When it was clear that Lucille, my 56 Chevy Pickup that had been in an accident, was too far gone to repair her, I looked for a replacement. Mike, my good friend suggested that, instead of a pickup I ought to search for a panel truck. Mike even said that he’d help with a rebuild! Now, you have to understand that Mike is a craftsman and a winner of the prestigious Ridler Award so I had to take advantage of his generous offer! I looked for a 55 (2nd) or 56 Chevy Panel so I could take parts off of the pickup and easily reuse them (same model truck). I scoured the country and eventually found one through Craigslist with a decent body in Las Vegas. I went out to see her – did the deal and had her shipped here. I had decided that, because it’s all I drive year-round, I’d spend a little more time on her and do a frame-off so she’d last longer. So, unlike the grey ‘patina’ of Lucille, Bella sports a two-tone paint job and graphics. After ONLY 100 days she was put on the road!
Lucille lives on because she became an organ donor… Bella (which is Italian for beautiful) has her engine, transmission, rear end and assorted other parts. Including her heart and soul. These pics give a snapshot of the restoration that took place.
* * * Special thanks to: Mike Baliestiero for his extraordinary help and friendship; Stan for his woodworking and sound engineering; Jay & Mazmanian Carpet for the jute padding; Chris & Maryann Deignan for their friendship; Clay Campbell for his help and support; Laura Baliestiero for her patience; Lexington Signs & Graphix for their outstanding artwork; And most certainly, my wife and business partner Robin for her help and support. * * *
RIP Lucille. Welcome Bella!