TRUCK HISTORY & IMPORTANT INFO
1959 - the year this truck rolled off the assembly line, these were the headllines:
- Dwight D. Eisenhower was president.
- Alaska and Hawaii had just become the 49th and 50th States.
- Microchips were first invented.
- The winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture was Ben-Hur.
- The Cuban Revolution and the Cold War were the main concerns of the time.
With that perspective we can better appreciate what this truck represents. Chevy made history those years as well.
This 1959 3100 Apache was the last model of the "Task Force" design trucks which Chevrolet produced from 1955 to 1959 (named after the "task force" phrase used during WWII). At the time these vehicles set new standards for truck design, and they became an instant success. Chevy wiped out the competitors with these beautiful vehicles, and even today they are considered some of the best looking trucks ever.
These trucks (first the "Cameo" from 1955 to 1958, then the "Fleetside" like this one) were the first that set the industry trend of the square bed instead of the previuos "step-side" style. In 1958 Chevy changed the grill of their trucks to include the quad headlights, and the more sculpted hood line.
The history of this truck begins with the VIN. The VIN on this truck is 3A59K13XXXX. This gives us the following background:
- 1959 Model Year
- 3100 Model Number
- Kansas City, MO Assembly Plant
- 13XXXX is the sequence number of vehicles built
I purchased this truck four years ago from an older man (Mr. "M") in Springdale, AR. He explained to me that he had purchased this truck in 2000 from another person (Mr. "D") who had by that time passed away. Apparently Mr. "D" was the second owner of the truck, and had owned it for over 20 years. Mr. "D" had the truck professionally restored with the help of Mr. "M" in 1998. When Mr. "D" fell sick, he agreed to sell the truck to Mr. "M", who had several other restored collector trucks.
It was at that time that I was looking to purchase a 1957 Cameo truck, and I thought I had found it in Springdale with Mr. "M". The Cameo was not what I had expected, but when he told me he had a '59 Fleetside he was selling I checked it out, and that is how this blue beauty ended up with me. Since I don't have any information from before 1970, I can only assume I am the 4th owner of the truck. You can be the 5th.
I have some limited documentation of this history aside from Mr. "M"'s word, but nothing close to what many die hard collectors demand. I have the full names and information of both these men, but I'll keep them private for now.
Since I want to as honest and straightforward as possible, I have to include a "list of problems" this truck has as well. This is the only logical place, so here it goes:
- There are paint imperfections.
- The cab roof has an impression on it.
- There is slight surface rust on parts of the undercarriage.
- The steering wheel has cracks in it.
- The oak wood in the bed could use another coat of varnish.
- The engine block could use a new coat of orange paint.
- The current electrical system is the old glass fuse style, although I'll include a new wiring harness kit with the purchase of the truck. This kit is ready to install.
- The gauge glass and bezel are not perfect and could use replacement. I have an original replacement for this and will include it.
- The way the two 6x9 Pioneer speakers sit behind the seat is not to the level this truck deserves.
Click HERE to see photos of each of these "problem spots." All of these issues are minor, cosmetic and easily taken care of. With a small additional investment of time and money this truck could be a "show-quality" vehicle. I'm really being honest when I say that this truck is truly in excellent shape, and to restore a vehicle to were this one is at right now would cost at least $30,000 (more in Southern California).
The truck is currently registered in California under my name and the tags are up to date. It is smog exempt of course, and it has the really nice "whale tail" custom California license plates.