Shop truck: 1980 Chevrolet Custom Truck

So why is there a 1980 Chevrolet truck on a web site that caters to hot rods and vintage cars?

Well, first of all: This thing is actually 32 years old. Secondly, it is a fun project to spiff up a great driver with some used parts for very little money. Third: It is as American as apple pie and…you know… Chevrolet! Fourth: I am the Editor so I do whatever I want. So there!

As found…dirty with flat paint, sitting on soggy small whitewall tires.  Oh yeah, and one ugly canopy!

The good news: Rust free, straight and 95000 miles on the clock and the automatic transmission has just been rebuilt.

It has the gutless 4.1 liter six cylinder with an auto transmission with lock up converter. This is the most plain truck I have ever seen. Rubber floor mats, dog dish wheel covers…even has the super rare dome light and lighter delete option !

The truck was rolling on these un-manly too small white wall passenger car tires. These tiny tires have no place on a Chevy truck no matter how old it is! Replacing these definitely had to be part of the project.

This ugly crooked rear bumper is not much to be proud of. Gotta go!

 Another turn off: The pink? faded door panels. They are in great shape, just damaged from sun.

 First order of business is to bring back the shine to the original paint. I was pleased to find out that it shined up rather well.

Yup, it shined up well. That small passenger car mirror does not meet my specs though.

I added these manly (Ha, there is that word again) mirrors for looks and safety.

Another thing that I like to upgrade on any driver is the lighting system. The old sealed beam are just a poor excuse for lights. These Hella e-codes cranks out twice the light on low beam and three times on high beam. The only way to go.

With a can of SEM saddle color dye the door panels looks like new.

I found this new chrome bumper on Craigslist for $80.00. Works for me.

I found this Draw-Tite heavy duty trailer hitch at the recycling yard for thirty clams. My kinda budget.


I had these laying around in case some rich uncle croaked and willed me a red 1966 Buick Wildcat convertible and these wheels would be perfect for it. Since I don’t have a rich uncle or an uncle at all the chance of this happening are rather small. So…

With the world famous 0000 steel wool treatment and some semi gloss black detailing these Buick road wheels look presentable. They have the same bolt pattern as the Chevrolet: Five on five inch. A set of half inch by twenty chrome lug nuts adds to the look. I will have to find some center caps at the swap meet.


With another Craigslist find, a front chrome bumper for twenty bucks we got a pretty nice driver. The Buick road wheels certainly add some looks to this rather plain truck.

Future plans: Install a Mr Goodwrench 350 that just followed me home and the trailer hitch. Also, I will remove the canopy for the summer as they look better without them.

More later…