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Discussion Starter #1
Yeah yeah.. it's not a Camaro but some of you guys are old friends so I figured I'd show ya what followed me home this past weekend. I was born in 1956 and have had a ton of old cars & trucks but for some odd reason one from my birth year has always eluded me. Had a couple 57 Bel Airs a 55 and a ton of stuff in the late 50s & all of the 60s & early 70s but never a 56 anything. Finally I have the 56 I've always wanted. She's a rough old girl from New Mexico but has good bones and will make a fine project now that my Camaro is finished. Started disassembly yesterday. Lemme know what ya think. Anybody got any parts throw me a PM.
 

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Awesome truck and awesome year to choose Mark! If It were mine, I'd go for a Tow Mater clone--(from the Movie CARS)... Seriously! Since seeing that movie with my kids, and I've watched it dozens of times (both of them)... I've envisioned building either a Tow Mater or Lightning McQueen clone. This would be a perfect truck to do it with! (although I think Tow Mater was a '51 International? ) Enjoy the journey! Excited to witness it.:beers:
 

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Congrats on the '56, Mark.
She's cruiser for sure, Tough Girl, been through alot, She'll tell ya.
Good luck with the journey and the new relationship.
 

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Mark:

Very cool man.

Glad to know I am not the only one on here who LOVES old trucks.
Looks like a great start. I am jealous.

I need to get some work done on my old 1.5 ton Studpecker truck with a dump bed. It is the first vehicle I have ever owned that is older than me. I think I am going to clear it to try and keep the old truck look. It is unbelievably solid.

Still, your 1/2 ton looks like a ton of fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Lynn. It's a cool old truck. Yours is VERY cool as well. Only thing I ever owned that was older than me was a 39 Chevy Coupe that I had big plans for many years ago. Unfortunately my wallet said no and it was passed on to a good friend. And yeah the drivers side "dent" is supposed to be there. Unfortunately the passenger side rear fender has one almost as big and some pretty severe rust as well. The good part is that living down here in Tennessee I called a couple of OLD salvage yards and they have these trucks in their inventory. And the rear stepside beds are the same from 55-66. Also much like the first gen Camaros, nearly everything for these trucks is being repopped. Just takes cubic yards of money to buy them. For example both front fenders are pretty crusty and have been badly repaired in the past. A repro pair is $1000. :sad: Now I'm off to Harbor Freight to see if I can buy a "clutch head" socket. 40 years of turning wrenches and I only ever needed the really small one that fits Holley carbs. Now I need a big one to take the rear fenders off. For you young pups who haven't got a clue what I'm talking about this is a clutch head bolt.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Love it, Mark! What are your plans for it?

(Too bad about that big dent in the rear fender, though ;))
Tom it's probably going to be restored to the extent of looking stock. Maybe even painted wheels and dog dish hubcaps. Mild smallblock with a 700R trans since I have a good one under the bench and this truck likely has 4.11 gears. It's a 3200 series which is a 3/4 ton and those were geared pretty low for use on the farm. Then just use it as a driver. Car shows, grocery getter, parts runs, etc. It's a truck. That's what they're for. On another note the wife & I have been "prospecting" for a local car club all Summer. Last night we got voted in and are the newest members of the Ridgerunners Rod & Customs from Greeneville TN. Yay me ! LoL PS... you should come down and help me with this truck & we'll pass around a jar of shine..
 

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Very cool truck and Awesome project- Camaro or not, its worthy of a spot on this site. Thank you for posting it.
 

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Now I'm off to Harbor Freight to see if I can buy a "clutch head" socket. 40 years of turning wrenches and I only ever needed the really small one that fits Holley carbs. Now I need a big one to take the rear fenders off. For you young pups who haven't got a clue what I'm talking about this is a clutch head bolt.
Man, forgot about clutch head screws. I remember one of those on my 57 chevy. Not sure, but seems like it held a headlight bucket in place. My dad had a very limited tool assorment, so I ended up finding a flat blade screwdriver to fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Lynn the clutch head bolts have been dealt with using my trusty cutoff wheel and when I put it back together the fenders will be held on with button head Allen bolts. Here is todays progress. The rear bumper must have weighed 100lbs, was bolted on AND welded on and also had extra braces welded from it to the frame. The old girl must have been towing a cattle trailer or some such contraption in her younger years. All traces of scabby welding are now gone. The frame is actually much cleaner as far as rust than the frame in my 2002 S10.
 

