This 1938 half-ton Chevrolet pickup truck came to our workshop from Texas to have the metal work restoration completed after going through two shops in Houston that failed the owner badly.

Our duties included:

  • making a rear panel for the cab and grafting in
  • restore the right hand fender
  • work on the right hand door
  • clean up the cab as a whole

We also clean up some miscellaneous parts and coated everything in epoxy prior before sending the restored truck back to Houston to a happy customer!

Before restoration – Chevy pickup truck

classic restoration, sheet metal fabrication, custom metal worker, metal work denver, antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, car restoration, metal working, restoration, vintage cars, chevy

The 38 Chevy truck before any restoration work began.

classic restoration, sheet metal fabrication, custom metal worker, metal work denver, antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, car restoration, metal working, restoration, vintage cars, chevy

And a shot from the front of the truck.

classic restoration, sheet metal fabrication, custom metal worker, metal work denver, antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, car restoration, metal working, restoration, vintage cars, chevy

Here’s where things start to go wrong.  The customer took this picture of his cab after the first patch panel was welded in.  You can see the approx size from the photo.

classic restoration, sheet metal fabrication, custom metal worker, metal work denver, antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, car restoration, metal working, restoration, vintage cars, chevy

He took this picture a few months later, then pulled the truck from this shop in Houston.  Apparantely, they were not skilled welders and the first patch panel warped the back of the cab.  So they cut out a larger section, repeat, until there was no back of the cab left.

classic restoration, sheet metal fabrication, custom metal worker, metal work denver, antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, car restoration, metal working, restoration, vintage cars, chevy

This echoes the importance to do your research on a restoration facility’s capabilities.

classic restoration, sheet metal fabrication, custom metal worker, metal work denver, antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, car restoration, metal working, restoration, vintage cars, chevy

The 38 Chevy truck as it came into The Metal Surgeon’s workshop.

classic restoration, sheet metal fabrication, custom metal worker, metal work denver, antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, car restoration, metal working, restoration, vintage cars, chevy

classic restoration, sheet metal fabrication, custom metal worker, metal work denver, antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, car restoration, metal working, restoration, vintage cars, chevy

The lower door bottom was cut out and left unfixed by the previous two restoration shops.

classic restoration, sheet metal fabrication, custom metal worker, metal work denver, antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, car restoration, metal working, restoration, vintage cars, chevy

Crude repair on the gas cap opening.

classic restoration, sheet metal fabrication, custom metal worker, metal work denver, antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, car restoration, metal working, restoration, vintage cars, chevy

Area cut out and new material grafted in and metal finished.

classic restoration, sheet metal fabrication, custom metal worker, metal work denver, antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, car restoration, metal working, restoration, vintage cars, chevy

Lower door section fabricated, along with hanging the door, to achieve the appropriate door gapping.

classic restoration, sheet metal fabrication, custom metal worker, metal work denver, antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, car restoration, metal working, restoration, vintage cars, chevy

TIG welded and metal finished.  Door restoration completed.  

Chevy truck fender restoration

 

classic restoration, sheet metal fabrication, custom metal worker, metal work denver, antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, car restoration, metal working, restoration, vintage cars, chevy

Right hand fender as it came into the shop. Caked in filler along with a section cut out.

classic restoration, sheet metal fabrication, custom metal worker, metal work denver, antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, car restoration, metal working, restoration, vintage cars, chevy

The whole side of the fender was weakened pretty badly. The side was made from fresh sheet metal, including the wired edge and then TIG welded into the original fender.

classic restoration, sheet metal fabrication, custom metal worker, metal work denver, antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, car restoration, metal working, restoration, vintage cars, chevy

Side view of the fender section made.

classic restoration, sheet metal fabrication, custom metal worker, metal work denver, antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, car restoration, metal working, restoration, vintage cars, chevy

….and metal finished to completion.

classic restoration, sheet metal fabrication, custom metal worker, metal work denver, antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, car restoration, metal working, restoration, vintage cars, chevy

Another shot of the 38 fender after restoration.

Restoration process of the back of the cab

classic restoration, sheet metal fabrication, custom metal worker, metal work denver, antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, car restoration, metal working, restoration, vintage cars, chevy

Templates made off the rear of the 38 truck cab. The sheet metal blank was divided into a grid to aid template checking. This ensures a good fit for a panel this large.

A panel this large takes skill to make, we made it using the power hammer, which makes the job go pretty quick.

classic restoration, sheet metal fabrication, custom metal worker, metal work denver, antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, car restoration, metal working, restoration, vintage cars, chevy

Ready to graft in.

classic restoration, sheet metal fabrication, custom metal worker, metal work denver, antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, car restoration, metal working, restoration, vintage cars, chevy

Held in position with clecos, ready to be welded in.

Final restoration of the back of the cab

classic restoration, sheet metal fabrication, custom metal worker, metal work denver, antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, car restoration, metal working, restoration, vintage cars, chevy

The cab is now TIG welded and metal finished. Ready to be shot in epoxy primer.

Check out our other posts on the restoration of another 1938 Chevy truck, the Pepsi truck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.