I've had the pleasure of calling Bob Lathery a friend for quite a long time. Bob and I met years ago at the Goodguys Nats in Columbus, Ohio, not long after he'd finished a similar traditional-style '48 Chevy pickup. In the years that have followed Bob has built a slew of cool classic pickups and street rods-each one nicer than the previous and all in a distinctly traditional style. This past August Bob and I crossed paths again and this time he was behind the wheel of his latest ride, this fine '51 Chevy.
Unlike most of Bob's projects this one was purchased with the majority of the hard work completed-all this baby needed was a bit of the Lathery touch. Bob's always been an adherent of the keep-it-simple-stupid school of thought and he knows exactly how a few minor changes can transform a nice solid driver into a cool hot rod with a decidedly traditional air. So, starting with a solid and mechanically upgraded 40,000-mile pickup he began his "Latherication" by first lowering the pickup's stance, adding some of his signature pinstriping, swapping the hubcaps to a set much more to his liking, redoing the interior in a simple style, and stripping the chrome accessory-laden engine and replacing it with a more subtle and stock-appearing paint scheme-not a huge undertaking, but one that made a world of difference.
As is the case with all of Bob's hot rods, be they classic trucks or cars, they're all driven extensively and without mercy. With this one it's been no different, aside from being driven daily the pickup has been from Bowling Green to Indy by way of Evensville, Columbus, and Annapolis. Like I said Bob doesn't let any grass grow under his wheels.
From what I understand, Bob's got some big plans for this '51, and if there's one thing I've learned over the years, Bob's plans are always achieved and always impressive examples of keeping things simple.
1951 Chevy 3100