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I'm envious....

Dad had a 57 when I was a youngster. Had a 6cyl and I recall tagging along to the wrecking yard to find a 283 as a replacement. Have loved those pick-ups and that body style ever since...:yes:

Good to hear body panels are readily available. How 'bout bumpers ? Maybe I'm wrong, but thinkin there was a couple different style rear bumpers available from the factory. A chrome light duty or a heavier towing bumper ? Dad's had a painted (silver) heavy rear bumper, I'm not sure if it was factory or aftermarket. Overall, your cab looks quite solid. How's the floor boards ?

I must say, after watching these old trucks cross the auction block at Mecum, Barrett- Jackson, etc, I'd say they're as sound of an investment, or more so , as any other American Classic. :thumbsup:

Thanks for sharing. An interesting build indeed......:popcorn:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
the floor is surprisingly good considering it's been sitting for quite awhile with no windshield. One small area on the passenger side toe board needs attention. Cleaning out the junk in the cab is todays project in fact. Remains of the broken windshield, tattered rubber floor mat, junk, etc. Bumper choice is also a White painted light duty but I'm not sure which way I'm going with this as far as paint & chrome. There was the same choice with the grille, headlight trim,etc. Painted White or chrome. This one was the base model with painted trim originally.
 

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Was thinking some rear bumpers were more like a car bumper, no hitch. How 'bout the "step bumper" with ball hitch, were those factory and could they be had in chrome (factory)?

Yeah, Dad's 57 had white trim.....If I had a 57, that grill would definitely be chrome ! :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Well after cleaning out 500lbs of New Mexico mud, broken glass, remnants of rubber floor mat, etc. here's what appeared. There is some cancer on the drivers side as well as the passenger side toe boards but for being 57 years old I'm fine with it. Nearly every panel on these is being reproduced just like the Camaro stuff. Much of the floor still has original paint under the dirt & surface rust. I'll probably wheel it outside & pressure wash it so I can see exactly what I'm dealing with. Front tulip panels are shot as are the rear cab corners. Drivers door is toast. You have to remember these were work trucks and their owners did whatever was needed to keep them working so the door hinges have been welded to the door, a short piece of chain welded from the door to the door post to keep it from opening too far, a chunk of angle iron welded from the bottom hinge to the front cab mount, etc. The passenger door can be saved but I will have to rebuild the tulip since the bottom hinge bolts through this part of the cab with a long bolt. I guess this is a good time to learn to weld... Tag team guys do these rivets on the door post data plate look fake ? LoL Finding some cool stuff that I was not aware of with these old trucks. For example there is a partial VIN stamped into the top of the left front frame rail just above the front straight axle. And yes it matches the cab & yes I'm keeping the straight axle because I think it's cool. They make a kit that comes with rotors that fit the stock spindles and caliper brackets to convert it to 4 3/4 5 lug bolt pattern and I'm planning to swap out the rear for a 2nd gen Camaro since the original rear is toast, is way too heavy, and uses 6 lug wheels. I already have a set of old school 5 spoke mags under the bench I've been saving for my next project. Did a little work on a neighbors Chevy Tracker yesterday and he's giving me a 4 bolt main 350 he's got taking up space in his garage. Still up in the air on trans. I have a good 700R4 as well as a good Saginaw 4spd under the bench so I'll make that decision later. Ordered a bunch of free catalogs for truck stuff. Blew the dust off my old truck service manuals and my Hollander parts interchange book. The Camaro is done and I've owned and built more of them than I can count. This new adventure is kinda like having a new girlfriend. Without the wife sticking a hatchet in my head and all of that nasty stuff...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have this pic I stole off the net stuck above my work bench out in the shop and I can't stop looking at it... Tell me what ya all think.
 

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