Where's The Longbed Love?!
I've written you in the past about my love for the 1967-72 Chevy C-20 pickups, and the project that I'm currently working on is a '70 C-20 that HAD a straight body on it, until my neighbor's tree crew dropped a tree on the bed! I will have to replace the entire passenger side bed panel. Do you know of anyone who is making these panels? I called Truck Shop in Orange County because they advertise them in their catalog, but everyone there hasn't a clue why, because they don't actually carry them! Am I going to be stuck sifting through junkyards looking for a lesser-quality panel then I began with? Any leads you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
Simi Valley, CA
You'd think that with the vast number of longbed '67-72 Chevy trucks on the road still to this day (C-10s and C-20s), someone would repop Fleetside bed panels, wouldn't you? Unfortunately, according to my search results, that isn't so. But I was able to track down a "possible" availability of used panels through Classic Parts Depot in La Habra, California. You can reach them at 562-694-6113 or online at www.classicpartsdepot.com. Good luck!
Fight For Your Right
You are doing a great job with Classic Trucks magazine. I especially like the way you mix articles on perfect custom trucks with stock trucks and all types in between. I truly liked the "Straight-Axle Straighten-Up" article and look forward to the rest of the series.
As a resident of Chino Hills, California, I too have been keeping an eye on the looming regulatory assault on our ability to drive our classic trucks. I have had my '54 Chevy half-ton since 1974 and have used it as a daily driver for many years. Now that I am retired, I just drive the truck and my wife drives the Toyota Solara.
If the state takes away my right to drive my truck, I will not have anything to drive and the motoring public will lose out on a lot of smiles and free entertainment without the old "time machine" spreading good cheer while cruising down the road. I guess I could figure out a way to deal with a mileage limitation if the restriction was not too drastic, but experience and common sense tell me it will be drastic. Being "allowed" to drive to car shows and parades will not do it for me.
Yes, I am willing to fight for driving my classic truck. I keep my stock 235 engine in top running condition in a stock truck, except for a post-'55 Chevy truck open drive setup with a three-on-the-tree overdrive transmission and three-point safety belts. I have been considering my options if the state that cannot balance a budget, cannot fix the water system, and cannot fix the roads decides to make itself feel good by ordering my truck off the road. I would pay to install a modern engine that could pass smog tests before I would give up my truck. There are some things I do not want to do without, such as my wife, my kids, and my truck. Did you say the state government? Yeah, I can do without that-at least most of it.
I would love to see Classic Trucks do some articles to educate us about some of the best options for converting to modern, smog-legal, good-mileage engines in an environment of constantly increasing regulations.
Via the Internet
While my hat's off to you, Rod, for not only being willing to fight for your right to own/drive a classic, it's off to you for being willing to "adapt." See, even though I'm not quite as willing as you-at least not yet-the scenario I portrayed was an extreme situation that, while not out of the question of being foreseeable, is probably further down the road than I anticipate (if it's not obvious by now, I'm something of a pessimist!). Be that as it may, you provided just the answer I was looking to get out of readers-how far they would be willing to go in order to preserve their rights. For the most part, I figured a lot of people would just as soon relegate their classics to storage status than retrofit mechanically in order to meet emissions and driving standards, so again, cheers to you for the willingness to go that extra step!
I just finished reading your editorial from the September '08 issue, "Skills To Pay The Bills," and I could not agree with you more about how hard it can be to actually finish a project. Unfortunately, when it comes to the automotive kind, my record is actually worse than yours, as I have never had one that I thought was complete. Now as I understand it, most guys fall in that column. So to some degree I think you can take heart in the fact that you have completed one. Congratulations!
Unfortunately for me, my job for the past year has taken me on the road for most of 40 weeks, and that obviously does not leave much time for hobbies on the weekends (something about cutting grass and trying to spend time with my family and significant other). Fortunately for me, though, I have found CLASSIC TRUCKS magazine, a fine piece of literature for sure! One of my current projects is a '66 Chevy Fleetside, for which my goal is just to get it back on the road as a driver. I am almost there, so please keep your fingers crossed for me.
Anyway, all of my rambling is to just let you know that I am truly appreciative of your craft as an editor. I have read Super Chevy in years past, and for the last few years I have subscribed to Chevy Hi-Performance, both great magazines in their own right, but I have now found a magazine that brings a true grin to my face when I see its cover. Yes, I'm a Chevy guy through and through, but somehow I don't mind the articles on all the other guys.
Well, the clock has just clicked past midnight here in Clarksville, Tennessee, so I will bid you a good evening. Keep up the great work and look for my subscription to follow soon!
Via the Internet