Jim and Sabrina's
1959 Chevrolet Apache 32 Stepside Pickup
The First Drive - July 16, 2005

While Sabrina was still sleeping I got up and drove over to Auto Tek. This particular Saturday morning was nice and cool and the skies were clear. It was another beautiful summer day. John immediately stopped what he was doing when I walked up to the bay where my truck was parked and came over and said “boy, have I got some things to show you today.” The first thing he told me was that he drove the truck up onto the rack where it was parked. I said, “You drove it?” He said, “I sure did!” I said “well, you got it straight on the rack.” He replied, “I installed a temporary steering column and steering wheel in it the other day.” “John went on to say, “check it out!” With that, he led me to the left front side of the truck and opened the driver’s door to reveal an installed steering column and wheel. Here is a picture of the temporary setup and a picture of the driveline that depicts the reinstalled spare tire:

After I studied the makeshift installation for a few moments, John told me that he installed the column and steering wheel so he can move the truck around the shop over the next few days as it will need to moved back and forth between a few of the shop’s bays and it is getting heavier and heavier to push these days as more of it gets reassembled.

John also let me know about the other progress he has made on the truck over the past week. He re-installed the original emergency brake cable lines to the rear wheels as they still remained in very good shape. Also, as the picture above illustrates, John reinstalled the spare tire after repairing and painting the tire hanger assembly to hold the tire up in place.

He also performed a front-end alignment and finished tightening the front bumper bolts. I let John know that I ordered an original used steering column from to Fred’s Truck Parts located in Tucson, AZ. Fred told me when I ordered it that he will get it shipped right away and we should receive it by the end of next week. John was happy to hear that.

We also discussed the items that John will tackle next. Here is the upcoming list of items inline for installation:

After reviewing the upcoming game plan, I said goodbye to John and headed back home. Even though the “first drive” was only a few feet, I reflected on my way home that this was a milestone. The truck is coming together very nice. John's goal is to have it ready to be an entrant in the upcoming Labor Day Car Cruise held every year at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, CA. He has been working very hard to make it possible for us to participate in that event. Each year Auto Tek serves as one of the sponsors for this big event to show off their fine work. I thought as I drove home that I sure hope John makes his goal.

To check out the installation of the restored factory AM radio and the rest of our latest report, click on the "Next" button below.





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