We finish up the 1980 Chevrolet truck project…for now!

You know how it goes…It is hard to stop once you get started detailing or cleaning a particular area, in this case the engine compartment.

1980 Chevrolet Truck battery box A battery box that looks like this can not go back. I think you agree!


1980 Chevrolet Truck battery box new

The popularity of these trucks makes for a very healthy aftermarket industry supplying anything you want. For about 50 clams this two part battery box showed up at my door.


1980 Chevrolet Truck Brakes after urunary explosion

I noticed that the brake pedal was a bit low during the drive. Turns out that the rear brake cylinders endured a urinary explosion. Well, it looks like it’s been going on for a while. Funny thing, the braking performance did not really changed much. It tells you how much we rely on the front brakes on a vehicle.

In any event, with the powerful V8 installed we have to have good brakes in all corners. Back to that Very World Wide Wild Web again and within days I have brand name brake shoes, cylinders and hardware kit for pocket change. Working on a domestic truck that that was made by the billions has it’s advantages.

1980 Chevrolet Truck Brakes after repair

There! Mo betta. (yup, technical term)

1980 Chevrolet Truck Brake Drum painted

Small detail but important to any verified sufferer of OCD. I just realized that I can see the rusty drum through the slots in the wheels. That’s a no-no so I added a coat of wrinkle finish black to the drum.

1980 Chevrolet C10 truck side

See! Well no see! Now you can’t see the rusty drum beaming out through the slots.


1980 Chevrolet C10 truck rear

With the bumper in the right location and the truck all detailed we got our self a decent parts hauler. The 2 1/2 inch stainless dual pipes make sure everybody knows we have V8 power.

1980 Chevrolet C10 truck front side

Damn it! Now I have to fix up the interior! No rest for the wicked!

Fall is here

Well, at least here on the US west coast.  We do have seasons and a crisp fall day can offer some of the best driving weather. Great colors all around and your carbureted collector car enjoys cold oxygen rich air for excellent combustion pleasures. What’s not to like?

Get out for a fall drive!

1967 Volvo 122S Wagon in the fall


Fall Vintage Volvo Meet

Every fall the Vintage Volvo gang get together for a “end of season” meet at the picturesque park by Lake Washington in Juanita. The weather was perfect and a good mix of vintage Volvos showed up.

Vintage Volvo Meet 2013 1800 white front side

This 1964 P1800 is a stunner. Can you say Simon Templar?
I like everything except the modern wheels.

Vintage Volvo Meet 2013 1800 white rear

Yup, looks good from every angle.


Vintage Volvo Meet 2013 Jensen 1800 white front

These older style Jensen bumper are about as pretty as it gets. They were replaced with more “modern” bumpers in 1966.

Vintage Volvo Meet 2013 1800 white air intake

Here is another item that was later replaced with a cheesy aluminum cover. This cast air intake is a thing of beauty!

Vintage Volvo Meet 2013 1800S blue

1967 1800S

Vintage Volvo Meet 2013 PV

Funny thing, there were more 444’s and 544’s than any other Volvo at this meet.

Vintage Volvo Meet 2013 PV two

See…they are everywhere!

Vintage Volvo Meet 2013 PV rear

Vintage Volvo Meet 2013 German BMW bike

Even some German iron manage to infiltrate the meeting. This very nice original BMW motorcycle is parked next to a Volvo 1800ES but we can live with it.

Vintage Volvo Meet 2013 German BMW 2002

Another German snuck in! A super straight BMW 2002 did not hurt anyone’s feelings, though. Kind of like the German version of the Volvo 142 model. Great color, stick shift and sunroof. What’s not to like?

We like all vintage and classic cars.

It was a good day for all!


Steel Blue Metallic (Stålblå) Volvo 123GT

Editor’s note: We are moving some files and articles over to this dynamic steam powered database driven webbus siteus as the old static files will soon explode. You may have seen some of these articles before…if so…click on something else…or go in the shop and build something!  Just saying…

Steel Blue Metallic (Stålblå) paint code 53-102 Volvo 123GT

Take a look at this super rare 1967 Volvo 123GT in this color.  Volvo released a few test colors on the GT cars in 1967 and this was one of them. Am I jealous? Naaaa, not at all!

‘doesn’t get much better than this.


This freshly restored example was displayed at a car show in Sweden.




Photo: Ragge Fransson

1980 Chevrolet Truck, we finish the exhaust

1980 Chevrolet C10 truck exhaust rear bumper height

When I originally installed this chrome bumper it really bugged me that it did not go all the way up to the tailgate and it left this ugly gap. This would be the time to remedy this.

Also, I want to install this Draw-Tite trailer hitch that I picked up at the scrapper for twenty buckaroos. The ball/hitch on the chrome bumper is not heavy duty enough to haul a trailer.


1980 Chevrolet C10 truck exhaust spare plate

This bracket holds the spare tire in place but it sticks out to far and interfears with the dual exhaust so I plan to “chop” it. Also, the long bolt holding it is using one of the holes that will be occupied by the bolts for the trailer hitch. I have a plan for that too…we get to that later.

