Last month, we said we were going to include features as part of the DIY Corner, and we have another good one for you. Nineteen-year-old Malcolm Stevenson may be young, but he's definitely got some walk to back up his talk. Every summer since he was 9, Malcolm has worked full time in a steel fabrication shop, which was a huge shot in the arm that gave him the skills and confidence at an early age to tackle just about any project as well as a keen eye for detail. When Malcolm sent us the pictures of his truck, they told a pretty good story by themselves, so here's Malcolm's story, and we're sure he's sticking to it!
"When my older sister Mikayla was about to start high school, she told my dad that she thought it would be cool to drive an old truck after seeing a '54 Chevrolet 3100 sitting next to an old homestead on the side of the road. My dad has had quite a bit of experience with most anything mechanical, cars included, and he thought it would be a good learning experience for his daughter and would create the opportunity for good family time. After stopping to talk to the gentleman who owned it, we found it was in modest shape, running condition, and had a clear title, although its exact history was unknown. On the trip home after making the deal, one of the U-joints snapped and we had to tow it home, but it made for a fun day anyway.
"Some of the guys who worked for my dad helped my sister in the disassembly process. The shop foreman welded in the Heidt's SupeRide II my dad had ordered, but when things started to get busy again in my dad's shop, the guys could not help anymore. Mikayla started high school and soon couldn't find the time to work on the old blue truck, and so it sat from spring 2001 till fall '04.
"The body had sat in a small metal building behind our house ever since the day after we had it hauled home, and around Thanksgiving break of my junior year of high school, I got tired of watching that old iron rust. Mikayla, with the help of some of the guys, had sanded some of the original paint off, but had left the steel bare and exposed to the elements. I had originally intended to just be a kind little brother and finish sanding and maybe shoot some primer so it would not rust anymore. Well, after many, many packs of Imperial Wet or Dry sandpaper, I asked my dad how much work it would take to finish the truck. He said more than I could imagine, but I decided to ask Mikayla if I could buy it from her and finish it. By then she was a sophomore at Texas A&M University, and she said sure.
"That summer I sold my '95 F-250 and used the money to buy some necessities like glass, weatherstripping, and some reproduction latches and handles for the '54. I also bought the four-link from Heidt's and installed it with some help from Dad. When fall '05 rolled around, I had to concentrate on school, but once football season was over, I had so much more time to get out there and get stuff done.