has to slip into the metal framing in front and back Of course they also have to hold the individual planks down too, but to get everything properly lined up is frustrating. Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit easier and it will go faster. It is supposed to rain most of the end of the week coming as well as tomorrow so the fun continues. Maybe I'll just clean the shop if it is raining. Lord knows it needs cleaning as I've been working it pretty hard with all of this building stuff. Rainy days are perfect for that.

 27th February
I worked on this thing all weekend and this is all I got finished. There are two pictures, one from each end of the box. OMG, I have never worked so hard in my life or had as much trouble as I've had with this bed. As you recall, I pre-drilled and counter sunk the holes for ease of installation. I won't make that mistake EVER again when using old lumber. If the board is "cupped" or warped or different thickness or crooked in the least bit...or any number of other possibilities --------it won't fit and the holes do not line up. I have literally fought this thing tooth and nail and some of the holes had to be re-drilled to make them fit. I bought 100 stainless steel counter sunk screws that are too short. I will have to go buy 100 more at a different length (longer so that I can put a nut on the end to hold it in place)! 

I've discovered something else, that white oak weighs more than plywood. Quite a bit more I think. There is no way I will be able to lift this little jewel onto the truck frame by myself. That means I will have to call someone in to lend me a hand and then be able to fit it to the frame! It has been very cloudy and rainy and the oil-base sealer is not drying like it should and it remains tacky to this day! I am hoping a good hot sunny day and parking the jalopy outside to bask in the sun will help dry it. I do have three of the four spoke wheels completely sanded and sealer applied. One more of those puppies and I will be done with that project. Hurrah! Actually all I have to do on the bed is put the side rail iron pieces on so that I can install the top rail piece, then the top piece across the front and I believe I will be done with the bed! I was kinda thinking about using a router and cutting the bow tie into the tail gate but I don't want to take the chance of ruining, I may buy a piece and attach it on the tail gate instead. It is supposed to rain all week so no chance of riding this week. Dang!
The hole in this picture is for the petrol filler hose. It almost disappears when installed.