Once upon a time, in a garage far away, in a town called Clermont, Florida.....well, you get the idea! However, this really is a Cinderella Story for Wayne and Cindy Schumacher’s 1949 Chevy 5-Window Pickup. That’s because when it arrived from a field in Mississippi in early 2008 it was on a flat bed, contained mostly in a bunch of old 5-gallon white paint buckets, plus some pieces that were at least recognizable; a hood, front fenders, doors, a frame, bed-sides and rear fenders. As it was being backed into their garage, Wayne’s wife Cindy walked out with a look of complete disgust on her face and said, “Where exactly is that ‘Truck in a Bucket’ going to stay?”. Wayne laughed and said, “Don’t worry, I’ll keep the garage door closed!”. After that moment the family all lovingly referred to the ‘49 Chevy Pickup as the “Truck in a bucket”.
Wayne began the frame-off restoration and modifications in mid-2008 with the invaluable help of his hod rod buddies Gene Rose and Danny Porter, with the assistance of his friends at PPG, and the staff at his body shop, Haines City Paint & Body, logically located in Haines City, Florida.
The PPG candy apple red painted Pickup features a 383 cubic inch small block Chevy engine, 700R4 overdrive automatic transmission, Heidt’s Mustang II front end, all siting comfortably on Air Ride Technology air bags. The wheels are 20-inch special edition American Racing Torque Thrust M series mags, wrapped with Yokohama S-Drive 245/40R20 tires. The interior complements the truck with two-tone tan and cream ultra leather, which was a combination effort on the part of Tom’s Upholstery in Haines City, Florida, and Rod Door products.
The inspiration to restore this ‘49 Chevy Pickup came from an 8-year long frame-off restoration with his dad, Earl Schumacher, on his 1955 1st Series Chevy Pickup during the 1990’s. This pickup was completed as a restoration back to original specifications. Because Earl wanted it to be original they did it his way (after all even though Wayne is 48 years old, Earl is still Dad!). However, that project really made Wayne want to jump from an old generation restoration, into a next generation customization with all the new technological advances (translation: really cool new gadgets).
Some of the next generation technology included a modified dashboard wrapped in ultra leather, set-off by billet inserts with Auto Meter gauges, a digital control screen for the Air Ride system, billet controls for the Vintage Air system, and a Kenwood stereo system. Wayne also included an on-board navigation system and a backup camera, iPod and MP3 players, all of which have touch screen controls with three monitors. This was the stuff that got Wayne’s kid’s attention, finally!
Just like the story of Cinderella, the 1949 Chevy has transformed from a “Truck in a bucket” to a blossoming beauty when the project was completed in early 2010. That includes becoming a calendar girl when it was photographed for a feature in PPG’s 2011 calendar, and a cover girl now on Mike Kelly’s Cruise News. These days when Wayne hears his wife and kids talk about the ‘49 Chevy Pickup, they smile and proudly and call it their “Calendar Girl”. Can any of you out there relate to this? CN