1980 Chevrolet C10 truck dual spare bracket

“Chopped spare tire holder bracket thingy”


1980 Chevrolet C10 truck exhaust plasma

In order to bring the bumper up I had to elongate the mounting holes. I can spend hours drilling or filing or I can engage my FAVORITE tool in the shop. The Plasma cutter. Bought at one of those discount tool houses when it was on sale and they accepted a 20% coupon on top of the sale price. They litterly gave it to me.

Side note: Mmmm…I never look at myself from this angle and why would I? It’s pretty thin up there…well, more like bare! Oh well, who cares! Moving on…


1980 Chevrolet C10 truck rear paint

While I had the bumper removed I took the opportunity to clean up the area behind the bumper and paint it. I used etching primer and then a coat of semi gloss black.

1980 Chevrolet C10 truck exhaust mc lift

Mo betta!…don’t you think? It’s sometimes the small things that makes the overall look work. Here you can see another favorite tool: My motorcycle lift. Great for…you know…lifting things!


1980 Chevrolet C10 truck exhaust hanger

To make sure the shiny tail pipes stay in place I will use these clamps. However, I don’t like when the “shoulder” of the clamp ends up on the bottom and you can see it from behind.

1980 Chevrolet C10 truck clamp top

The solution is to weld the shoulder to the hanger. That way you will only see the thin U-bolt wrapping the exhaust.


1980 Chevrolet C10 truck exhaust stainless tip

Even though it looks like a megaphone at this angle it is actually 2.5 inch of polished stainless tubing. It will serve as tail pipes. Polished stainless and chrome will make the vehicle go faster.


1980 Chevrolet C10 truck exhaust tip

It just so happens that the bumper had a hole in it right above where the pipes will go. I am pretty particular as to where the pipes end up when finished. I want it to come out one inch and about the same distance to the bumper above the pipe.


1980 Chevrolet C10 truck exhaust stable

This way I can install the tail pipes exactly where I want them and then then I will build the exhaust to meet them. That way the tail pipes will be at the location I want. The outer clamp will of course be removed when it’s all done. Also, here you can see the benefit of the “upside down” clamp previously mentioned.


1980 Chevrolet C10 truck exhaust mandrel bent

“Mandrel bent to go”

I jumped on that big WWVWW (World Wide Very Wild Web) and bought a selection of bends in 2.5 inch diameter. 45, 90 or 180 degrees, take you pick. Works great when you build a system.

1980 Chevrolet C10 truck exhaust X

X-factor: The early crossover connection in the system is suppose to make it quieter and offer more bottom end. I will be the judge of that!


1980 Chevrolet C10 truck exhaust pipes

Tail pipes to go

The polished stainless material welds very nice to the mild steel pipes. I like to paint it past the weld with high temp paint so the welds don’t rust.

The long bolt that holds the spare tire bracket was using one of the bolt holes now occupying by the trailer hitch.

1980 Chevrolet C10 truck exhaust spare plate holder

This is that long bolt that holds the spare tire carrier. I cut off the top and welded on a coupling nut that will attach to one of the bolts holding the hitch.

1980 Chevrolet C10 truck spare tire holder

Like so.

1980 Chevrolet C10 truck dual exhaust

Tada! Here we are…I got duals, man! Wroom-Wroom!

Something about duals that make grown men act like children. Anyway, after that social observation I fired up the truck and the V8 sounds great. A little on the loud side but I have to see (well, listen) once I hit the freeway. Wroom-Wroom!…did I say that already?

Why would you drive a vintage car anyway??

My late model work car is equipped with all the comfort features I could ever need. It has a nice quiet cabin, climate control, nice stereo and don’t forget the bun heaters! Going to work on a soggy cold morning is not that bad once you get inside this cozy cage. I am isolated from road and engine noises and I can stream music or news from anywhere in the world and listen to it with the twelve speakers. Why does one need twelve speakers anyway?

1937 Ford Convertible Cabriolet

Driving a vintage car or truck takes some effort and involvement. They don’t have the best brakes, the steering is a bit sloppy and the wind noise…don’t forget the wind noise. It’s hard to have a cell phone conversation in a vintage car…but why should you?? You should listen to your vehicle and be one with it. The 1937 Ford I currently have the custodial rights over is one of those “old cars”

The 1939 transmission with second and third gear syncros is actually an upgrade from the stock non syncro transmission this car came with. Driving a car like this is a way to celebrate the way it was. Not necessary waxing nostalgically about “it was better back then” but it is an opportunity to really get in the head of the folks that built them and drove them when they were new.

You feel you are part of the machine and the history.

Picture this:

You blip the throttle and double clutch as you approach an intersection while still moving and feel first gear just slips in without a noise…THAT is a pure man and machine experience. Then go around the corner and hit second gear right at that torque spot and feel the flathead pull the car forward. No tachometer, no automatic shifter, no computer…just you knowing your machine and what it can do and also know it’s limitation. How can you not love it??!

Sigh, this may be hard to explain to some twenty year old kid in a Honda sporting a sewer pipe for an exhaust pipe…but I will try if anyone want to listen!