Restoration of a Chevrolet C15 by Jeremy Tobin

C15 awaiting restoration

I first acquired the truck in Feb 2003 from a chap in East Yorkshire. It came with some spares but was still missing a lot of the rare bits, although it did have a complete original rear Canadain body. A chance meeting with Steve Stone at one of the Malvern shows helped start the ball rolling providing many parts including the spare tyre carrier / toolbox that is one of the most difficult parts to obtain. I then started looking for the two rear brackets that hold the tow hitch spring. Luckily after many ads and 18 months of searching a Norwegian e-mailed to say he had them plus a square roof hatch and seat mounting frames. These I bartered with some parts surplus to my requirements - the deal being done at this years War & Peace show at Beltring. I also met Dirk Leegwater who provided me with more bits.

The engine that came with the truck turned out to be a write off as the sump had been left full of water causing the block to become porous. Another search led to an alternative engine block which at the moment is undergoing some fettling. So far I have replaced the wooden floor of the rear body with new oak boards, ditto the rear tailgate and I am currently looking for the bow hoops to take the canvas plus the lockers fitted to the underside and the cage that holds the 2 gallon petrol tins. I think that I will end up reproducing these rare items, so if anyone has detailed drawings it would be of great help to me. I have spent most of my time and money so far collecting all the bits and bobs - brake shoes, wheel cylinders and hub seals etc and am getting ready to have the chassis / cab shotblasted / painted prior to the start of the rebuild.

Here's an update on my restoration of a 1942 C15 Chevrolet. Well things have progressed some over the last 4 months or so. Back in Sept I had the chassis and cab shotblasted, primed and then moved the whole lot to a new workshop which has been a godsend. I had bad news about the second engine block as it too turned out to be uneconomical to rebuild so back to the drawing board, I located another but it turned out to be the wrong type, then I chanced upon yet another this is a later 1955 235 cu inch straight six. The beauty of this engine is that it has full pressure oiling and more hp. It is also relatively easy to fit to my C15 as the 1940's bell housing and fly wheel fit directly to the new block, also an adapter plate is available that allows you to use a short American 235 water pump in the same position as on the early 216 / 235 block which maintains proper cooling. Again, the front mounting plate swaps straight from a 216, plus you must use the original harmonic balancer from an early 216 / 235 or else the water pump will run too fast. As the blocks are the same length, again it all makes things a tad easier. I know that this engine is not original but good 216 / 235 blocks are hard come by and expensive. The "new" one is still a Chevy block has more H.P. and is more reliable, I hope !!!.

Now things are sorted in my new workshop I have finished cutting off all the odd brackets added over the years to the chassis and replaced the damaged spring hangers on the front. I have now given the chassis 2 undercoats plus 2 top coats of paint. All brake drums and hubs have been removed and new wheel cylinders and brake shoes have been fitted. I am about to start making new brake pipes and fitting the master cylinder. I also need to get brake drums turned, and wheel bearings cleaned and new hub seals fitted etc etc.

To be continued.....

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