In 1956, my uncle, living in Huntington Park, CA, went a few blocks over to Sopp Chevrolet, the local Chevy dealer, and traded in his 1951 Chevy pickup for a brand new Model 3104. It was the 12,710th 1956 3100 produced in Los Angeles and was Cardinal Red with the New "wrap-around" windshield—a truck industry first—and optional wrap-around rear window. No radio or heater. He used this in his profession as a construction tradesman, mostly in housing, primarily in plastering, painting and stucco. Our family is from the east coast and in 1972, my family flew west for a visit and I remember taking rides with my uncle in his truck. Being 17 and just getting my driver’s license, this made a major impression on my memory. “Let me know if you ever sell this truck” I often said over the years. In 2005 and 2006, my new job gave me reason to travel to our site near Long Beach and 9 miles from my aunt and uncle in Huntington Park. When I would visit, I would ask about the truck, which was covered in the garage and not often used due to my uncles’ failing health. He passed in 2006. Forward to 2012 and my family were helping my aunt move from that CA house to the community my mother lives in here in the east. In dealing with all of the details, the truck was just towed over to a shop near my aunt’s house to be dealt with later. It was gone from the house when I picked up my aunt in December 2012 and flew with her back east to her new home. Through a series of events much too long and probably much too depressing, the truck had been worked on sporadically at the shop in CA over 3.5 years. Initially, living on the east coast and having a truck restored on the west coast did not register as a big deal; wrong. Finally, I gave up on that shop and had it towed to Chimera Motors, where I now wish it gone to originally. Top-notch restorations in Huntington Beach. Except for the engine, which had sat too long with water seeping through the head gaskets into the pistons, everything was original and only in need of cosmetic attention. The direction was to keep it all as original as possible. A same era rebuilt long block was sourced from United Engine Specialists in Kansas. It was and has been a good choice. When Chimera finished up in a few weeks, they helped me arrange its transportation east. Regrettably, due to the long delay at the first shop, my aunt passed before its arrival. That is when I found out it was my aunt’s wish that it be given to me. So the last family member from CA has left and joined us here to enjoy a pampered life in its golden years. Here it is today, having left home after being born, used, close to dying and being restored in LA. 60 years young and now for the first time in its life, out of Los Angeles. Time to go cruzin’ down to the ice cream shop!
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