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1949 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Randy Priebe


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Randy: First show, First Trophy.

Here is a little 1949 ½ ton that looks and performs as it left the factory in Janesville Wisconsin. Mariner Blue with the correct 216 six cylinder engine, 3 speed column shift transmission and 6 volt electrical system.
It had been used on nearby farm during its first 50 years. The third owner and ground up restorer is Randy Priebe of Appleton, Wisconsin. He saw it for sale in front of a rural local home about 16 years ago. Randy just had to stop and look. The price was about $1,500.00. He walked away but continued to wonder if he made a mistake. Then two years later it happened! Driving down the road he saw it in the back yard of the same house. As the owner now felt it was un-restorable due to much sheet metal rust, it did not run and the bed floor was almost gone. Thus, the price would be $850.00! This time Randy didn’t hesitate. He was the new owner and his goal was to make it a new pickup no matter what the prior owner said about it being just for parts.
The restoration began after a complete dis-assembly and rebuilding that lasted almost 14 years with $12,000.00 invested. His time at $1.00 / hour would probably be near another $1,000.00. Randy worked on it as money was available but research was always occurring to get it done correctly.

During these restoration years Randy had a minor and then a major heart attack with 4 by-passes. He told his wife he really wanted to continue with the restoration. Not only was it in some ways therapy to help in recovery but it would be a great legacy for his grandson in later years. What a special grandfather!
Since the restoration was completed in early 2013, he attended a few car and truck shows. Several trophies were added to his credit. The attached photo of the proud owner with the ½ ton’s first trophy.
Included are photos of this grandson in the truck cab at 1 and 14 years old. In 1 ½ years he will have a driver’s license. Will Randy allow him to drive this 14 year expensive project? We will see.
And Now A Little Surprise!
During the recuperating from his major heart surgery, a good friend, John Benz of Wautoma, Wisconsin wrote a little poem to compare the 1949 pickup restoration with Randy’s personal repairs! We think you will like it.

First the Truck – Then the Owner

There once was a truck named “Ol Blue”
It sat in a field waiting to get its due
A hardy soul named Randy thought it was time
To fix up “Ol Blue” and put it back in its prime
Little did Randy know while the truck was not restored
His “engine” or heart was rotting to its core
Electrical problems had once plagued “Blue” and now also its owner
Spark plugs mis-fired, fluids no longer provided much power
But oh those docs at A.M.C.
Jacked Randy right up with lots of T.L.C.
They rerouted his oil lines and added new fuel
His recovery was swift, now wasn’t that cool
Man and his truck are again re-united
They’re both good as new, on the road a-righted
So here’s to old trucks and guys that fix’em
They both have been gone through from stern to stem
Come next spring they’ll be back on the road
Ready to fire up and haul the next load
Good mechanics and doctors can be hard to find
Thank heaven for both as they’ve become two of a kind
By John Benz – Wautoma WI

You may contact Randy at: r.jpriebe@yahoo.com

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