The 1956 Chevrolet 3100 step-side pick up this story is about, came into my grandfather’s (Arnold Lee Annis) possession in the early 1960s.
It began its life as a Navy truck on Wallops Island Naval Air Station (NAS) and was sold after Wallops NAS shut down operations. My grand-father bought it from the individual who bought it from the Navy.
My Dad (Wilson Lee Annis) repaired the truck and got it road worthy for Pop-Pop replacing the rusted-out fenders and hood(this is why there are 1955 badges on the truck as Wallops Island is brutal on vehicles) and painting the truck in its current Black and White color scheme.
Pop-pop drove the truck for over 20 years, and it was a staple in my life as a child. We rode in it to church on Sunday morning and I even fell off one of the steps and broke a leg at 4 years old. Needless to say it was a fixture in my young life.
In 1981, my Dad quit his regular job and went into business for himself as a welder and fabricator. Pop-pop gave Dad the truck to use in his business until a suitable replacement could be found.
Once Dad found a “real” work truck, the 56 was passed on to my older brother Rick who proceeded to pull the inline 6 and 3 speed and replace them with a 283 small block Chevrolet and Muncie 4 speed.
The truck tore ass around Accomack County VA for the next several years, until me and Rick found a 1973 Chevy Blazer and made the truck 4×4.
Well, in 1988 I was hurting for a vehicle my senior year in high school and Rick gave me the 56. I drove that truck with pride for 4 years until I enlisted in the USMC in 1992.
Upon parking the truck, I told Rick “When and if I get home I want the truck back”
I got out in 1998 after 2 trips to Parris Island and the truck had sat for all that time.
I wont go into the negative, but since returning in 1998 Rick found every excuse to not fulfill his word and it was only upon his death was I able to regain possession of the truck.
As a point of clarification, this isn’t just about the truck. In all truthfulness I would prefer that my older brother was still here and I be able to continue the campaign of him giving me the truck himself.
I don’t have a time machine, nor can I raise Rick like Lazorus. I can take the time and effort to resurrect this truck which has been a staple in my life.
I am hopeful I can put this vehicle back on the road, and preserve it for the generations who will follow me.
The following are pics of the trucks tear down last year. Since the cab was crushed on the right side due to a truck backing into it a replacement cab was in order.
Frame and suspension work.
Rear frame work begins, suspension crossmember installed and reinforcing material ordered
So the reinforcement plan is this. I will plate the interior of the vertical frame web, and box the area above the rear axle. This is done more to prevent the frame from cracking under stress than to prevent all frame twist under hard acceleration at all which is what a X brace would accomplish. More to follow.
Cab is back on…..
Wait, What? NO!