Most pickup trucks built in 1953 left the dealership and began a life of hard work until they could no longer do the job.
Cynthia Rae-Bush’s 1953 Chevy truck put in plenty of hard work on a farm for several decades before it was phased out of active duty.
In fact her Chevy truck rarely saw pavement during its time on the job.
This was a farm truck and spent most of its time on gravel roads and in fields. It became a full time fuel truck on the farm in 1968 and hauled a 1000 gallon fuel truck around in its bed.
The truck even had a home-built tow bar on the front so the farmers could haul it to the field where it could shuttle fuel to farm equipment.
This Chevy was not pampered in any way, shape or form during its long service on the farm.
Eventually the years caught up to the faithful old truck and it was parked for many years until its sale in 1996. The process to restore the Chevy to roadworthy status began and it took three donor parts trucks to breathe life back into the pickup.
The Chevy now has a donor cab and rests on a 1951 Chevy truck frame. The rigors of hard work on the farm had taken its toll on the truck over the decades and it needed some serious repairs to bring it back to the road.
The process took about a year and a half for Cynthia and her dad because this restoration was a father-daughter project. The two of them managed to save an old truck from the crusher and preserve it for the future.
The Chevy was registered back onto the road in 2002 and has enjoyed a leisurely pace as a casual driver since its return.
Cynthia’s husband Richard told us the truck has probably been driven about 500 miles in the past dozen years. Richard explained he has done “short local trips and has not built his confidence in long runs quite yet” in the truck but adds “the more we drive it –the better it runs”.
Richard explains the philosophy behind the truck; “It’s a truck. It’s a working truck. It’s not a show truck and never will be.”
The truck still sports its original six-cylinder engine and will comfortably hit 55 mph on the road- “65 mph downhill”– in Richard’s words.
Richard also explained how the higher speeds make the truck “whine and sing” because of the stock tube drive shaft hooked up to the rear end on the Chevy.
Richard showed us the original key for the truck and mentioned how many people would not be able to start it because they are not familiar with the push starter pedal on the floor.
For those unfamiliar with the process, you turn the key and hit the starter floor pedal to start the truck. Most Chevy trucks from the 50s have been resto-modded into a blend of old style and new technology.
Richard and Cynthia prefer to preserve the past with their 3-on-the-tree six cylinder truck with its 60-year-old engineering and their old workhorse gets plenty of attention in 2014.