The Norman Transcript

Headlines

August 3, 2013

Truck uses tech from six decades

NORMAN — Keith Reames has a photo album illustrating the restoration process of his 1953 Chevrolet 3100 series pick-up from rust bucket to cool blue truck. The Norman investment counselor started his first-ever automotive rebuilding project eight years ago.

“I saw the truck parked with a for sale sign at 24th Street near Highway 9,” Reames said. “It had four flat tires and the engine was locked up.”

The Duncan native looked at the old farm truck that hadn’t been tagged for more than 25 years and it appealed to the country boy in him.

As a 13-year-old kid, his grandparents and uncles had taught him to drive by motoring around ranch pastures in similar vehicles.

“I’ve always liked the 1950s look with nice clean lines and I just thought it would be fun to get one someday,” he said. “But I also like things like automatic transmission and air conditioning.”

His 1953 truck didn’t have those when it was new, they couldn’t be ordered from the assembly plant with those features at any price. Known as “Advanced Design” the trucks were no-nonsense load haulers intended for farmers and construction workers. The payload bed supports were wooden blocks. A Hydramatic automatic transmission became available for the first time in this series of trucks as an option in 1954.

“When I began restoring it, I had the choice of going back original but decided to soup it up a bit,” Reames said. “But even my ‘modern’ 350 engine is from a 1977 Chevrolet van that was going to be crushed for salvage.”

He had the motor rebuilt at a machine shop in Lexington. All rolling chassis components are from different, relatively modern vehicles. Now it has disc brakes, power steering and fuel injection. Reames married the refurbished power plant to a 1994 automatic transmission from a camaro. He did it himself in the two car garage of his NW Norman home. A picture in his photo album shows a posse of enthusiastic neighborhood men and boys on hand to help out and observe the operation. One red headed kid has the biggest smile you’ve ever seen. It was like a community project.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Norman firefighter performs Heimlich maneuver on Moore man after he chokes on food

    What started out as a normal night out for a Moore couple ended with them being thankful a firefighter was in the right place at the right time....

    July 22, 2014

  • Common Core repeal has state teachers worried about instruction

    OKLAHOMA CITY — With the Legislature’s repeal of tough, new English and math standards known as Common Core, education leaders said they’re concerned Oklahoma students will fall further behind their counterparts in more than 40 states ...

    July 22, 2014

  • 18-year-old killed; 72-year-old man, young boy injured

    Those involved in the wreck Friday near 136th Avenue and South Sooner Road were identified Monday by Oklahoma City police. Logan Rosado-Santoni, 18, was pronounced dead on the scene after the 4:30 p.m. multi-vehicle wreck. Two others were ...

    July 22, 2014

  • New AP program to begin in Norman

    NORMAN — Norman Public Schools Board of Education learned about Advanced Placement Capstone at a regular board meeting Monday....

    July 22, 2014

  • Rebels release train with bodies from jet

    HRABOVE, Ukraine — Bowing to international pressure, pro-Moscow separatists released a train packed with bodies and handed over the black boxes from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane, four days after it plunged into rebel-held eastern ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Gaza death toll passes 560

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — A high-level attempt by the U.N. chief and the U.S. secretary of state to end deadly Israel-Hamas fighting was off to a rough start Monday: Gaza’s Hamas rulers signaled they won’t agree to an unconditional ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Moore City Council paves way for Sam’s Club location

    MOORE — The Moore City Council approved a $5 million bond Tuesday to be repaid with sales tax and utility revenues. “A good amount of street improvements needs to be done,” Moore City Manager Steve Eddy said. “This will be paid for with ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Perry sending Guard troops to border

    AUSTIN, Texas — Gov. Rick Perry is deploying up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border over the next month to combat what he said Monday were criminals exploiting a surge of children pouring into the U.S. illegally. ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Better weather to aid in fire fight

    SPOKANE, Wash. — Calmer winds and cooler temperatures were allowing firefighters to go on the offensive Monday against a destructive wildfire that has charred hundreds of square miles of terrain in Washington State and is the largest in ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Gay, transgender workers gain U.S. bias protection

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Monday ordered employment protection for gay and transgender employees who work for the federal government or for companies holding federal contracts, telling advocates he embraced the “irrefutable ...

    July 22, 2014