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1951 Chevrolet 3/4 Ton Pickup

Owners:  Richard and Delores Diestler


It has become a top Wisconsin show truck in less than 2 years!  Twelve shows and eleven trophies. After that came one of the areas largest car and truck shows in Antigo, Wisconsin. Three hundred vehicles and this truck received first place!  You can’t do much better than this!  This show truck is driven to all shows.  No trailering.

Management of Wisconsin’s largest car show and swap meet in Iola heard about this special truck and invited it to be placed in the “Blue Ribbon” section of this non-judging show during July 2012.  This was certainly a special honor.

The truck is a 1951 Chevrolet 3/4 ton pickup. The owners are Richard and Delores Diestler of Schofield, Wisconsin. Their pickup came from a North Dakota farm about 3 years ago and Richard found it on a local snowmobile dealer’s lot.  Richard had wanted to restore an older truck for many years. It was just finding the correct GM truck for this project. The pickup was brought to their home by a tow truck and two other trucks carried in miscellaneous parts that had been removed. Richard had been restoring antique farm tractors so there was some idea of what was ahead.

It required about 2 years (2,500 hours) to complete this ground up restoration.  Richard is retired so he could devote full time to this project. Of course, to make it just right, all was removed to leave the bare frame. The total rebuild began as each part was replaced or repaired.

The cab required the usual replacement of floor metal and cab corners. Building it was like putting together a large model kit! Almost everything was done just like Chevrolet made it over 60 years ago. Even the Forester green paint and maroon Spanish grain seat covering are just right.

The engine remains the correct gray 216 and 4 speed transmission is what the pickup has always had.  A hidden upgrade changed the 4.57 ratio ring and pinion to a 4.10 ratio from a 1972 3/4 ton. This is an exact drop-in and reduces engine speed almost 20%. All is out of sight.

Richard had questions on using the original 15” split ring wheels. They remained part of his restoration project until he found these 8 bolt chrome wheels. These new wheels perfectly fit his ¾ ton drums so he decided on this one visible item that would not be 1951.

Congratulations to Richard and Delores Diestler for such an excellent restoration. A real eye catcher wherever it goes!

If you’d like to contact Richard, his email address is richarddiestler@charter.net.

Note:  This article is by their granddaughter and appeared in a recent issue of the Schofield newspaper.

 


“On August 19th 2012 two childhood best friends were reunited at the Antigo Car Show. Dick Diestler and John Phillips were both born and raised in Birnamwood, WI. They spent their childhoods together playing and attending school. However, time passed and as usually happens they went their separate ways and lost touch. But their interests still remained similar.

They both married, raised families and then after retirement they both began restoring trucks. Dick began restoring a 1951 Chevy and John a 1946 Chevy. When they were finished they began showing them at car shows around the state until they both ended up in Antigo together. The perfect ending to their reunion came at the awards show where they were both awarded trophies.

Dick received 1st place in the 1900-1966 stock division for his 1951 Chevy 3600 and John received 1st place in the commercial one ton and overstock division for his 1946 Chevy 1-1/2 ton. They both continue to show their trucks at local car shows and more importantly they are now back in touch. Congratulations to both my Grandpa Dick and his friend John on their beautiful trucks. And thank you for proving that lasting friendship knows no limitations and that includes time.”

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