Jim and Sabrina's
1959 Chevrolet Apache 32 Stepside Pickup
Assessment Day - January 17, 2004

On Saturday, January 17, 2004 Sabrina and I visited my father and step-mother in Covina and while there, performed an assessment of the truck. We needed to determine a ballpark idea of the feasability and cost of restoring the truck.

Truck in 2004
Here is my truck as it looks today. As you can see, the elements have taken their toll. However, the side markers still look pretty good. They will be rechromed and repainted. New chrome side mirrors will also be installed. That is my father in the picture.
Right Side in 2004
Even with all of the surface rust, the truck is in remarkable shape for being 45 years old and sitting under the California sun for over 27 years untouched. The truck will have new wide white wall radial tires installed just prior to completion of the restoration project.

It had been several years since I went out to the back corral to look at the truck, so we really had no idea what shape it was in. Although it had a lot of deterioration as a result of setting out in the open, the overall condition of the truck remained good. We concluded that it was possible for us to restore the truck and then spent some time planning how we would proceed. Here are some of the plans we have developed so far.

Our restoration plan for the truck includes restoring her back to factory original condition. As a model 32, this truck is more rare then a standard 31 shortbed. It was designed as a work truck. Because of that fact, it seems only fitting that homage be paid to its special status as a work truck. It has its original 235 six-cylinder engine and three-speed transmission with a column shift. The starter is mounted on the floor next to the accelerator.

Front Grill in 2004
The front bumper was removed in 1979 and has been sitting in the bed of the truck ever since. A replacement bumper will be installed and the front bumper and grill will be painted in the original color, Bombay Ivory. Notice my father's 1961 Ford Econoline pickup in the background.
Passenger's Side of Truck in 2004
The truck is complete and all origninal. Even the orginal Tartan Turquoise paint appears under the spray can primer paint job the truck received from me back in 1976. The truck will have all of the surface rust treated and will be painted its origninal color of Tartan Turquoise.

The front bumper was damaged while I tried to tow the truck with a chain back in 1978. Not realizing both motor mounts were cracked, I applied the brakes hard one day causing the engine to slide into the radiator. We towed the truck to my house bent bumper and all, repaired all of the damage except for the bumper. It was removed and I drove the truck without one until the truck was parked in 1979. The original bent bumper is still sitting in the bed of the truck right where I left it in 1979. I just found an original replacement bumper from a nice guy in South Dakota who is parting out one of his 1959 Apache trucks.

Rear of Truck in 2004
The steel channel rear bumper and ball hitch will be replaced with a stock bumper to match the front bumper and - along with the tailgate lettering - will be painted Bombay Ivory, the original color. The bed wood will be replaced with stained wood and stainless steel bed srips. Matching stained wood side rails will also be added.
Driver's Side Rear of Truck in 2004
Notice the small rear window, this is standard on all longbeds. All of the original hubcaps are still intact. They will be painted their original color, Bombay Ivory. The rims will be painted Tartan Turquoise to match the body color. The rear tire is mounted beneath the bed of the truck on this model, not on the side as other models.

Although we would much prefer to install an original rear stepside bumper, if we can't locate one, Brothers Chevrolet Truck Parts in Corona, CA. carries a raw stock rear bumper for these trucks. They are the one of the few parts houses that still carries raw exterior trim parts. It's getting harder and harder to find non-chromed parts for these trucks. After we get underway, if we don't locate an original rear stepside bumper, we will get one of from Brothers and also have it painted Bombay Ivory the original stock color. The stock shortbed bumpers are wider then the longbed box end and look funny on a longbed truck by themselves, but with the rear tailights, they should be ok.

One deviation from stock appearance will be the finish of the bed wood. These trucks came with the southern yellow pine bed wood and metal bed strips both painted black. However, we have decided to stray away a little from originality and install stained bed wood and stainless steel bed strips along with matching stained wood side rails.We will either use alder or maple instead of southern yellow pine since we have decided to stain the wood rather than painting it.

On another note, as you can see from the above picture on the left, when I bought the truck, I decided I didn't like the old gold on black license plates, so I traded them in to DMV for the "then" new cool gold on blue ones. I really wished I hadn't done that now! One of the very last items we plan to take care of is to replace the blue and gold plates with an original set of black on gold plates, if we can find a "DMV Approved" set available.

Interior Driver's Door in 2004
The original color of the interior was Beige with Charcoal trim; I spray-painted it with the non-factory beige paint you see above back in 1977. We plan to return the interior to its original color scheme of Beige and Charcoal.
Interior of Truck in 2004
The carpeting will be removed and replaced with an original rubber mat. The glove box cardboard insert was deteriorated back in 1976 and has needed replacement ever since. Now it will finally get done!
Thunderbird Bench Seats in 2004
The bucket seats pictured above were installed in 1976. They are from my brother's old 1963 Ford Thunderbird. They were originally red, we spay-painted them black with vinyl spray paint.

The interior looks pretty good considering how long it has been parked outside. The driverís side wind wing window has been broken out. This allowed a lot of dirt and moisture to enter the cab area. However, there appears not to be too much surface rust inside. We plan on replacing all of the window glass anyway, so the fact that the windshield and back window both are broken did not upset us a whole bunch.

Another Interior Shot in 2004
Original knobs and glass will all be replaced. We plan on installing new window and door mechanisms in both door panels prior to installing new door handles and window cranks. New rubber molding throughout the cab and a new headliner will also be installed.
Closeup of Truck Interior in 2004
After the interior is painted, We plan on having the instrument panel and steering wheel sent out, refurbished and then re-installed. We also plan on installing a complete new wire harness including a dash wiring module.

The original bench seat was removed in 1976. We recently located an original replacement 1959 Apache pickup bench seat from the same guy that sold us our replacement front bumper. It will be reupholstered with charcoal and beige upholstery and reinstalled after the interior is refurbished.

Although the pictures above don't clearly demonstrate it, the truck didn't come with a factory radio. The original dash radio cover plate is still in place. It will be replaced with an original AM factory radio if I can find one. In the meantime, the cover plate will remain in place.

Click on the link below to learn about the initial preparations undertaken to get the truck ready for transport to the restoration shop.





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