I found this pickup in May 2016. The lady that had it bought it for her son to fix up but he was never interested in doing it, so the pickup had just been sitting for well over a year. She told me the original owner passed away and she purchased it from his son who never tagged it. After she got it she had the title changed to her name but didn’t carry insurance or tag it. After I purchased it I tagged it as the second owner.
The original owner kept all the paperwork with it from the time he bought it brand new from the dealership. He still had the dealer window sticker with all the truck’s information and the MSRP of $5,500. He even kept the temporary paper tag and the original purchase order. He had the original owner’s manual, along with most of the maintenance records and receipts from 1976 through 2009. The odometer showed 156,710 miles and his son told me that the mileage was correct. He said his father hardly ever drove it. I could tell from looking it over that he had taken very good care of it. He stated that it was always kept inside from 1976 to 2009, then after he passed away his son parked it outside at the back of his house.
The body had only one small dent in the left rear quarter panel and a small rust spot on the bottom cab corner. I could not believe the fenders were clean and rust free. All the other things were from being 42 years old- the paint and trim had faded, the hood was sprung where someone did not know how to close it, the inside of the bed was scuffed up and had light surface rust but there was not one dent in it. On the front end, all the chrome trim and headlight bezels were in great condition and the chrome bumper was like new. It still had the original white painted wheels and the white painted hub caps. The tires were worn out and had weather cracks. I think they were the original tires- they were the exact size and brand listed on the window sticker. The interior was still all original. Carpet and seat were weathered and worn. One thing I couldn’t believe was that the dash pad had no cracks and was not faded and dried, but was in like-new condition. All the gauges and accessory switches still worked, the only thing that didn’t work was the clock. It still has the original 350 engine and it runs like a new one with no smoke at all. It has a couple oil leaks and has 42 years of road grime on it. I cannot understand why most people don’t keep the engine clean. The only things I had to replace were the air conditioner compressor, the belts, air cleaner and hoses because of the age. Next spring I plan on replacing the engine and transmission with a Blueprint 350cid / 365HP Crate engine and 400 turbo transmission. I am going to rebuild the original engine and keep it with the pickup so that all the numbers will match.
The original paint color was Willow Green over white. I repainted it and changed to a darker green over white, and on the inside of the bed I had black spray-in bed liner installed. I replaced all the chrome trim, side mirrors and rear bumper, along with a new metal hood. I also replaced the windshield and rear glass. As far as the interior goes, I replaced everything but the dash pad. I kept the original green color for the carpet. I am going to recover the seat with velour and vinyl, hoping to find a matching shade of green. I have really enjoyed working on this old pickup and making it look like the day it rolled off the showroom floor.