Featured Truck of the Month 2019 starts off with a bang! We are offering a different way of showing this special truck. We hope you enjoy the video, background music and the detailed description as much as we did putting it all together.
This Advanced Designed Suburban was rebuilt by Mike and Tyler Chance a father/ son team devoted to their business of restoring early Chevy Trucks and Ford Mustangs. This is one of so many vehicles they have completely restored over the, 18 years in business. This 1951 Chevy Suburban is a real stand out for any GM Truck enthusiast.
Mike the founder of the restoration company stated: “This type of a custom truck was sometimes seen in the 1960’s. No structural changes and the mechanicals appear almost factory original.” The first differences you see will be the unique color arrangement and extra chrome under the hood. The gray pleated material on the seats are a plus as well as the carpeting. They give it the extra touch!
Yes, it is upgraded with a 1957 six cylinder 235 engine (an easy drop in) and slightly higher ratio differential. It will now cruise at 70 MPH with traffic on the open road!
Notice a few little extras that places this suburban a cut above so many others.
GM Dealer Installed in the mid-1950s:
- Rear turn signal lights when you requested this new option
- Grill guard from side to side above the bumper. Very rare!
- GM tissue holder under dash
Aftermarket extras that could have been added by the owner.
- Fenton Exhaust Headers, and in this example, have been polished and chrome plated as well as the intake manifold
- Wolf Wistle operated by vacuum from the middle of the intake manifold.
- Six-hole wheels are from a 1937-1941 Chevy ¾ ton. Nice Extra!
- White wall tires
- Stereo System disguised by an in-dash copy of a real Chevy radio.
- Left door hand operated spot light. Great for seeing house numbers and strange things along the road.
A very unique feature is adding a 1963 and newer 3 speed transmission that is synchronized in all three gears, not just 2nd and 3rd as original. Even more unusual is the modified shift linkage. It still remains a column shift much like when it left the factory. There is one exception! To correctly allow it to still use the factory steering column and shift lever an unusual modification was needed. After the two linkage rods were remade between the transmission and gear shift box, the quadrant position had to be reversed. This moved 2nd gear to the lower right and the higher gear to the upper corner. This requires a 180 degree design change from the original factory transmission.
Mike’s interest in older vehicles comes from his father’s hobby of collecting older cars and trucks. At times he has had over 50 unique special interest vehicles. Now, at 85, his father has kept his two favorites. A 1955 Chevy car and a 1972 Chevy ½ ton pickup both of which he drives regularly. In addition he walks and jogs about 10 miles each week. What a great example to all of us. Mike and Tyler, has some big shoes to fill in being involved in this restoration company.
Their GM truck and Mustang restoration business is in a large airplane hangar near the Fort Worth, TX area. The airport is still an active for light aircraft. Some other adjacent hangars store antique airplanes and some additional car storage. It’s a little like following Jay Leno who has a similar car workshop and display area in an airplane hangar located in Burbank, California airport.
Mike said the Suburban was originally bought and used on a large farm in California as a family and worker hauler. Somehow it found its way to Texas, where Mike saw it at the large Pate Swap Meet near Fort Worth. He was so impressed he bought it on the spot!
Almost no body rust made it a real find. Much less time, money, and labor to make it the way it is shown in this video. You can spot the many extras in the body color, redesigned interior and extra chrome. The Suburban has been changed by following what might have been available in the 1960’s.
Look at Mike and Tyler’s Video on this 1951 Suburban. We think you will find it quite interesting. (Don’t forget there are two videos to see it all.)
The following are the words of Mike Chance on his love for the old Chevy trucks
“Having grown up in Abilene, Texas in the 1970’s, I was familiar with Chevrolet trucks of the early to late 1950’s. They were so well built that many of them were still doing time. Almost everyone I knew had owned one or knew someone who had. As I grew older I grew more and more fond of these uniquely American workhorses. For me, it was interesting to watch the truck morph from just above tractor status to a legitimate dual purpose vehicle capable of rivaling the car as a transportation choice.
Back in the early 1950’s, the Carry All was the ultimate people transporter. It exceeded the typical car’s capacity by at least two people. When I saw this 1951 model at the Pate swap meet in Fort Worth, Texas I purchased it on the spot. It had benefited from a quality restoration and was a real eye-catcher. Better than that was the fact that it was capable of providing on demand fun by loading it with friends for delightful excursions.
It had been upgraded to a late model 235 engine along with a high-speed rear end and power disc brakes the combination of which allowed it to be driven at high way speeds with confidence.
Always looking for the next thrill, I ultimately sold it. Had I known that I would one day have 11 grandkids I would have never sold it. I am now back in the hunt for its replacement.
I still LOVE old trucks and currently own a 1959 Apache “double deluxe”. My grandkids call it Apache Red. It’s a factory 283 engine with some mild updates for drivability. My wife and I drive it almost every day. We recently added Vintage Air to help us get through the hot Texas summers.
I have other collector cars, but the old trucks have my heart. It seems like everyone loves an old Chevy truck. My personal taste runs more to stock original presentations with some mild updates for reliability and safety. If it has a 235, 261 or 283 in it, I am a fan.
Michael Chance lives in the DFW area of Texas and buys, sells and updates Classic Cars. His website is MyRod.com This video is just one of several he has done on classic truck ownership and is currently working on one to describe his idea of the “perfect mix” of originality with a few critical updates for drivability. “
Our 1951 Chevy Suburban In Action
WOW! Look at Mike’s immediate family in and around this older 1940’s Plymouth convertible.