April 2019–While driving past our new shop in Fredericksburg–Gathered & Good–you might notice people hanging around our vintage blue and silver truck parked in the drive.
I saw two couples there last week. They were laughing and taking turns snapping selfies in front of the vehicle. This is a common sight, so I pulled in to visit with them.
Turns out they were regular visitors to Fredericksburg, and the classic 1951 Chevy 3600 flatbed truck brought back memories of growing up in Montana and Illinois. They were full of questions about the vehicle, so we wanted to share its story with everyone.
Store partner Leo Jauregui came across the 1951 Chevy near Fredericksburg in 2017, shortly after moving his family here. He just liked the truck, but also knew it would make an eye-catching display when we opened a shop.
It was not driveable and needed lots of love. So Leo towed it home and worked nearly two years in his spare time getting it into running condition.
It turned into kind of a “one piece at a time” undertaking. While the original body components were there, it had a 327 V-8 engine that came out of an early 1960s vehicle. Here is a list of parts that he had to replace or refurbish:
- All new brakes
- New carburetor
- Complete fuel system replacement
- New spark plugs/wires
- New (old) wheels and tires
- Replace wiring for lights
He found there were a bunch of bolts missing that connected the transmission housing. He also needed new motor mounts and replacement seals around the windows.
Cosmetically, the truck was in pretty good shape. Leo left the paint job, an unusual (and not original) combination of blue cab with silver fenders. The original teak bed only needed sanding and staining, and Leo built new side rails to fit the slots.
It’s now licensed, inspected, insured, and driveable.
So, how does it run? He had to pause before answering.
“Like a 1951 Chevy,” Leo said. “It’s not meant to go fast, so it’s definitely just a cruiser. And it still has the factory front and rear drum brakes, so make sure you have plenty room for stopping.”
While it may have trouble stopping, the truck is a great conversation starter. We love when our visitors snap a selfie or give it a closer inspection.
So on your next trip to Fredericksburg and the Texas Hill Country, drive by Gathered & Good to check out our old ’51 Chevy truck. You’ll find it parked somewhere around our shop on Highway 87 just two blocks from Nimitz Museum and Fredericksburg’s famous Main Street.
Think of it as an added little side trip through history.