Last month, I introduced you all to Project Old School, the newest project vehicle here at CLASSIC TRUCKS. I wouldn't go so far as to say I've bitten off more than I can chew, but that's mostly because I have Chris Daley and the rest of the crew at Totally Polished to lean on. While the original plan was to perform the big window and shortbed stories there and return later for the suspension story, it now looks like the truck will remain there until it leaves as a driver. Oxnard is a long way from Orange County, but I get more work done there than in my garage.
We knew there was a good amount of body filler on the bedsides, but since it had been blocked smooth and there was some metal showing, we had been keeping our fingers crossed that there would be no issues. Man, were we wrong. While cleaning off the areas of the sheetmetal to be cut and welded, we found areas with body filler as much as 1/2-inch-deep (and not just over a dent here or there) areas as large as 18 inches in diameter! By the time we left TP, the bed was thoroughly bodyworked and even had the first coat of primer--which is why much of the bodywork for next issue's installment was performed at this time as well.
For this month, we will concentrate on the actual shortening of the bed and frame. Totally Polished has performed about a dozen of these surgeries in recent years and has it down to a science. After slicing about 20 inches out of the length of the longbed's sheetmetal and chassis, the one other item that needs to be modified is the driveshaft. We took our long and skinny two-piece shaft and left it with Rich at Drive Line Service of Ventura County, where he built us a new shorter, one-piece unit that has a larger diameter similar to the later-model GM products. Follow along as Chris and his assistant, Steve Toomey, perform magic on the battered '64 bed. And, stay tuned for next month when we start welding up holes and slingin' filler.