Number One Six?
In the June-July issues of CLASSIC TRUCKS, I found the article "The Old Six Fix" very interesting and informative. I have a '49 Chevy long-wheelbase that I intend to restore, but I want to bring it up to safely drive on the highway. In the article you recommended getting a newer six-what year did Chevy and GMC quit using the inline-six? My Dad told me the old sixes could be built up to give a V-8 a run for the money.
H. L. Jones
Via the Internet
Well H. L., while your dad is right for the most part, if your plans are to build a highway cruiser, I'd scrap the high-performance route and stick to a reliable game plan. First, in reply to your initial question, the "traditional" inline-sixes were produced up until 1963, after which they came out with the newer-style 250s-still an "inliner" for all intents and purposes, but probably not what Dad was referring to. However, I'm of the opinion to run whatcha want, not whatcha told, so if you want a good, reliable, strong-running Chevy six, consider a later 250 with either a Turbo 350 or a manual tranny (three-, four-, or five-speed) in tow. You'll still get that famous six-cylinder sound, but you'll also get the added ponies just in case you ever want to give a V-8 a run for its money!
Now, back to the Stovebolts. The desirable 235s can be found in '54-and-later cars and trucks (to be more specific, '53 Powerglide-equipped Bel Airs as well, but the "better" of the better 235s are '56-and-later versions). Keep in mind, though, to ease your engine swap and retain your front engine mounts and side bellhousing mounts, make sure to grab the appropriate timing cover backing plate that features the mount tabs, and don't let your stock bellhousing sprout legs and disappear on you!
Desperately Seeking Body Shop!
Four years back I started work on a '51 Chevy pickup hot rod/restoration. It is mounted on an '86 S-10 frame and has a modified 350 to power it. About two years ago I started looking for someone to do the bodywork on the cab, which has already been stripped, sandblasted, and primed. I live in the Houston, Texas, area and have exhausted all leads to find a body shop that does true bodywork and not just insurance parts changing. Any help you or your readers in the Houston area could give me would be greatly appreciated.I may be reached at Donh2525@aol.com.
Via the Internet
Don, I hope this helps in some way or another. I'm sure we've got at least a few readers in your area, so keep your fingers crossed: one of them knows of a worthy shop. If you were in the DFW area, I'd be of some assistance, but I don't know if you're up for traveling that distance-if you are, you might want to consider making it to the Goodguys Lone Star Nats October 5-7, as there's sure to be a number of "qualified applicants" in attendance in attendance.
I just finally got around to reading my August issue of CLASSIC TRUCKS and your editorial was the first I read. I have to say that I could not agree more. As one of the younger generation (I'm 23 and drive a '55 F-100) who drives classic trucks, I see more disrespect from my fellow young people than I would ever have imagined. Maybe I am just a little old fashioned, but I don't understand the complete disregard for everything old. I think that the distaste on the part of my peers for anything old has, in part, caused me to want more of the old than the new things in life. My newest car was a '68 F-250 until recently when I bought a '75 VW Campmobile, and all I have ever heard about from my friends is how dumb I am for throwing money into my cars; that is until I sell one of them and make a profit-then those same friends don't have too much to say. But I really just wanted to let you know that there are a small percentage of us younger generation who still do respect the older things in life and are willing to stick up for the validity of these things. You won't be getting any hit and runs from me.
Thanks for the message, Ryan. I do know that there are lots more younger people out in the world who share your sentiments and values-unfortunately, they're mostly shadowed by the rest who don't! Each and every day I'm reminded of that, and it just makes my blood boil. On the flip side of that coin, at least it's taught me to be a better parent!