Jim and Sabrina's
1959 Chevrolet Apache 32 Stepside Pickup
A Diehard in Drag - July 10, 2005

After completing some morning errands, on Saturday, July 10th, Sabrina and I stopped in at Auto Tek to check in with the guys. John was busy working on other customer’s cars but stopped and greeted us to show us his work during the past week. Tom joined him to show us the cool maintenance-free battery they received during the past week. It is an OEM style AC-Delco Group 24 2SMR53 General Motors battery from Restoration Battery located in Cincinnati, OH. Here are a few pictures of the battery:

Restoration Battery offers a complete line of maintenance-free batteries that are EXACT replicas of assembly-line batteries for classic, restored and survivor cars and trucks. The battery in our truck looked authentic. It still has the yellow caps and the raised DELCO lettering on the front of the case.

Tom explained that he believes Restoration Battery takes a standard maintenance-free battery (not really a diehard – but close) that is just a bit smaller then a group 24 battery and bonds the reproduction outer case to it. They then, screw on the vintage style yellow caps to the top of the faux case to complete the “original-appearance” package. We were very impressed with the product. Restoration Battery offers a four-year pro-rated warranty with a 90-day free replacement provision. I hope we don’t get the opportunity to utilize their offer.

While at the shop, we also discussed the steering column. I let John know I was going to search for another original column to replace our damaged column. During the original demolition of the truck while preparing it for the acid dip, it was necessary to cut the column just below the steering wheel. I told John I had a couple of lines on locating a column and I would try and get one shipped to their shop as soon as possible. We then let John get back to work on his other project and Sabrina and I continued on with our other projects and just enjoying this nice Southern California summer weekend.

On this past Saturday, July 2, 2005, Sabrina and I drove over to the local office of the Automobile Club of Southern California located in Anaheim, CA. This trip was for a special reason. It was time to get the old Apache back into the DMV’s computer system. We checked in at the information counter and soon were called by Christen Calayag (one of the AAA DMV clerks). Christen was excited when we told her why we were there. She had just came back from a training session the day before that taught the course participants how to perform this particular task. As soon as I handed her the title and last registration card for the truck, she immediately started typing in her computer. The truck was last registered in 1980. However, she confirmed it no longer was in the system.

She entered the information from the title and registration cards I gave her into the DMV computer system. I also submitted a completed “DMV Statement of Facts Form” indicating the fact that the truck has been non-operative and has not been on the public streets since it was last registered. After a quick consult with her supervisor, she advised me the DMV registration fee would be $77.00. I wrote her a check for the $77.00 dollars and she gave me a 90-day temporary operating permit. Once the truck is completely operational, we will drive it over to her office and after she verifies the vehicle identification number, she will give me the plates and registration sticker and once again the truck will be fully registered in California.

The new plates will be the fourth set issued to this truck. However, they won’t be on it long. As soon as we get them, we will head straight to the DMV to have them replaced with a fifth set of plates - the 1956 base plates and year of manufacture sticker that we bought from Dave Hindman owner of Dave's California License Plates located in Vacaville, CA. Christen asked us to please make sure *she* is the one at AAA to complete the last step. After she took a quick look at this website, she really became interested in seeing the truck. Sabrina and I promised her we would ask for her when we bring the truck in for its final verification. As we walked out of the AAA office, it felt good to know that after all of these years, our old truck was back in the system and listed as a valid California vehicle.

To check out the report detailing the account of the truck's first drive in 26 years, click onto the “Next” button below.





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