Ron Brubaker and his wife just like trucks-simple as that. Well, maybe it's not that simple. See, they like trucks that can be driven and were in the market. Over the course of the last 70 years, Ron has learned a lesson or two, and he knew they needed to start with a truck that would only require minor work to fulfill their cruising needs. To do so, Ron ventured west of their home in Ohio and wound up in California to look at a clean, rust-free '50 Chevy 3100 pickup that might be just the ticket.
As it turned out, the little Chevy did fill the bill, so Ron brought it back to Ohio, where he and his friend Dave Taylor got to work tying up the loose ends the previous owner abandoned. Ron found the truck already painted a nice burgundy color with cream accents behind the grille that suited his taste. The interior had been repainted and the upholstery on the original bench seat had been redone to stock specs, as well as adding the same Naugahyde to the doors where there was none originally.
The suspension and brakes on the truck were also stock, which would soon be reworked for reliable road travel. The guys got busy replacing the stock high-geared rearend with one from a Chevy passenger car that had a better ratio for the highway. They also had the new rearend's axle flanges redrilled to the truck's original six-lug pattern so Ron could retain the stock 16-inch steel wheels that he wrapped in Coker 6.00-16 whitewalls to maintain the truck's original good looks. A chrome Corvette-style brake master cylinder, complete with a power booster and stainless steel lines, was mounted up on the firewall to rid the truck of the single-reservoir manual master cylinder, making it safer and easier to drive.
The previous owner had installed a small-block and Turbo 350 motor and trans of '75 vintage that was in good shape internally but needed help to get it running right, like a new carburetor and MSD electronic ignition. A little bit of chrome was added to the motor as well for good measure since Ron and Dave had already replaced most of the hardware on the truck with polished stainless steel and chrome pieces. About all that was left now was to finish the wiring and convert the original six-volt gauges to 12-volt, which proved to be the toughest job the guys had, but they figured it out in the end and were very happy with the results.
A year after taking on the project, the Brubakers were ready to hit the road. They were as anxious as teenagers to do so, and they haven't stopped since. Have fun, kids!