This truck is the 2nd hot rod in three years I've had the pleasure of watching Norman Cole Hembree build. Both are pictured here. 1st a 1939 Plymouth, and the latest, this 1949 chevy 3100 pickup. I'll be posting before and after photos of the truck. I've learned how to shave door handles and door hinges. I've learned what it takes to chop and channel a vehicle. I now know more than I ever wanted to know about sanding, shaping, three stage paint, and why the clear keeps bubbling up and having hiccups in it. I've learned how to airbrush flames and skulls, and I've watched a master hot rod builder ply his trade. Cole is nothing less than amazing. He built both of these vehicles in a garage and 10'x20' tent erected just outside the garage. He sprayed three stage paint in that tent, and it came out looking better than the cab and hood did, and the cab and hood were sprayed in a real, honest to goodness paint booth. He's taught me about friends, and friendship, and what going the extra mile is all about. Thanks Cole for the lessons and the hot rods. WooHoo!
We finished the truck yesterday. I still need to replace the stock gauges and speedo, I'm going to get higher profile tires for those wheels, but for all intents and purposes it's done. I'm driving it and it'll get put to work next week when I start hauling pea gravel, bark dust, and camping gear around in it.
I'd like to add this: As stated in my journal throughout, this truck has tons of nostalgia for me. I think my friend would have been happy to see how nice it turned out, and also to see how many people are enjoying seeing it drive around.
If there is one thing I learned from him it's this, whatever it is that you want to do, you better get to it because our time here is way too short. No matter if you die at 9 or 90, it's too soon. Not enough time. Here's to you Bill - See you at that big hot rod rally in the sky.
I took a couple of close up shots of the truck. The "Billy's 49" refers to the deceased friend of mine that left me the truck. I'm happy that I had that inscribed on the side of the truck, cuz it will always remind me of my friend, the years that we knew each other, and all of the fun we had in that thing when it was his, and we were young. Here's the closeups. I got some of those visor gizmos for the headlights, to accent the visor that is going on over the windshield once the glass is in.
We assembled the stake sides and put them on. We'll have to take them back off to install the bed liner thingy that is going to cover the wood on the floor of the flatbed. But for now we're able to see what we've worked so hard on. It's almost done, almost. Almost. Almost. When you get this close to being done with a project it almost gets to the nail biting stage. Almost.
We put the hood on today and what a difference! We're almost there. The drivers side bumper bracket is bent and we'll need to straighten that before the bumper and splash pan go on for good, but it's almost there. I realize that the low profile tires worked better in the planning stage than they actually do in practice. I'll convert to higher profile, large whitewall tires down the road a bit. For now, it's really fun! A couple of days and it'll all be over except the celebrating.