How to Restore a 1949 Chevy Half Ton Pick-Up Truck

by Contributor

Many people who enjoyturning a wrench and working on their own vehicles have always wanted to undertake a project vehicle, like a 1949 Chevy half-ton pickup truck. The big question will be how to find that vehicle and how to get the parts to make it the way you want it.

Step 1

Check out Hemming's Motor News or Auto Trader Classic Autos and Trucks. Read over all of the offerings. Keep track of what is for sale as the ads change often. Finding a 1949 Chevy pickup truck ripe for restoration will be a difficult task.

Step 2

Keep your eyes open as you drive around to see what you see that has been abandoned (perhaps out in a field). They might even give it to you if you haul it away.

Step 3

Consider what you want to do with the 1949 Chevy half-ton pick-up truck as you are searching for it. Are you looking for a factory spec restoration, a concourse restoration (exceeds factory specs) or a customized ride?

Step 4

Plan your restoration. From the very first step of tearing the vehicle down to the final custom job, you will be glad you have a plan to go by. You could settle for a partial restoration (leaving the cab in place). Write it down and put it on a board in your garage. It will serve as a constant reminder for you to see what you need to get to the finish.

Step 5

Develop knowledge of custom machine shops for parts that carry out-of-date parts. You can find parts for your over 50-year-old vehicle on websites, catalogs and supply houses that carry parts specific to your vehicle. Someone has a part for every vehicle ever made. Finding your part for that 1949 Chevy half-ton pick-up truck will not be impossible-but it may be expensive.

Step 6

Get a digital or video camera, plastic storage bins, and different sized plastic containers. These will be to store small parts. Use the camera to photograph everything you remove. Use masking tape to label parts as you take them off and jot down where they belong.

Be patient-it will not happen overnight even if you devoted yourself to it full time. It will take at least a year or better, but the end result can be like the vehicle shown on Stovebolt in the Resources section.


  • Make friends with the people at your local auto supply house and custom machine shop.
  • On some tools, you can get by cheaply, but a quality tool generally makes the job cleaner, easier to do and far more safe for you.
  • Join a car club devoted to that year of Chevy. They are a great source of help and information.


  • Be patient. You need to realize that a project like this could very easily take years to complete. However, you will enjoy every minute of it.
  • Safety and health hazards mean you should use masks and goggles when trying to remove rusted bolts, sandblasting and for the cleaning processes.
  • When hunting for a vehicle, always carry a magnet in your pocket and a multi-tool (such as a Leatherman) to be sure you do not end up with a "Bondo Baby."

Items you will need

  • Complete set of automotive tools, including duplicates if possible
  • Variety of wrenches, sockets and impact wrenches
  • Air compressor
  • Light 220 welder
  • Media Blaster (sand blaster)
  • Safety equipment
  • Jacks
  • Jack stands
  • HVLP sprayer
  • Normal spray gun
  • Cutting torch
  • Dry, clean garage area that can be devoted to this project

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