In one way or another, we all seem to be pretty well immersed in this hobby of ours. Most of us, though, get to enjoy the hobby in our spare time. Harry Weimann is one of a small number of enthusiasts who have the enviable opportunity of earning their living while enjoying their hobby. Maybe that's why Harry drives this flamed classic Chevy pickup to work with a huge smile on his face.
Harry is a program director at Pennsylvania's WyoTech, where he plays an important role in shaping young students into skilled mechanics. He oversees WyoTech's Street Rod, Chassis Fabrication, and High Performance Powertrain program at the ever-popular college. With a family in mind during his younger years, Harry built rides he could haul the kids in. He'd always had a fondness for '47-54 Chevy trucks, so he started looking for one when the kids grew up.
When Harry's wife stumbled across an ad for a '54 Chevy truck in the local paper, he called the owner. When he went to look at the truck, he decided to buy it the moment he saw it because, well, it had a certain style he'd always liked. In fact, this particular style of Chevrolet truck was only made in 1954 and in the beginning of 1955. They were popular because of their bullnose front, one-piece windshield, flat-top bed sides, and step-down rear bumper. Harry brought the truck home to Greensburg, Pennsylvania, rolled up his sleeves, and got to work. The truck was driveable, he said, and had been the basis for a partially completed updating project.
Though it was painted PPG Chevy Truck Red by a previous owner and the finish was good, the rest of the truck needed some TLC. The body was stock and all steel except for the fiberglass rear fenders. Oak slats surrounded by stainless steel slats were used to fill the bed. Wanting to maintain a nostalgic look for his ride, he thought it would make a great experience for some of the students to work on the truck.
The project began by redoing the front suspension. A Heidt's Mustang II crossmember was added along with Speedway Motors spindles featuring a two-inch drop. The truck was soon sitting down in the weeds where it belongs. The control arms were rebuilt and Monroe shocks were added along with disc brakes with 11-inch rotors for reliable stopping power. In back, the original springs were retained, but a Ford Posi-traction 9-inch rearend was installed on 1 1/2-inch lowering blocks from Chassis Engineering. Monroe shocks were selected to enhance driving comfort. GM Rally wheels were mounted on the front, with wider (8-inch) Stockton Rallys out back. National P225/75R15 tires were mounted on all four corners.