The 1949 Chevrolet 3600 truck sat in a farm field in Norwich for years before a Pittsburgh, Pa., man and his brothers resurrected it and gave it new life.
Mark Weisseg, 54, spotted an online listing last year and bought the truck he calls "The Beast" from Richard Sundren of Mike and Dick's Hotrod of Minot. Weisseg arranged to have the old vehicle shipped to his brother Craig Weisseg's driveway at his home in Chicago in February 2013.
"My brother literally spent hours power-washing it," said Weisseg, who said the truck was a farm vehicle in every sense of the word, caked in dirt and smelling of the cow pasture.
The Weisseg brothers are restoring this old 1949 Chevrolet 3600 truck that was originally in a Norwich farmfield.
Mark Weisseg, an avid classic car collector, is disabled and wasn't able to do the physical work of restoring the old truck, so it became a family affair. Not only Craig Weisseg but his older brother Bruce and nephews Eric and Matthew joined in the effort. Bruce Weisseg worked on the engine, while Craig Weisseg's son Eric helped restore the upholstery and Bruce Weisseg's son Matthew worked on the gas tank.
The family of car aficionados has kept in close contact over the past year, discussing the progress of work on the old vehicle and what needed to be done next. They have also kept a running journal of their work on the truck at the stovebolts.com forum under the title "The Beast."
The truck wasn't in working condition at all when Craig Weisseg first began work on it.
"As far as we can tell, it hadn't run since 1980," said Mark Weisseg.
That meant the engine had to be removed and rebuilt. The Weissegs also restored all the truck's wiring, brakes and steering. Mark Weisseg decided to leave the vehicle in the original patina it was found in, so it will still look like an old farm truck when he displays it at a big car show in Pennsylvania or when he drives it down a Pittsburgh street.
Mark Weisseg said he did decide to install seat belts in the truck, which didn't have them when it rolled off the assembly line in New York in 1949.
Mark Weisseg said the renovation on the truck will be completed by April and it will then be shipped to Pittsburgh. He can't wait to show it off at a car show and to drive it this summer.
Mark Weisseg said he especially enjoys imagining the people who drove his old cars and thinking about what they used those vehicles for. He is trying to find the people in Norwich who originally owned the truck and find out a bit more about its history. He imagines the farmer who owned it used the truck to haul trailers and other items back and forth from the farm. He must have been so excited when he first purchased the truck when it was all shiny and new.
Mark Weisseg said there aren't many of the 1949 Chevrolet 3600 trucks left, since they were usually sent straight to the scrap yard after they stopped working.
Now this one truck has been saved and restored and will likely outlive the Weissegs who lovingly worked on it, said Mark Weisseg.