Just as there are for any manmade piece of history, there’s a story behind every classic pickup that’s been fortunate enough to have escaped their date with the crusher. A lot of these old beasts of burden have possibly languished in a barn or shed forlorn and forgotten for years, while others were held onto and at some point passed from one owner to the next. Some end up being lovingly restored; others wired and duct taped together just enough to remain useful and on the road for years. Most have passed through so many hands over the years that their stories have long ago been lost forever. Not so with this particular old timer though. The ’49 Chevy Thriftmaster here before you is one such survivor, and to one loving owner a very special pickup at that.
Though this one’s earliest history had been partially lost, its story picked back up when Albert Griego (father of current owner Valerie Garcia) purchased the well-worn workhorse back in 1981. Though much less appealing to the eye, Albert saw potential in the beat-up old Chevy and without hesitation plunked down the cash needed to make it his.
After much time and a lot of elbow grease Valerie’s father eventually completed the pickup’s show-quality restoration, and for years afterward, car shows and cruises occupied the family’s weekends and holidays – all the while with Albert working diligently adding and removing parts and accessories on the truck as the spirit moved him. Though Albert bought, restored, and sold many a vehicle in the ensuing years, the ’49 was always a keeper and an important part of both Albert and his loving daughter Valerie’s life.
Sadly back in 2007 Valerie’s father passed away. Afterward her mother was intermittently approached by people offering to buy the pickup, but the Chevy her husband Albert had loved so much had a special place in her and Valerie’s heart and they just couldn’t imagine selling it to someone outside of the family.
Finally in 2009, Valerie’s husband Adrian Garcia purchased the ’49 from his mother-in-law and began the pickup’s complete refurbishment soon after. After lots of setbacks and bumps in the road along the way, the Chevy’s second restoration was completed in the fall of 2012 and Valerie couldn’t have been happier. She was sure her father would have loved what had become of his ’49, and she told her husband Adrian that no words, no diamond ring, or no high-dollar gift he could have ever given her could ever compare to the priceless gift the restoration of her father’s pickup meant to her. And to this day Valerie cruises her Chevy pickup in loving memory to her father and with heartfelt thanks to her husband Adrian for his hard work and craftsmanship.
1949 Chevry Thriftmaster 3100
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Frame: modified stock:
Rearend / Ratio: Chevy 10-bolt / 3.73:1:
Rear suspension: Scott’s Hot Rod Shop four-link, Slam Specialties air springs, RideTech RidePro E3
Rear brakes: drum
Front suspension: Scott’s Hot Rod Shop Superslam IFS, Slam Specialties air springs, RideTech RidePro E3
Front brakes: Wilwood disc
Steering box: power rack-and-pinion
Front wheels: 15x7 Wheelsmith Smoothies, Bernalillo Tire
Rear wheels: 15x7 Wheelsmith Smoothies, Bernalillo Tire
Front tires: Coker Classic 185/75R15
Rear tires: Coker Classic 225/60R15
Gas tank: custom aluminum by Buck’s Fabrication
Engine: ’74 Chevy 250ci inline-six
Valve cover: Offenhauser:
Manifold / Induction: Offenhauser / Carter (2)
Headers: stovebolt, cast iron
Exhaust / Mufflers: 2½-inch aluminized / turbo
Transmission: Saginaw three-speed by Mike’s Transmission
Style: 3100 pickup
Modifications: restored, custom tailgate by Dad (Albert Griego)
Fenders front / rear: stock
Bodywork and paint by: Rod “Stump” Smith, Jerry & Justin Vigil, Alfredo
Paint type / Color: PPG / Honeydew Mellon Mist (custom mix)
Headlights / Taillights: stock / Drag Specialties
Bumpers: Classic Industries
Dashboard: stock, chrome inserts
Stereo: Retro Sound RC-900C
Steering wheel: 14-inch Forever Sharp
Steering column: ididit
Upholstery by: unknown
Material / Color: marbleized vinyl / brown
Carpet: custom by Cibola Upholstery