BillyBob at Boss's House Thanksgiving Day 2006

Out in the Garage with BillyBob

UPDATES:

WHAT'S NEW is a chronological listing of updates to the BillyBob site.

RESEARCH:

TRUCK LINKS including vendor sites for old parts, custom parts, and tools as well as sites for classic car and truck organizations

STORE Operating in association with Amazon.com, books, recordings and tools can be purchased.

PLANNING for the restoration including project schedule and cost estimates.

HISTORY:

TRAVELS WITH BILLYBOB With apologies to Steinbeck, this area of BillyBob's Garage will be used to log the trips BillyBob and I make together.

WORK-IN-PROGRESS was the restoration of parts of BillyBob that I could accomplish without a garage up until the summer of 2010 when I finally got enough warehouse space to work in. Now, it also includes the continuing work on BillyBob in the shop.

PRE-RESTORATION includes log entries of minor repairs and adventures between time of purchase and the time when I started restoration, a piece at a time.

JR'S KORNER JR's Korner is the history of BillyBob before I got him authored by my brother, Wm. C. Kephart.

MAINTENANCE:

BILLYBOB MAINTENANCE Ever changing detailing, oil change, lube, etc. maintenance routines specifically developed for BillyBob, including required tools, materials and procedures.

PARTS SHOP The Parts Shop is a repository of How-To articles. Things that I have done over and over enough times to have developed a procedure. This gives me a checklist and saves brain cells.

STEALTH SHOP Urban residence design with large integrated shop and separate living quarters for a relative or renter.

BillyBob is a Model 3100 1955 1st Series Chevrolet ton "5-window" pickup truck. He was manufactured in the early part of 1955 in Los Angeles, California.

I've been the proud owner of BillyBob for over twenty years. In the fall of 1997 I experienced what can only be termed as "a catastrophic system failure in a benign environment" . . . A brake line ruptured seconds after I had pulled into a parking space and stopped. My foot was still on the brake pedal when it went straight to the floor and BillyBob began to drift! If this failure had happened five minutes earlier or later, it could have been extremely interesting.

The point is that this near "religious experience" gave me pause for thought, and the main result of that contemplation was that it was high time to dismantle and restore BillyBob . . . and that is the reason for this area of the site . . . to chronicle that restoration and as much of BillyBob's history as I can manage to dig up.

Back when I was looking for access to a garage in which to carry out BillyBob's restoration, the first step was research while I hunted for a suitable operating theatre. When I was in the process of re-building BillyBob under the shadetree, I found lots of TRUCK LINKS including vendor sites for old parts, custom parts, and tools as well as sites for classic car and truck organizations. The "Links" page has become one of the most popular pages in BillyBob's Garage.

I also started collecting and reading books and other materials required to do this job the best way I can. I will list and offer my take on these books and publications in BILLYBOB'S BOOKSTORE. The bookstore has been setup in association with Amazon.com and any of the titles you see here can be purchased through Amazon.com directly from this site.

Based upon my initial research, I decided some PLANNING of the restoration project would be prudent to maintain forward momentum. This includes a "project schedule" and "cost estimate". This area of the site and BillyBob's progress came to a screeching halt when the segment of the economy I work in imploded in early 2009. It has not been updated since.

JR'S KORNER of BillyBob's garage is the history of BillyBob before I got him (1983 thru 1996). My brother Wm. C. Kephart owned the pickup immediately before I got it and has graciously volunteered to write the ole truck's history for that time period. In his own words, herein lies the tales of their voyages together.

I bought BillyBob from my brother in April of 1995 and got him shipped to Florida from Pennsylvania via auto transporter late in the same year. It took me until February 1996 to get tags, title and insurance squared away and I started using him as a daily driver at that time. The PRE-RESTORATION history of BillyBob includes log entries of minor repairs and and adventures between the time I got the truck and the time when I started restoration, a piece at a time.

The shop to perform BillyBob's off-frame restoration never materialized so, I decided on my 50th birthday that time was-a-wastin' and I might as well get my hands dirty restoring the portions of BillyBob that I could accomplish without a shop. As a result, I set up a new area at that time, WORK-IN-PROGESS, to chronicle this work.

By my 54th birthday in 2003, BillyBob was reliable enough as a daily driver that I started contemplating trips farther afield than the daily trips between home and work. With this in mind, a new section, TRAVELS WITH BILLYBOB was initiated. It started out with short journeys barely worth writing about but, as BillyBob has become more reliable during the re-building process, this area of the site  continued to ramp up in activity until roadtrips ceased in 2009, again due to the bad economy.

By my 61st birthday in 2010, I had arranged warehouse space to work in which I named the BillyBob Shop. I can now work undercover on all the rides. There was very little activity in the BillyBob Shop for the first five years, again due to Obomanomics. Late in 2015 underfunding ceased to be a problem, for the time being at least, and activity began to ramp up again with BillyBob being rebuilt now as a hot rod truck.

After I started getting things fixed, I started accumulating tools and parts. After awhile, I wuz up to my ears in organization problems and the things I've fixed have started their slide back to nature (rust). I stopped long enuf to add a BILLYBOB MAINTENANCE section to BillyBob's Garage.

The PARTS SHOP was added to BillyBob's garage in 2004. By 2003, I had started to gather quite a collection of used parts, most of them unrestored. It is a collection of How-To articles on the repair/restoration of individual parts and subassemblies.

At this point in my life, I will probably not buy a residence but, I still daydream and have made preparations just in case the company pool wins the Florida Lottery. With that in mind, I drew up some preliminary plans for a STEALTH SHOP urban residence design with large integrated shop and separate living quarters for a relative or renter.

You can email me at  webmaster@laroke.com

Issued Saturday January 17, 1998

Updated Wednesday January 8, 2016

copyright 1996-2016 Larry Robert Kephart all rights reserved