Technically Speaking

Project White Trash: Evicting the Angry Tennants


Welcome to part two of the Project White Trash series; an on-going story highlighting the resurrection of a 1964 Chevy truck that was rescued from the scrapper.


Bob Larson using tin snips to trim a truck bedside before fitting a patch panelPart one left off with the deal being made between myself and the seller. We both felt satisfied with the terms of the deal, and now it was time to get it out of his backyard. A quick call to my buddy Bob Larson was all it took. Bob is one of those guys who’ll drop anything that he’s doing at a moment’s notice to help anybody. He’s also one of the best metal men that I know. So good that a well-known vintage Mercedes restoration shop in L.A. uses him exclusively to save late ’50s SL roadsters that most shops would sell for scrap. The cool thing about Bob is that if you took him out for breakfast or lunch, he would probably trailer your car all the way to Maine if you asked him.

He’s a great guy.



We grabbed some breakfast and headed across town to Hesperia. We positioned Bob’s truck and trailer directly in front of the Chevy and dropped the ramps. Three of the 4 tires were flat, and one of the rears has a gaping hole in it. Trying to fill two of the tires used up every bit of air we had in our tanks. Having no other quick options, we decided to see if the winch had the guts to drag up a ¾ ton truck with two flat tires. I’d like to shake the hands of the guys who design Warn winches because that bad boy didn’t even break a sweat. Once we got it up on the truck, I quickly grabbed a pair of tow straps and slid on my back under the truck.

As soon as I slid under, I quickly realized my error. It dawned on me that I was now trapped in Spiderville. Everywhere I looked, I saw Black Widows. Every move I make from this point on will have to be planned. I don’t want to get stuck in a web with a venomous spider.

Black Widow spider, hanging under the back of a Chevy truck


I SLOWLY slid the tow hook over the passenger side of the rear axle housing. Seeing no spider movement, I slid over to the driver’s side using just my shoulder blades to move laterally. Right then, I see that a black widow had taken residence in the exact spot that I needed to place the strap. This spider knows that something is about to go down and she is nervously scampering around in her web. I laid there for a minute, looking for an alternate location and found none. Without looking, I felt for the unlock lever and started pulling it through the ratchet reel. I needed some length because I had a plan to throw the strap like Batman’s Bat Hook and then haul ass out from under the truck.


I ran through the plan in my head. Once it was Go Time, I heaved the hook, spun around like a break dancer, and did the world’s lowest Limbo move all the way to the back bumper. It was a great plan, but I didn’t take into account the long bolt on the spare tire holder. Fortunately, it missed my head, but it grabbed my shirt and made a 6” long gouge in my shoulder. I didn’t care, getting torn up was better than getting munched on by an entire colony of pissed off spiders.


I finish the job of strapping down the rear as Bob pulls the slack out with the electric winch. I do a quick once-over of the truck, making sure that the junk in the bed is secured for the trip home. There’s no tailgate, so this step was important. We start to roll out of the yard, and my eyes are fixed on the Chevy, making sure that nothing falls off. Everything looks good, and we get on the road. I would like to go on record and apologize to the lady in the Hyundai that followed us through Hesperia. That poor lady got fogged with decades of dust, stagnant water, angry spiders, and mouse poop.


We make it over to Brad King’s house because this is where I had planned to stash it while I was waiting to get more concrete poured at my house. We get it off the trailer, and I start walking around it, assessing the truck’s poor condition. I get to the driver’s side, and I can hear a humming sound. I look down at the hole in the bed where the fuel access door is for the auxiliary fuel tank, and there’s a squadron of pissed off bees. They had obviously made a massive hive inside the fuel tank and the bumpy ride had them ready to go kick somebody’s ass.

First, it was spiders, and now it’s bees. There are hundreds, and they keep coming out of the filler neck of the tank. I maintain my distance because if they decide to team up and attack, I’m going to wind up in the hospital. That many bee stings never ends well for the unlucky victim.

1964 Chevy Truck known as White Trash sitting in the yard


Brad absolutely hates bees, and it all stems from a really bad experience he had when he was a kid. If you mention bees, the hair stands up on the back of his neck. He already has a sizeable bee colony living under a shed in the back section of his property. The ones living in the truck need to get evicted. When the sun goes down and the bees go to bed, Brad grabs a lacquer-thinner soaked rag and stuffs it in the filler neck of the gas tank. The bee problem has been resolved, but the spider eradication is going to take months. I find out the hard way that they hatch faster than you can kill them. The truck gets pulled up on to the patio for the next phase.

1964 Chevy truck known as White Trash sitting on the patio


Now that it’s on solid ground, it’s time to clean up the truck. This thing is caked with decades of grease and dirt. It’s so thick in spots that you can’t tell where the grease stops and the metal starts. Fortunately, Brad has a steam cleaner, and Walmart sells Purple Power for a few bucks a gallon. I used three gallons of that stuff just to soak the frame and suspension. Even with steam and a high pressure, it was still a chore to get it clean. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I removed at least 100lbs of dirt and grease. There was so much removed dirt and grease on the concrete that I had to scrape it up with a shovel. A lot of work, but it cleaned up pretty well!


1964 Chevrolet truck under hood shot before steamcleaning




1964 Chevrolet truck under hood shot after steamcleaning


Stay tuned for the next episode of project White Trash, where I come up with a clever trick for cleaning the exterior. I also put the plans in motion for the suspension mods, and the truck starts getting it’s missing parts replaced. See you next week!


You can find part one HERE and part three HERE.

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Alex Welsh

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