Dennis L

The '47 that was rescued from the barn!

When I was in High School in the 60's, I got my first car - a 1947 Chevrolet Fleetline

2-door coupe - for $75.00. I bought it on the sly, without telling my parents -- I parked it a block away, thinking I was getting away with the secret - that is, until one day my mom & dad said: "By the way, you can start parking your car at home now." Boy was I shocked!

I painted the car myself, in my parents' garage - when I bought it, it was just a primer-gray, and by the time I was done with it, it had a cool looking metallic purple gold-fleck paint job. And I installed 6 different horns, so that I could play tunes for my friends, as I drove by.

When I went into the Navy in 1968, the old Chev was starting to leak rear-end fluid, so

I decided to sell it to a buddy of mine. And that was the last time I ever saw it. I bumped into my buddy a couple of years ago at a yard sale, and asked him about my Chev - and he didn't even remember having it - the 60's were really tough on him! ha!

Flash forward now to 1995. I was really itching to have my old '47 back, so I started checking the newspaper want-ads, and low and behold, there was a 4-door selling in Clarkston, WA. I now had 3 grandkids, so I thought that the 4-door would be a lot better for transporting everyone, than a 2-door would be. So I took my brother-in-law & his trailer down to Clarkston, and came back with my new 1947 Chev project!

After I got back home, I tried to start the 216 c.i.d. engine, and it started right up.

I decided that I wanted to take it for a test drive right away, so I drove some of our back-roads with it, since it wasn't licensed yet. It drove like a tank - and barely had any brakes.

And then I remembered how under-powered that little 216 engine was in my first car!

So I was determined to put a larger engine in it this time, for more horsepower & speed.

A friend, who is a good mechanic, was going to help me with the project.

I found a 265 c.i.d. Nova engine to put in it, and on weekends, drove 35 miles to get the Nova engine out of that car. A month later, I had the front end, rear end, driveline & transmission at my house, ready for the transplant. I started dis-assembling the front end of my '47 -- got the bumper, fenders and hood off -- and then my help disappeared.

I am not an auto mechanic, so I decided to park the car in my barn, and put a tarp over it, until I could find someone else to help me with the mechanical work.

14 years went by - in 2009, due to an inheritance that I had received, I was able to hire a mechanic to perform the engine work that I needed. But when I checked-out the Nova engine, which was outside & tarped, we found out that it was so rusted, that it would probably not run. My mechanic had recently gotten a 307 V-8 with a Hydro-400 tranny from a customer, when he installed a 454 in his truck. So I decided that the 307 would be fine - I had hoped for a 350, but reasoned with myself that the 307 would get better mileage.

The project started in June of 2009, and by June of 2011, everything was done - new tires & wheels, new engine, Mustang II front end, Nova rear end, custom paint job, bumpers & exterior trim re-chromed, front grill re-chromed, new aluminum radiator, custom sound system & new seat covers.

I really enjoy driving my 1947 Chevrolet Fleetline -- people are always waving and giving me a "thumbs-up". I'm just glad that I am able to share my love of this car with everyone else, and not have it rusting away in my barn anymore. I have entered it in a couple of car shows, but haven't won any trophies yet. I'll keep trying, plus enjoying my cool custom ride!

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