The purpose of this Blog

This blog is to detail my 43 years (1973 - 2016) with a 1928 Chevrolet tourer, affectionately called "The Red Chev".

The acquisition, restoration, improvements and my experiences over the years are covered in as much detail as I can remember.

Some of the later postings include car club outings and other vintage car items that I hope will be of interest to people.

If you have the time, scroll back to where it all began in 1973 and follow the journey so far.

Thanks for dropping by.

Regards Ray Dean

See my new section "The Red Chev - Repairs, Improvements, Maintenance and Technical Details" located on the left hand side of the screen.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012


From the website of the Veteran & Vintage Chevrolet Association of Australia (Qld)


Back in 1972 Ken was visiting a neighbour Dave Pringle, who was a dairy farmer from Samsonvale, close to the headwaters of the North Pine Dam. Ken being a farmer himself and handy at building things ( as most farmers are) was asked by Dave to cut down his old '27 Chev truck and make it into a farm trailer. Ken, who knew the truck, didn't want to see it ruined and put a proposal to Dave to swap a farm trailer he owned for the '27 Truck. Dave accepted the offer and Ken became the new owner of the Chev truck.

Dave, the initial owner, had used the truck to take the cream 4 miles to Kobble Creek Railway Station, 3 times a week and once a week he would make the long journey of ten miles into Dayboro to collect his weekly supplies. He was also a keen follower of the speedway at Davies Park and all the lads from the area would climb on board the truck and drive into Chermside on the dirt roads to catch the tram to the speedway held on a Saturday night. This was the life of the Chev until 1955 when when Dave purchased a modern Bedford truck and transferred the tray of the Chev onto the Bedford. The Chev was then driven into the shed where it sat until Ken became the owner in '72.

When Dave purchased the Bedford, he received a free service from the supplier to be utilised when the vehicle reached 5,000 miles. Eleven years later Dave drove in for his free service!!!! This Bedford is still registered and on the road!

Back to 1972 when Ken with the assistance of his son, towed the 27 truck back to his farm chained to the farm trailer he was to swap with Dave, which in turn was attached to the tractor. Ken decided to see if the truck would go and with a new battery in place and fuel in the tank, it was turned over but with little result. He filed the points and tried again and away it went. The kids drove it around the farm and then the truck was put away in the shed until 1978. Ken's farm was purchased by the government for the North Pine Dam around this time and the truck was trailered to Eggers Farm Moggill, where it rested until 2002 when it was transferred to Ken's residence in Kenmore, to begin its restoration. Ken found that the years of being stored at Moggill had caused the vehicle to deteriorate quite considerably. He decided to restore the truck by taking pieces off the vehicle and fixing them as he went. The body panels and engineered parts weren't sand blasted as you would expect , but soaked in one part molasses and 4 parts water to clear any rust. I arrived to see this process taking place on Ken's Massey Ferguson tractor parts ( which Ken is currently restoring) and the parts were absolutely rust free when taken from the mix.

Ken dug a hole in the garden for the bigger parts, such as guards, lined the hole with heavy duty moisture barrier,covered the parts with the mixture (after removing as much grease and paint off them)and left them for 2 - 3 weeks. The mixture can be used again or added to , as I saw, with the drum of mix he had been using for small parts, over a long period of time. Where required, Ken used fibrerglass on body panels straight onto the bare metal after the molasses clean.

Wood work was undertaken again by Ken who had very little timberwork experience, apart from sawing down trees for milling, used in building his farm house and fence posts.

The truck had only 22,000 miles on the clock and on taking the head off , Ken found the bore had no wear at all and he put that down to "Dave being a very steady driver". The valves needed work and the head was sent off to Peter Liddies Cylinder Head Engineering at Sumner Park. Datsun exhaust valves were fitted and worked a treat. Gaskets for the rebuild were sourced from N & J Gaskets, Brendale who had a set on the shelf and cost a grand total of $55.

Ken removed the sump and found the oil to be like treacle. The oil filter upon opening with a can opener was completely blocked. He removed the felt and fixed it so the oil flowed directly through and soldered the filter back together.

Gear box and diff were cleared of their treacle like oil and refilled and the gasket on the vacuum pump replaced.
The front wheel wooden spokes were rebuilt by Keith Wilson

Wooden Wheels, but the rear wheels were in excellent condition. Whilst the wheels were off the bearings were sourced and replaced being supplied by Allied Bearings and Seals based at Rocklea, who, on viewing with a magnifying glass, knew exactly what was required. The brakes were replaced along with the cables and new tyres were sourced from Antique Tyre Supplies.

Ken painted the vehicle himself and whilst having no previous experience, it has come up a treat. The upholstery was completed by Archerfield Auto Upholsterers, the chrome fitted and the truck was ready to burst into life again.

Ken proceeded to drive it out the driveway and around the block only to find the motor stopped dead after backfiring badly. After taking the timing gear cover off he noted the timing gear was stripped. At 4pm he contacted Chevparts in Sydney and at 9am the next morning the parts arrived. His neighbour was on hand to assist and on completing the fix, they jumped in the truck and drove around the block. The truck conked out several times but they found that it was fuel starved which was promptly fixed.

Ken also noted that there was a problem with the brakes, that is, there was hardly any! He checked everything again and again but still could not figure out why they weren't working. He then found that the brake rods had been put together back to front at the cross shaft thereby not allowing enough pressure for the brakes to work sufficiently. On reversing the rods the brakes worked perfectly. I wondered whether this was the reason the previous owner, Dave, drove so slowly?

The truck was registered again in May 2006 and apart from minor irritations has run well since.

Ken attends the Dayboro Historical festival each year and drives the truck through Dayboro in the parade. The roads are paved now not like the first years of the the life of the Chev. On the second time at the the festival, Dick Dale, who at that time was 94 years of age, rode with Ken in the truck and told him of the history of the vehicle. Dick was one of the lads who would jump on the back and ride off to the speedway on a Saturday night. The story brought tears to the eyes of Dick, remembering the good times associated with the old 27 Chev truck.

Ken took me for a ride through the streets of Kenmore and I was very impressed with the way it performed. I'm glad he fixed the problem with the brakes as we did have to stop quite quickly at one intersection. I wonder why some drivers of modern cars think they don't have to give way to older vehicles!
Another report of an interesting Chev restoration and as with each of them, plenty of tips and new things learnt.

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