WOW! Look what you can do with a 1954 Chevy ¾ ton. How impressive. It can stand right alongside of all the short beds and receive equal or more attention.
Terry Millsap of Independence, Missouri bought this pickup in 1999 with the intension of a major restoration. With the encouragement of Jerry Willis, a 1953 GMC owner near his home, the project began the next year. Jerry had completed a major rebuilding of his GMC a few years before (see the Feature Truck of the Month for July 2008) and with his knowledge and experience the two retired friends began the project. They would get together every day to restore the 1954 for driving to events at the local organization, the Genuine Chevrolet / GMC Truck Club of Kansas City.
It was a team project, about 8 hours per day 5 days per week. In almost record time, they finished the pickup in five months! We call it a very mild custom. Though it looks original from a distance Terry added just a few “creature comforts”.
A pre-upholstered more modern seat has storage pockets on back cushions and more room above the in-cab gas tank. The high oil pressure 235 engine remains. The 5.14 ratio ring and pinion differential has been exchanged with higher speed 4.10 gearing. A 15% improvement in speed with lower engine RPM. Yes, the 3 speed column shift transmission was correct on a ¾ ton. (You paid extra for a 4 speed floor shift transmission)
An interesting feature on a 1954 8” bed: The short third stake pocket is hidden just above the rear fender. Not like the 1953 ¾ older pickups. Look at the stamped arches inside the bed sides. This was on 1954 pickups through early 1955 and allow the early rear fenders to drop into place. No road dirt will seep out of the wheel well from the tires driving in dust!
Most of the engine compartment looks stock until your eyes catch the right side of the firewall. There is what looks like a factory accessory. Terry calls it his Jack in the Box!! With the more modern seat cushions his bottle jack could not be kept under the seat.
The final touch to his 8 bolt drums are these very special sport wheels with modern radial tires. What nice steering this makes! Check the optional left side spare tire position. This was an extra cost option at the factory. With the 8” bed it does not require a cut-out in the left fender as on a 6” bed ½ ton.
You will often see Terry and Jerry running together in their two pickups in the Kansas City area heading to a local truck show. Of course, driving our trucks is what it is all about! You can contact Terry Millsap at firstname.lastname@example.org
Red Verticals. 1954 Only
Pure 3/4 Ton
Running Boards with Bed Liner Material
Correct Yellow Pure Bed
Factory Accessory Side Mount. See Center Stake Pocket
3/4 Ton Column Shift, etc.
Jack in the Box
Correct Right Mirror Arm
Lots of Room in Seat Back