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'59 Slow Progress

I've barely seen my truck in the last ten days or so.  I've had some other things going on.  For example, last weekend, my only real goal was to clear out some space in the shop so that I could move some of our "project" furniture being stored in the garage out to the shop.  It has been getting cold here in the Ozarks and I was determined not to spend another winter morning scraping the night's precipitation of my car windows.  Up until this last weekend, we have had this oversized two-car garage with only one car and a whole lot of stuff being stored in it.  Though, I'm happy to announce that after just 367 days of owning this place, I finally have spaces for both our main vehicles indoors.  :)

With that not-so-little project out of the way, I'm happily back to doing '59 stuff. Yesterday, I worked out a deal with a guy who was selling this front bumper on Craigslist.  It's for an 87-91 GMC van but it fits beautifully across the front of the '59.  Those vans were called a "square body" which works out perfect on the very flat front end of my truck.  Before I bought it though, I wasn't sure how it would look on my truck.  There was no way I was going to drag my truck to Springfield to dry fit it to see and it was highly unlikely that the seller would let me borrow it until I made a decision.  It's in situations like these that GIMP comes to the rescue.

I went online and found a photo of one of these vans that was taken at roughly the same angle as another photo I found of a '59 without a front bumper.  With GIMP, I copied the front bumper from the van and superimposed it on the '59.  I had to do some resizing, rotating, and perspective shifting to get it all lined up and believable.  With the end result looking fairly convincing, it was easy for me to make a decision on whether or not I thought this bumper would be a good look for my truck.  I decided that it was and proceeded to wheel and deal for a good price.


I also found a nice chrome rear bumper yesterday, as well.  It was priced to sell for sure but I was the first one to contact the guy and still managed to knock the price down a bit.  The guy I bought it from couldn't remember which of his many vehicles he's owned in the last several years that it came from.  I don't really care, I guess.  It's in great shape.  Most of the '57-'60 model Fords didn't come with a rear bumper.  It must have been an option at the dealerships because I've seen several online that do have uniform rear bumpers, but the vast majority of ones that I see in person or online have no rear bumper.  Some people even go without a front bumper.  I don't like the look of the front without one, though.  It's a bit too cartoony and feels lacking.

I like the rear without a bumper just fine but I have a good reason for why I wanted one anyway.  When I drove the '59 it was at stock height.  I was able to reach over the side of the bed and touch the bottom with ease.  I could grab almost anything out of the bed without getting in it.  But, now, with it's lift on the '84, the top of the bed comes up to my armpit.  So, not only will the rear bumper provide some balance of chrome from the front to the back, but it will also make getting in and out of the bed a world easier by providing a step.  And, of course, it will serve its actual purpose of protecting the truck from potential fender benders, I hope won't happen.

So, in the above's poor example of a well-lit photograph, I've got the bumper being propped up to almost the height it will be when installed. I couldn't get it all the way in place because I have to notch out the bumper on each side as indicated by the blue line in this photo.  This cutout will make the bumper appear as if it were custom for this truck.  Once cut, I can slide it up another couple inches and there won't be any gap left between the bed and the bumper.  That will make it look a lot more natural.

The rear bumper already has brackets that appear like I can just bolt them right on to the back of the truck's frame.  I'll know for sure once I make the aforementioned notches in the bumper.  The front, on the other hand, is going to need brackets.  I removed my OEM '59 brackets and they won't fit.  However, I think that I can modify them.  More on that later, I'm sure.

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