Tim and Nancy Timmerman's
"Old Man"
My hometown is San Bernardino where I have great memories of cruising “E” and hanging out at Sage’s parking lot on Baseline and E Street. I spent most of my childhood in San Bernardino with brief periods away living with my grandparents on a farm in Camby Indiana and living with my Uncle Lou and Aunt Sadie in Newport Beach right opposite the Newport pier. I remember walking to elementary school along the beach. That is where I had my first love affair with the ocean that still lasts today. At age seventeen I graduated from San Bernardino High School and worked summers at the Pacific Telephone Company to put myself through junior college with an AA degree in Electronics Engineering Technology and graduated when I was nineteen. I had an old 1948 Chevy pickup truck that I used for working odd jobs hauling and cleaning yards to supplement my way through junior college. That old Chevy truck was my second love affair. There was just something about cruising around in that old truck that mad me happy inside and still does.

After graduating from junior college I started working and going to school at night for the next 7 years to get my Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering (BSEE). I worked Military jobs in the Defense Industry as a Microwave/RF Engineer for over 25 years. I was extremely fortunate to find employment working internationally in the ocean designing sub sea electronic systems and working in the field on deep ocean oil drilling ships and platforms, nuclear submarines, ocean research vessels and search and recovery deep ocean underwater vehicles. I was working at Interstate Electronics when I met my true love Nancy. Nancy stayed with me all these years even though I was always traveling and going to school at night. We have been together for over 30 years now and live in Trabuco Canyon with our German Shepard “Casey”, our beagle “Snoozer” and the “Old Man”. I am presently working on the design of digital video (TV) and music entertainment systems for use on commercial airlines.

I never forgot my love for old trucks and always kept and eye open for a 1948 to 1952 Chevy truck that I could afford to fix up. Everything in Orange County including the “beaters” cost more than I could afford. I finally talked to a guy at a Chevy truck show that knew of a 1948 Chevy truck in Modesto that was for sell by the wife of a guy that had passed away. I talked to the lady over the phone and after sharing a few pictures over the net, Nancy and I drove up there to give it a look. It was just what I was looking for with a 350 Chevy clip from a 1972 Camaro and no rust. Nancy and I bought the old truck for a great price and brought it home. It had a cover over the bed because the wooden bed was missing. The bed of the truck had been worked hard and was in bad shape. The cab was in good condition except for a hole in the bottom where the battery had been. The steering wheel was kind of loose which turned out to be because the steering was only coupled through a torn “rag” link. The front end suspension was really bad and the front tires were bull legged. It was very hot in Modesto and it would boil over if the truck was not moving. We were very lucky to get it home. Thanks God.

With our “Old Man” home we proceeded to fix the motor, steering and suspension to make it more reliable. Our first experience was a big rip off where the guy charged us way too much money and took much to long for trying to fix the steering, suspension and getting the doors to shut. We drove it for about a year after that until we decided to put a new 350 ZZ4 crate engine in the “Old Man” and rewire the electrical including a modern fuse box and remote door openers. It had some wiring connections from the 1972 Camaro clip mixed with the old original wiring and rather creative wiring including 18 gage bare wires. The suspension was fixed again and we installed a new crate motor, added custom fenders in the engine compartment, rebuilt the transmission and radiator and tried to fix the doors again. This guy was not as bad as the first guy but he did charge too much money and took longer that normal to complete. We drove it around for awhile and then found out about a guy named Alberto in Garden Grove that did paint and body work and got a really great price to recondition the “Old Man”. Alberto took about three months to totally take apart the truck inside and out and do it right. Nancy and I saw the “Old Man” every weekend to see how it was going. I had never seen what it takes to bond and sand and get the truck ready for paint. Attached are a few photos of the work in progress. Alberto tried about ten different mixtures of paint before we agreed on the final paint. We wanted a pearl paint that was different. We did the bed wood in wormy maple from Kentucky which was also different. This was a challenge because the bed had been channeled and custom sills needed to be designed and fabricated. Alberto had a friend across the street at Manny’s mufflers who installed the three inch custom exhaust along with some great sounding Flowmasters. Now the “Old Man” started to look and sounded great.

We were at the Dr. George Car Show in Palm Dessert with the club when I meet Gabriel who had done some really great looking custom leather work on some of the cars and trucks at the show. We finally agreed on a cash price and five weeks later I was driving home in a completed custom truck that was beyond my wildest dreams. With the custom leather, new 2002 customized Acura bucket seats and a new great sounding six speaker stereo system it did not seem like our “Old Man”. It took a long time to get used to the transformation and to realize that we were not driving someone else’s truck. We are just now getting used to the idea that this is really our “Old Man” truck.

The truck had problems with the 750 Holly carburetor until Dick Bennett came over to our house after the truck had to be towed in from Los Angeles and put in a 670 Holly Avenger carburetor. The truck has run like a top since his help. We sincerely appreciate the help from Dick Bennett to get the “Old Man” back on the road again. The doors never closed properly even after two guys worked on them until Richard Thompson (BJ Automotive) worked on them along with a bunch of other work he did. Rich is another club member who has contributed a big part in getting and keeping the “Old Man” running great. Nancy and I have met some really great people through the SOCRC car club and have had a lot of fun hanging out at car shows and events. We are looking forward to more fun and laughs with our friends we have met. Nancy and I are out every weekend if it is not raining in our truck cruising along the ocean or to a show somewhere. We have put over 25,000 miles on the truck since the new engine. Thanks to all of the club members for allowing us to be a part of a great group that has fun enjoying our love affairs with our old cars and trucks.
Tim and Nancy Timmerman