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Posts Tagged ‘1965’

1965 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton

Friday, September 1st, 2017
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Here is a Feature Truck of the Month that was truly saved from the salvage yard. It had been outside deteriorating over 20 years behind the out of business Dellwood Dairy in Copiague New York (on Long Island). Because of some mechanical problems it had been left in the back lot of the abandon dairy.

Now enters Vinny Tumminia of nearby Lindenhurst that had once worked for the dairy making daily milk deliveries in the neighborhoods. (We would have called him a milkman) On his way to his US Post Office job each day he passes the empty dairy building and always notices the tired ½ ton in their back lot. It brought memories of his younger days as a dairy delivery person. He dropped off milk and related products on front steps of homes between 3 am and 9 am so the glass bottles were always there when the customer got up in the morning.

One day after passing the empty dairy building on the way to the post office, it just hit him. Now with just a little disposable income, why not try to buy the old delivery truck, get it running and use it for driving to work? (Just for old time memories).

Therefore, one Saturday Vinny began to hunt for the widow of the once owner of the dairy. The search was successful and he became the pickup’s second owner for $200.00. It was towed to his home the next day.

Vinny’s excitement now began to grow! The more he looked at it the more he wanted it better than a very rough driver to get to work. He had seen 1965 Chevy ½ ton’s at local car and truck shows and they were so nice. He would change course, take his time, and as money permitted restore it to be new again!

As parts were removed, another item was usually found that also needed attention. When he got down to totally worn out body mounts and the cab needing lifting to replace them plus bed wood and cross sills a total loss, it was time to get to the bare frame rails. Thus, this would now be his oversized model kit.

The pickup’s condition even got worse when rubber parts of a few old floor mats were removed. Surprise! Water had been in the cab so many years from a damaged windows. All floors and rocker panels had to be replaced. That was in addition to both cab corners that he already knew about. Six months in the body shop. (As Vinny said, he saved it from the crusher!)

The frame became even better than new. It was transported locally to be sand blasted and then to a powder coating company.

On weekends and many evenings each week for three years, Vinny was in his garage building his new truck. In the first year he knew it could not stop the project. The pickup was in so many pieces in his 12’ x 24’ garage and in the back yard. To try to sell it at that time would have brought him scrap metal price per pound for abut the $200.00 he had first invested. This wasn’t going to happen but he sure hoped he did not accidently walk out in front of a bus! His very supportive wife, Elizabeth would even have an additional loss, with iron parts filling the garage and yard. Where would she sell all of that stuff?
Three years later it was beautiful. It became Vinny and Elizabeth’s new 1965, ready for Sunday drives and local weekend car shows.
Factory available upgrades were added as chrome bumpers and grill. The largest expense was eliminating the factory 250 six cylinder engine plus 3 speed column shift transmission. The replacement was an optional factory 283 V-8 and 4 speed transmission that he found in Central Kansas. It was all shipped by truck line to his home in New York.

Color is Teal Green and updated modern deluxe wheels make the total package just right.

CHANGE IN LIFE 2004

After many years outside delivering the US mail in New York, the cold winters became less enjoyable. Many below zero days and snow blowing sideways was becoming a real challenge! So because most towns have a post office he was able to transfer his job to the south. Vinny and Elizabeth now live in Melbourne, Florida. What a change! Their “new” little ½ ton now goes to car shows in winter more than summer. They had it hauled from New York in a large enclosed truck. No extra miles place on the odometer. This ½ ton has never had it so good.

What’s the future plans for another restoration? They just completed a 3 car garage behind their Florida home. We suspect he wants to be ready, just in case another special vehicle comes up for sale.
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Nice view!

How did Vinny have the confidence to think he could build this 1965 (destined for the crusher) with never doing a restoration before? There was a reason. Check the following and see how his early years made it all possible. This is

The Rest of the Story.

School is out for summer and 11 year old Vinny Tumminia is usually riding his bicycle around the neighborhood. By chance he stops by a local auto repair shop and asks if he can now mow their over grown yard.  (A little spending money is always nice).

To Vinny’s surprise the owner Richard Fellner said yes. The mowing was done so well, Richard said “See you next week and you can mow it again”.

This began a 3 year relationship that molded Vinny’s interests in life. Soon he was sweeping the shop, carrying out trash, and doing misc. clean-up projects in this repair shop near his home. Richard was impressed with Vinny’s upbeat attitude, wanting to learn about cars, and being on time when it was necessary. This opened a new world for Vinny. He loved every minute of being in Richard’s shop.

Then a great opportunity occurred the next summer. The shop’s one employee left for another job and Richard needed help until he could find a replacement. Vinny was ready to tackle any auto repair. He just needed guidance. In addition to continued yard mowing, Richard taught him light jobs like oil changes, tire rotation and lubrication of car and pickup suspension, etc. Vinny was like a sponge and he did not forget!

This would be his summer and after school enjoyment and very close to his home.  He would even help Richard on numerous more difficult repairs like replacing a clutch, pulling an engine head and removing a radiator.  Of course, Vinny became the number one mechanic for his family’s sedan.

Thus, a 1965 Chevy ½ ton setting for 20 years did not scare him. He already knew how to replace parts and how to diagnose problems.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

It is so interesting how one little occurrence can point us in a different direction for life!

This is certainly such an example as Vinny ask to mow a yard!

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All looks good.

