My '37 Chevy Truck
found my 37 Chevy truck on the side of the road, dead, in Clovis,
It took me no time at all to strip her down
to the frame. The
air in New
Mexico was so dry
the only rust was light surface rust.
sand blasted and painted the frame, and started the LONG process of
I had the engine rebuilt
by a man
named Billy Bob who had
forgotten more about that truck than I’ll ever know.
He helped me make sure all the drive train
was in order and within tolerances.
remembered all those numbers correctly without reference to the book on
shelf. There was a
"parts store" (junk
yard) in town that had what was left of a 36-38 chevy ½ ton. There wasn’t enough left
to tell exactly
which year it was. I
got a few
mechanical parts from it, and the two cross members for the frame I was
missing. About the
time I was done with the parts
available from that parts store, the Air Force moved me down the road
hours to Alamogordo,
There was a whole new set
of parts at
their parts store. I
found the interior panels, and some other
smaller sheet metal pieces I needed there.
The blessings of the small town in New Mexico
came up again when it was time to
paint. I went into
“the” paint store in
town thinking I would look at paint chips and just pick some I liked. When the owner asked me
what year it was, I
jokingly told him “A '37 Chevy ½ ton, do you have the book?” Sure enough, he came out
of the back with the
original paint chips. We
matched them up
in the computer, so those are original colors.
Try that in the big city.
the truck was fun, and I put her in a few car
shows and took home several trophies for “best paint” and “People’s
eventually became ready for a new project, but
the wife said only one toy at a time.
I sold the truck to a fellow in California. Last I heard he had put it
in the museum for
their tribute to Chevy trucks, and now is enjoying driving it in San
I've been asked by a few
readers to recommend some good books on '37 Chevy Trucks.
to Restore Your Chevrolet Pickup, by Tom Brownell.
I have read
it through several times. It has many specific tips and
procedures that I found really useful during my
restoration. I read it through first, before starting my
project, and then I referred back to it many times once my project was
Chevrolet Pickup Color History, which is also by Tom
specifically about the 1937, but it covers everything from 1918 to
1994. Great information and wonderful pictures.
This would be a good "coffee table" kind of book.
You can still find a
version of the
Chevrolet Shop Manual
This is what I had. A Shop Manual is very important
you intend to restore the truck to original condition.
But now you can also
get factory licensed Shop Manuals for the '37
Chevy Truck on CD-ROM. I sure wish I had one of
when I was
rebuilding my truck. In fact, these guys also have Shop Manuals for all Big Three makes and
models from 1909 to 1981! One of the really cool
features of these is that they include Parts Books. The
Illustrated Parts Breakdown (IPB) diagrams in these are fantastic, and
really help in understanding exactly how to assemble various parts.
I've used this type of IPB on other projects before
and found them invaluable.
First, the 1937 Chevrolet Truck Owner's Manual
high on "cool points" for me. It also
had many good pictures which proved very useful for restoration to
original condition. I had the Owner's Manual, and I included
it, along with the Shop Manual, when I sold the truck.
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