"Cruisin' Arizona"


We purchased our '69 Chevy stepside truck at our car club picnic in September, 2002. Norm spotted her cruising around the ramada with an "I'm For Sale Sign". Norm had been searching for a 69 Chevy Stepside truck -- not to restore -- just drive around. Red flag for Lois! She'd been there before.

It was several years earlier that we attended a classic car show in Roseburg, Ore. -- thought we'd go to a car auction just for fun -- we left with a '55 Chevy! The auctioneer billed the "55" as a real driver - she could cross country back and forth with no problems. As I replayed in my mind what the auctioneer had said - I was shocked and scared as I followed Norm down the super highway at top speeds of 15-20 miles per hour. I listened to a gasping engine and watched the smoke billowing out of the exhaust pipe! This was my first exposure to a "real driver". I am now educated. And so are my girlfriends. You see, we all went to the same auction for fun -- their husbands left with a '38 Buick and a '63 Chevy -- their condition was about the same as Norm's. It was quite an entourage heading down the freeway. As we saw several triple-piggy back semis fast approaching in our rear view mirror, we did the smart thing -- we passed the entourage, waved, and said "you guys are on your own"!

It took about a year for the "55" to be completely rebuilt. She's now a "real driver" and leaves no trail behind her. She is well-known and loved by all the car part delivery drivers. Their participation makes them feel like family!

And so it would go with the little stepside truck -- completely tore down and rebuilt! But I don't think there's a triple piggyback semi that can pass her. Our '69 Stepside truck and engine were painted a beautiful cayenne red with a motor just as hot! We had her pin-striped by Andy at the 2003 Beeline Cruise-In. She sports a Chevy 350 ci 4 bolt main engine, bored .060 over, Comp cam, port matched the '68 2.02 heads, roller rocker, Rhodes Lifters, Hooker Headers, Holly 750 cfm carburetor. Norm designed and built the electric tail gate and the incrementing LED tail lights. He reworked the bed and fit an aluminum 18-gallon gas tank under the rear of the pickup. The truck also has OLD/Air heater A/C, 700R4 overdrive transmission, 4:10 Eaton Posi-traction rear end and a fiberglass bed cover. Rock ‘n Roll tunes roar out of a Sony Xplod Am/FM/CD radio and 10 disk CD Changer.

I have to admit that being part of the restoration of a classic vehicle is exhilarating - helping to bleed the brakes is not! If the guys could just learn to tell us when to push down and when to let up on the brakes, they just might be able to talk us into doing more - but I don't think so. Our job is to call out to the shop in the middle of the night and say, "Are you ready to eat yet?"

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