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Posts Tagged ‘1954 Chevrolet’

1954 Chevrolet ½ Ton Pickup

Sunday, February 2nd, 2020

 

The owner of this month’s Featured Truck is Calvin Weaver of Churchville, Maryland. This 1954 has been in his family almost 60 years! Calvin’s father purchased it in the early 1960’s from a local farmer because he needed a pickup in his masonry business.

As his father used it every day carrying masonry products, he began to really like this little ½ ton. So dependable, easy to make repairs, and carried just the correct amount of supplies for a day’s work! Then he began to notice something happening. After over 20 year old work truck it was beginning to show it’s age. He hoped to have it after retirement so something had to be done to save it. He felt there was only one choice and still be able to use it. He parked it in his home garage at night and during the winter months. The family sedan now sat outside in all weather!

Fast forward to the mid 1980’s and Calvin inherits this pickup from his father. Maybe for sentimental reasons and remembering his father using and growing attached to this pickup, Calvin decided to do a major restoration on it. He was not experienced in this type of project but Calvin was determined to do it as a remembrance to his father.

The more he thought about doing this, the more he got excited. He talked to other vehicle restorers, read articles and ordered catalogs. He even attended some major annual swap meets such as in Carlisle, PA to add to his knowledge. Calvin by this time was in his late 50’s with so much enthusiasm. This “big project” in his life was completed about 1988.

Since that time more pure 1954 accessories were found and added gradually. Calvin now knew what to look for in 1954 options. His hunt was often successful so this challenging hobby continued over the years. Calvin is now 89 years old, he takes in local shows were he often receives trophies. This time in life he mostly enjoys local drives and keeping it clean and waxed. Every time he gets gasoline someone comes out with a camera and questions. His father would really be proud!

More on the Restoration:

It was certainly a learning experience! In his travels he learned the options that were available in 1954. Many his father did not have on the truck after all, the pickup was for work! Some items Calvin added were: a fresh air heater, radio, the dash mounted clock, turn signals, wheel rings, hood bird, the windshield and side window stainless trim, bumper guards, front splash apron mounted fog lights, chrome grill, wood bedside racks with a third stop light. He even added some non-GM backup lights.

Paint Trivia:

To paint the pickup just like Chevrolet did originally, Calvin used the correct Juniper Green. He used “single stage” enamel as they did on the assembly line. (The surface was never meant to be so slick a fly could not land on it.)

Yes, the finish looked just right and not like most two stage surfaces as today! Unfortunately, Calvin did not realize that spayed enamel should be applied in a paint booth, not in a home garage. The overspray covered almost everything in the garage while it was still wet!

Calvin did this painting personally. Very, very nice for a beginner. Few of today’s body shops will paint single stage enamel. Most cannot easily correct paint runs, dusty areas and drips until the mistakes have dried over many hours. Then sanding for a repaint in that area must begin!

 

1954 Chevrolet Deluxe ½ ton Pickup

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019

What a great example of the mid 1950’s when the United States’ population began (for the first time) to have a little extra disposable income. Our Featured Truck of the Month, a 1954 Chevrolet Deluxe ½ ton pickup is an example of this developing change. The first owner obviously wanted a little more than just a pickup truck to park behind the barn while he used the family sedan to go shopping in town or parking in the church lot on Sunday. This was the time when pickups began to emerge as a little more than a vehicle that only saw water to wash off dirt naturally when it rained. In that era few pickups were given valuable space inside a farm building or a company warehouse.

The real General Motors experiment would be the next year with the introduction of the Chevrolet Cameo Carrier and the GMC Suburban Pickup. Their popularity would show if the 1950’s buying public was ready for a pickup with extras. In 1954, the buyer added most options and accessories to his base work truck. This was the beginning of the American Truck love affair that has continued more than 65 years!

This month’s Featured Truck is a 1954 Chevrolet Deluxe pickup (loaded with extras by 1954 standards), owned by Byron and Eleze Fuller of Symsomia, Kentucky. Finding a ½ ton pickup with so many options is very unusual and they realized it rarity. They found it in California 14 years ago and had to trailer it to Kentucky. It had received a basic restoration so this was a great pickup to work with and add even more extras.

The Fullers are real truck enthusiasts and are seen with their pickup in so many shows within a few hundred miles from their home. This pickup is considered Eleze’s and Byron drives a red 1955 Chevrolet first series pickup as his special ½ ton truck. Yes, it’s a family hobby!

They are members of the American Truck Historical Society (ATHS) that is considered the largest truck club in the world. Byron and Eleze are seen each year at the conventions wherever they are being held in the U.S.

 

Here are some facts about this unusual pickup but first here are two definitions:

  • OPTIONS: Factory installed (with an extra cost) items special ordered when the vehicle is being ordered.
  • ACCESSORIES: Installed after delivery by the dealer or owner

OPTIONS

This 1954 has many for a pickup of the mid-1950’s

  • Five window deluxe cab
  • Hydromantic Transmission
  • Power Steering
  • Transport Blue                  (No Extra Cost)
  • Shell White Top              (Chevy’s first two tone cab)
  • Rear Bumper
  • Right side Taillight
  • Right side sun visor and arm rest
  • Electric Wiper motor
  • Cigarette lighter

 

ACCESSORIES

Accessories have been gradually added over the years

  • AM Radio and Antenna
  • Factory clock
  • Front Bumper guards
  • Right side mirror arm
  • Outside Sun Visor
  • Running Board Safety Treads
  • Deep 8’’ wide X 15’’ wheels for slightly wider radial tires.
  • By-Pass Oil Filter

 

The Fuller’s 1954 stands out at all shows with the great restoration and extras. Byron mentioned a big concern on the factory 4-speed hydrometric transmission. It operates great but where would he find a rebuilder if something broke in this rare vintage unit?

 

The above is a Chevrolet drawing showing the power steering option on an early straight axle ½ ton.
With a 235 Six Cylinder engine

Note: The Pump is secured to the generator which has a one inch longer armature with gear for turning this add-on.
Very Unique!

 

 

You can contact Byron and Eleze through email at  chevy54@bellsouth.net