September 11, 2015

‘57 Chevy Aug–Sept 2015

Jim had a few afternoons with nothing to do… so went shopping…and found a ‘57 Chevy.

It was is Ogden UT.

He called about it and the guy was going to make a pickup in SW Kansas and would meet us there…

We had the AC in our truck fixed in VT but it quit again. Had it fixed on Thurs…picked it up..went to Carl’s to pick up the trailer and hit the road around 10:30 am Fri.

We were to meet him the next day so we did it trucker style…he drove…I drove…he drove..I drove…you get the picture…unfortunately we did not have a nice comfy bed, toilet or shower …had to sleep in the back seat.

Part way there the AC started acting up….freeze up…shut if off…on again…freeze up…shut it off…we did that most of the way to Kansas….

Car looked good…it started and was backed off the trailer and driven on to ours…deal done.

Spent Fri night in a motel….gave Jim time to make sure it was tied down for the trip home.


We checked it each driver change….straps would loosen up…Jim would retighten …but it made it home.

Sometimes things just don’t go the way you plan….AC went on our way to Grove OK..spent the night at Larry and Diane’s..(our boating buddies) even got to have dinner out with them and Red and Kathy ..(more boating buddies)..when trucking we kept our boat on Grand Lake in OK…that is how we met these great people.

Left early the next morning ..overcast all day so the trip was not too bad…bit hard to sleep in the heat…but we work outside in the heat every day…we can tough it out.

By the time the sky cleared up we were heading E and the sun was at our backs…

Got home…car wouldn’t start so had to roll it off the trailer and use the lawn mower to tow it in the garage. Oh well…Jim likes a challenge.

Exterior looks pretty good..Jim found some flaws but I would not have seen them if he hadn’t pointed them out.


Interior is very good too.


He likes to work on motors…not interiors


It’s a 4 door Bel Air.

Even the trunk is clean. We can store a lot of stuff for travel in here.


When it was running as we loaded it…Jim could tell there was a problem with one cylinder…the guy came down some on price. When he got it inside he did a compression test…sure enough….so he went shopping again…he found another engine for less money then he could rebuild this one for. So out she came…



These are the motor mounts….so now we have new ones…


Needs lots of cleaning…


Changing parts from one engine to the other….good thing the guy he bought the engine from also threw in the engine stand….now he has two.


He has a parts washer in the other shed…pumps diesel fuel in a stream while you scrub.  Needs new clutch and pressure plate.


Now he is scraping all the places he can reach….getting off years of gunk.



When he has a project like this….we have lunch in the shop.


So far, this has taken a few weeks.


Doing a compression test on the new engine.


He hooks it to the battery…hooks up an oil pressure gauge (gives me a job). Plugs  his tester in the spark plug hole…pushes the button in his L hand and turns the engine over…writes down the compression…and on to the next one..sounds easy but it takes a lot of time.


He’s cleaning and checking every little part in the carburetor. Sit down jobs are nice.


Fresh paint…Chevy orange.


It’s coming together….


I  liked the aluminum covers but he wants it to look as original as possible, and it does look pretty good with these.


Down here you have to cover every little important hole or the mud daubers will have them plugged full.

He said these are called “Ram Horns”….


After the engine was put in he started working on a shroud. We will most likely tow our little camper with this to some Tin Can Tourists meets. The shroud helps keep the engine cooler when idling.


all painted and in place.



It runs!!  just needed a bit of tweaking…


Gave it a good wash.


The bumper had been hit at one time…so Jim removed it and straightened it out so it fit right.


The middle section has some scrapes and he doesn’t like to see a hitch receiver hanging down…so..

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Then he made this for when we are not towing.

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We donate to the Wounded Warrior Project and this is their emblem.

He figures if someone bought this for a show car they would replace that section of the bumper so he might just as well have it the way he wants...

The Scamp looks almost as good as it does with the ‘49 Hudson. The car matches our awning…red. It will look great all set up in a campground.


New exhaust system is next…and while on the lift Jim will get the rest of the gunk off.

It’s been a month of hard work….

At some point Jim wants wide white wall tires…these tires look good but are very old so no trips till we get new ones. He’s working on the plug wiring…brake lights…and some other minor problems. I laugh when I say that…nothing is “minor”…

Jim has always liked Chevys…the nice thing about running around with these old cars?  Jim can fix them.