• 1954 Chevy-Paul L.

The story starts with my Father purchasing a 1954 Chevrolet First Generation 3100, half ton pickup in November of 1953. It was ordered and purchased from Bullock Chevrolet, 738 Landis Ave, Vineland, NJ. The color was a Mariner Blue and the total cost was $1,200. My Father purchased the pickup when he was 23 years of age and just married. But then I would be born and one year after my birth in 1957 he needed to sell the truck. The selling of the pickup was not my Dad’s idea but my Mom’s stressing the need to get a more appropriate vehicle for a growing family. He therefore put the pickup for sale, selling it to a local person. That person in turn sold it to another local person who used it routinely to go back and forth to work only a mile from his residence. The pickup never left the area and was only 6 miles away when some 56 years later my youngest Son and Father asked the current owner for its sale back to our family. It only had 51,591 original miles on the speedometer. For many years I personally attempted to buy the pickup back but it was until my Son and Father talked to the owner whose husband had recently passed away, that is when things started to move forward. They explained the connection of the pickup and our family’s intention to restore it. The widow needed to check with her son and stated that she would reach out to me in the event that they would ever want to sell it. I was finally able to purchase the pickup on October 26, 2013 for $500.00. It was sitting neglected for numerous years in a wooden carport overtaken by vegetation. My Father passed away in January 2014 only seeing his pickup being brought back to the family but not the restoration process. At the time he was pleased to see it back in our possession with my interest, my Sons and even Grandson. In April 2014 I took on the restoration process that my Father would have wanted to see for the pickup. But it sort of went way over board as my wife states and my Father would even had admit. Initially, it was just to get it running but then one thing lead to another and I looked for the help of Rich Corson of Crazy Horse Custom Classics LLC, Millville, NJ. Rich and his team lead by Anthony Teti and his son Rob. They were able to take the decaying pickup, creating a customized chassis that would accept a 2000 Corvette (C5) complete rolling chassis. LMC orders did help through supplying various essential parts. However, I truly did go overboard with the idea to have an LS1 engine under the hood. This was accomplished by purchasing a complete rolling chassis from Ron DeSmedt of Contemporary Corvette of Bristol, PA. The chassis, engine and transmission was verified as only having 43,427 miles on it, from the corvette damaged in a hail storm in Harrisburg, PA. The interior was provided by Patrick of Smitty Upholstery of Westville, NJ. The total restoration took over a year for completion. The vehicle is now back on the road better than ever, with all the high tech modern conveniences like air conditioning, full led lighting and power that the little thriftmaster engine ( 235.5 cubic inch straight six pushing out 112 horsepower) could never come close to from a 5.7 liter V8 (pushing out 345 horsepower though sequential fuel injection). The cab body, doors and hood are the only original metal parts salvageable from the pickup Dad purchased in 1953. Still original also are the gauges which were retrofitted by Len Samek at C R G Restorations, Anderson, SC to accept the new technology that the 2000 corvette chassis brought to its 54 body. Now, future generations of the Lucchesi Family can enjoy and build memories around a vehicle that retraces the past of its initial purchase. To the present coordination of a unique restoration process. To a future that allows this family heirloom to be there for future generations. I know my Father is looking down and very proud of the Family memories that this little pickup is creating for all of us