The Rayner brothers have one common bond other than their DNA link: The boys love their 1955 Chevy cars and trucks.
The three of them all drive 1955 Chevy vehicles that the brothers have acquired and built over the years.
Dave Rayner is the proud owner of a 1955 Chevy truck with a secret because it actually left the factory as a GMC truck in 1955.
Maybe Dave felt the GMC was a Chevy trapped in a GMC body or maybe he just liked the six gauge (including tach) package offered by GMC in 1955.
We lean heavily toward the gauge theory because that was the message delivered by Dave to us during the interview. The former GMC truck was “fairly rusty”, in Dave’s words, when he started the project and it took three years for him to get his dream truck on the road.
“On the road” is the operative phrase in this case because Dave drives his Chevy to every show. Dave follows the philosophy that these project vehicles are “meant to be driven-not trailered” in his world.
The truck has been upgraded to an early 90s Chevy Camaro fuel injected 355 small block under the hood and is backed up by a 700 R overdrive transmission to transfer serious power to the rear wheels. The result is a truck that will drive at 80 mph all day and pull down a respectable 18 mpg at that speed.
The front suspension was donated by a 1979 Chevy half ton, along with a 1979 Chevy differential that contains a 3:73 posi rear end to give the truck a better gear ratio on the road.
The body end of the restoration required cab corners, rockers, steps and firewall work to make it ready for the painter. Dave took the opportunity to relocate the battery to a position between the step and frame during the restoration.
Dave is pretty handy with a set of tools, given that he has been a mechanic for a long time. He is not afraid to jump into the deep end of the pool when it comes to a major resto-mod project and it is obvious that the man has talent when you see his Chevy up close and personal.
We ran into Dave at a local show and he had driven many hours to get to the show, but also to visit his brother who lives in our community. Needless to say, his brother Bob is also the proud owner of a 1955 Chevy.
We never did ask Dave how three brothers all landed on the same page when it came to their choice in brand and year of vehicles. The local Double Nickel brother will have to explain that part of the equation when we interview Dave’s brother Bob as soon as we spot him around town in his 1955 Chevy.
That will just give us one more thing to talk about when we take a look at his ’55 in the future. Stay tuned.
Here’s a look back at another MSCC ’55 Chevy Pickup article from April 2011.