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'64 C20 Long Bed, Because I Didn't Have Enough WIPs


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Yep, it's true, I didn't have enough WIPs with what's already on my bench.  Actually this was started probably close to 20 years ago to replicate a different pickup, but recently I was thinking about a '64 C20 that I owned in the early-mid '80s.  It had a Buick 425 nailhead, and Turbo 400 automatic, both from an Electra if I recall correctly.  The guy I bought it from did a pretty nice job on the conversion.  I paid $800 for it in about 1984.  It had a Mustang shifter on the floor and aluminum plate covering the transmission tunnel.  It was 2WD and had big mud tires on the back.  That thing could do some incredible burnouts.  Anyway, I pulled the model out of the box and I didn't like the way I had lengthened the bed, so I took it apart and redid it.  I think it's pretty good now.  My '64 had a small back window, so I'm making that change as well.  I'll be putting a Buick Nailhead engine in it and building it as close to the one I had as I can.  Here's my first project photo... it's rough, but taking shape.  The frame is lengthened but I need to extend the bumper mounts still.  Just another silly, fun project.

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Looks like you nailed it this time Roy! In '84, I painted a friend's '66 C-10 long bed Flame Red in Vocational School. After I got the red painted, I got the idea to paint the grille, bumpers and tailgate letters black. I pitched the idea to him and said, "do it!". When I got the parts back on and he saw it for the first time, he went nuts over it! At that time, there was still a lot of those old trucks running around here. But, he had the only one blacked out. Someday I want to build one like it was.

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I like your plans! I actually prefer the looks of a  longbed 3/4 ton over the shortbed 1/2 ton. The 3/4 ton really began to get popular in the mid 60's, thanks to the pickup camper boom. Chevy called their pickups custom campers while Ford and Dodge called them camper specials. 

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1 hour ago, Plowboy said:

Looks like you nailed it this time Roy! In '84, I painted a friend's '66 C-10 long bed Flame Red in Vocational School. After I got the red painted, I got the idea to paint the grille, bumpers and tailgate letters black. I pitched the idea to him and said, "do it!". When I got the parts back on and he saw it for the first time, he went nuts over it! At that time, there was still a lot of those old trucks running around here. But, he had the only one blacked out. Someday I want to build one like it was.

Thank you!  My '64 also had a black grille, but I can't remember for sure if the bumper was black or white.  I need to see if I can dig up any old pictures.  The truck itself was white.  Same here, I used to see those trucks all the time.  I learned to drive on a red & white '66 long bed Custom with the panoramic window and 6-cyl/three in the tree that my dad owned.  I was originally going to build a replica of that one, but decided the Buick-powered C20 would be more fun.

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1 hour ago, leafsprings said:

I like your plans! I actually prefer the looks of a  longbed 3/4 ton over the shortbed 1/2 ton. The 3/4 ton really began to get popular in the mid 60's, thanks to the pickup camper boom. Chevy called their pickups custom campers while Ford and Dodge called them camper specials. 

Thank you.  Mine wasn't a Custom Camper, but I remember seeing them.  I actually did haul a tired and homely old Chinook camper on that truck.  Later I had a very clean '71 Ford Camper Special with a much nicer camper.  I felt like I had made the big time!  

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Your project looks good Roy. I had 2 long wheelbase trucks and I really liked them those 60’s pickups was real fun to drive. I will follow along..

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I own the next generation Chevy pickup ('68 first day picture) and duplicated the previously owned '69, both are Long Beds.  I've seen one in town that was cut into a Short Bed, they left the well done stitches unpainted.  Makes me think of Hollyweird celebrities with plastic surgery.  I'll watch this too.  You happen to be on the '67-'72 Chevy Trucks forum?

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2 hours ago, slusher said:

Your project looks good Roy. I had 2 long wheelbase trucks and I really liked them those 60’s pickups was real fun to drive. I will follow along..

Thanks Carl.  I wish I had kept that old truck, it was very unique with the nailhead engine.  Oh well, I wish I had kept a lot of the vehicles I used to own.  😖

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1 hour ago, 89AKurt said:

I own the next generation Chevy pickup ('68 first day picture) and duplicated the previously owned '69, both are Long Beds.  I've seen one in town that was cut into a Short Bed, they left the well done stitches unpainted.  Makes me think of Hollyweird celebrities with plastic surgery.  I'll watch this too.  You happen to be on the '67-'72 Chevy Trucks forum?

 

That's a good looking old 1/2 ton long bed.  Great patina... Arizona sun?  I've always really liked that body style.  A friend of my dad had one in dark green '70 Cheyenne 1/2 ton long bed that was mint... but that was 35+ years ago.  I really wanted that pickup,  I'm not on the Chevy Trucks forum.  I'm actually mostly a Ford guy, but I like and appreciate just about everything.  I have two '65 F100s, a long bed and a short bed.  I plan to make one running/driving vehicle from the two, but that will probably wait until retirement. 

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I got a little done on this project today after doing some organizing in my work area.  Cold early spring day with rain, snow, wind and hail.  YUK!  Here's a picture of the back of the cab converted to the small window.  I have a little gap to fill around the perimeter of the original large window opening.  Man, that took a lot of time slowly filing and comparing to pictures.  I think it's pretty close to what the small window cabs look like... close enough for me to stick on the shelf.  Almost finished the bodywork on the bed, too.  A couple of low spots to level out.  Assembled the nailhead and painted some parts.