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Optional V8 engine

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Sitting in sunny Florida

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Signs on the new side racks

1965 GMC Deluxe Fleetside

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

During the mid 1960’s, most still considered pickups work vehicles. The manufacturer designed them as haulers and few people owned them as their only family vehicle. However, a slight change was beginning with truck buyers as Americans began to have more disposable income. GM and other truck producers were aware that extras on work vehicles were finding more buyers. Each year additional pickups with deluxe equipment were ordered.

This 1965 GMC 1/2 ton is an example of this trend. Though it obviously had been a work truck, it’s optional deluxe features still remain intact. Looking at the trim shows how GMC designers were careful in adding expensive trim.

To keep cost down they placed chrome on the hub caps and grill of their base model pickup. The stainless windshield trim is identical to that placed on the Chevrolet deluxe cabs. The long anodized aluminum side trim is also Chevrolet. One exception: GMC did not use the narrow shorter side trim as found on Chevrolet fleetsides that ran parallel to this longer piece. See photo comparisons.

Most aluminum cab trim is very basic in design. Straight pieces butted together kept GMC’s cost low. Only the chrome plated die cast emblem with the word “Custom” shows extra design effort.

The curved door window trim did require extra tooling but was made of anodized aluminum. Note this aluminum window trim as it runs parallel a few inches from the windshield stainless. The use of two different materials on trim so close is very unusual.

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 1

GMC Single Trim Strip (above)

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 2

Chrome Standard Grille (above)

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 3

Window Aluminum and Windshiled Stainless (above)

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 4

Econimical Side Trim (above)

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 5

1962-1966 Chevrolet Lower Trim (above)

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 6

Deluxe Trim (above)

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 7

Economical Side Trim (above)

1965 Chevy Deluxe Suburban

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

During the mid 1960’s many Americans began to request deluxe features on trucks. More disposable income put extra items in reach for many households. GM recognized this area for more income and began adding more extra cost options.

The popular standard Suburban could be transformed into a more family vehicle by offering exterior trim and upgrading the interior. It would be even better for a family vehicle as well as pulling a boat or travel trailer. Highways were being improved and Americans wanted to see the country.

A more deluxe Suburban emerged in the 1960’s. To same GM costs, most components were simply from the top of the line Chevrolet pickup. Even the side trim was from the fleetside pickup. It only had length differences and the word “Custom” was engraved on each side.

Following are pictures of a rare 1965 deluxe Suburban. The outside is all original except for new paint. The interior had recently been changed so the attached photo is from an original salesman’s data book showing a deluxe pickup. The nicer appearing and more comfortable cushions also apply to the deluxe Suburban. Note the deluxe steering wheel (actually GM used this from a 1960 Impala), trim band on the glove box door, and the two tone color pattern on door panels.

1965 chevy suburban 1

Chrome bumper and anodized grill (above)

1965 chevy suburban 2

The rear appears to have no changes from the standard model other that the chrome bumper (above)

1965 chevy suburban 3

The upper side anodized aluminum trim is the same as the deluxe pickup except for the length differences. Even the short from spear starting the trim strip is the same as the pick up (above)

1965 chevy suburban 4

Note the word CUSTOM etched on the side trim (above)

1965 chevy suburban 5

Suprising, the windshield rubber does not hold stainless trim (above)

1965 chevy suburban 6

Custom comfort interior (above)

1965 chevy suburban 7

Deluxe Steering Wheel (above)

First Factory Air

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

first factory air 1

The demand for in-dash factory air conditioning or GM trucks greatly increased during the 1960’s. (Automobiles had this feature available since the mid 1950’s.) An under dash ‘box’ (Cool-Pack) was available on trucks since 1958, however, this unit was dealer installed and took up much cab room especially for a third passenger.

In 1965, Chevrolet (not GMC) offered the first factory in-dash system. As it was introduced in a pre-existing cab, a custom non-metal panel was designed to fit over a new stamped larger dash opening. Its three movable vents could blow cool air on all passengers!

This new air conditioning panel covered the portion of the stock dash that held the ash tray. Therefore, engineers created a small under-dash slide in ash tray just for factory air Chevrolet trucks in 1965-1966. Unfortunately, few people recognize this small ash tray once it becomes separated from the truck in a salvage yard. This will be an almost unobtainable item if you don’t have it on your truck!

1958-1964 Chevrolet Cool Pack Air

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

When we look for rare Chevrolet truck accessories available during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, few are more unusual than the Chevrolet dealer installed “Cool Pack” air conditioning system. Truck cabs were not engineered for factory air as there had been little demand for this expensive accessory. Most people didn’t even have air conditioning in their homes, much less in a truck that was usually for work related jobs.

Chevrolet’s first attempt to provide truck air conditioning was the “Cool Pack.” The evaporator and blower unit was attached to the underside of the dash panel. It was good in the middle of the lower dash with a three speed column shift but had to be moved to the right if a 4-speed transmission existed. The floor shift lever prevented the air box to be center mounted in the cab. Yes, in this case the passenger certainly received more air then the driver!

With the introduction of factory in-dash air in 1965, the “Cool Pack” under dash system quickly lost its popularity. Its sales then were mostly to a few owners of late model trucks that wanted cooler summer comfort in their used vehicle.

1958 1964 cool pack air 1

Drawing from a 1950 Chevrolet truck accessory Manual (above)

1958 1964 cool pack air 2

An original under dash eveporator and blower unit. Note: the beige plastic case with silver “Cool Pack” letters and chrome plus blue bow-tie emblem. (Excellent condition for 45 years old) (above)

1958 1964 cool pack air 3

1958-1964 cool pack air 4

1958 1964 cool pack air 5

1958 1964 cool pack air 6