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I managed to get the body work 90%+ done, put the chassis together on the lengthened frame and do a mockup just to see how things are fitting.  I think I'm going to have to raise the rear axle a bit for clearance for the mud tires that I'm going to use (kit on the way).  I'm pleased with how it's coming together, it actually looks like and old long bed Chevy!  The wheels and tires are wonky, just what I had available for mockup.  This has been fun so far and brings back memories of my old tire smokin' '64 C20.

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On 3/28/2021 at 12:16 PM, Kromolly said:

That's a good looking old 1/2 ton long bed.  Great patina... Arizona sun?  I've always really liked that body style.  A friend of my dad had one in dark green '70 Cheyenne 1/2 ton long bed that was mint... but that was 35+ years ago.  I really wanted that pickup,  I'm not on the Chevy Trucks forum.  I'm actually mostly a Ford guy, but I like and appreciate just about everything.  I have two '65 F100s, a long bed and a short bed.  I plan to make one running/driving vehicle from the two, but that will probably wait until retirement. 

Started life in Idaho, so it has rust worm underneath, door sills are always first to go.  I like the '72 Ford trucks, the Mobieus kits look nice, but I have enough projects.  Anyway, back to not-enough-WIPs.

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6 hours ago, 89AKurt said:

Started life in Idaho, so it has rust worm underneath, door sills are always first to go.  I like the '72 Ford trucks, the Mobieus kits look nice, but I have enough projects.  Anyway, back to not-enough-WIPs.

I've owned a couple '69s and a '71 F250, and a '70 F100.  Great old trucks.

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Got a bit more done on the C20 today.  The nailhead came out of an AMT '62 Buick Electra 225 kit that I bought back in the '90s.  It had the cutout in the oil pan and block for the axle to go through.  I filled that with some small pieces of sprue and finished with glazing putty, then primed it.  I remembered that my old C20 didn't have the backup light option, so I deleted those.  Last weekend I was at Michael's with my wife, and while checking the clearance aisle I found a water based "chalky white" paint.  That pretty well describes my old '64.  I've never used water based paint, so this is a first.  After thinning with isopropyl alcohol I sprayed some on a couple of test pieces.  Since I have two kits I have practice material.  The roof (left) was airbrushed and then polished with 2400 then 4000 grit polishing cloth.  The hood (right) was airbrushed and untouched.  The paint gets a slight sheen with some polishing, and my plan is to polish through to the primer in some areas as if the paint had worn away.  Sort of "what my truck might look like 34 years later".  I'm still playing with thinning the paint, the orange peel is heavy and when I polish through to the primer it doesn't look to scale.  Kind of a fun test anyway.

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It's looking good Roy! This is an interesting build since we don't see many longbed 3/4 tons getting built. Looking forward to seeing it finished up!

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Just this one four letter word holding me up... W O R K.  😫  It's The Man's way of keeping me own.  Or keeping my completed model count down, anyway.

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On 4/1/2021 at 3:24 PM, Plowboy said:

It's looking good Roy! This is an interesting build since we don't see many longbed 3/4 tons getting built. Looking forward to seeing it finished up!

X2!  The longbed and the small back window were much more common then.

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Hi Roy, sounds like we had the exact same crazy weather last Sunday. Made for a good hobby day! Looking forward to seeing the paint treatment you put on this, it’s looking great. 
 

Cheers, Steve

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1 hour ago, leafsprings said:

X2!  The longbed and the small back window were much more common then.

This one isn't a long bed, but the small window was much more common from what I recall seeing on the road in the '60s and '70s.  This was the AMT '55 Chevy stepside kit, I built this about 25 years ago.  Dechromed, small window conversion, side mounted spare tire and straight 6-cylinder "Thriftmaster" engine.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Steve H said:

Hi Roy, sounds like we had the exact same crazy weather last Sunday. Made for a good hobby day! Looking forward to seeing the paint treatment you put on this, it’s looking great. 
 

Cheers, Steve

Spring in the Northwest.  Weather forecast?  Look out the window.

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Got some work done on the C20 over the weekend, between yardwork and other projects.  Unfortunately, I ruined the cab I was working on and had to start over.  That cost me about 4 hours.  😫  I think this one looks a little better though, but I am still bothered by the visible gap/outline where the big window would be.  Any ideas on how to fill that?  I tried medium super glue last night and ended up with a wide bead that looked terrible and I couldn't sand it without destroying the adjacent detail.  So, new cab.

I got the chassis painted, still some detail to go back & do.  Also painted some of the body with the chalky white paint, including the converted long bed.  I'm happy with the long bed conversion.

I played around with sanding and rubbing the paint on the spare roof from the second kit, which will now be the roof I use since I have to use the cab from that kit.  I kind of like the weathering/aged look of the paint worn away to primer and I may just use it as-is, except that I need to do a little more work on the right rear corner where the rubbing is too linear.  Any comments/advice on the weathering are welcome.

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I see the gap or line your talking about. I had to blow the picture up too see it in black. Your could make  a template and make a bigger piece to fill that area but then that means a new cab? I am throwing something out there. I am a out of the box builder friend..

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On 4/5/2021 at 10:22 PM, slusher said:

I see the gap or line your talking about. I had to blow the picture up too see it in black. Your could make  a template and make a bigger piece to fill that area but then that means a new cab? I am throwing something out there. I am a out of the box builder friend..

Thanks Carl.  I'm slow getting back to you, I haven't checked this topic for a while.  I ended up starting over with the second cab because I ruined the first one trying a half-baked attempt at filling that gap.  I used the kit panoramic window and cut out a smaller opening for a new window.  On the second one I used delicately applied putty to fill the gap.  Photos to follow.

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