Warren Weischedel and his 1968 Chevrolet 20 ¾ Ton Pickup

As a college student in 1964, I saw restored cars from the 1950’s all over the college campus. I was envious of my classmates who owned these vehicles. I felt I could only dream of restoring such a vehicle. I started saving my money but as time went on my savings always slipped away on necessities. It was not until after I retired in 2012 that I finally reached my dream of restoring an older vehicle. Poking around at a nearby farm auction, I happened across a rusted out 1968 Chevrolet pickup. The truck had been sitting in a machinery yard for several years and was full of rust and dents and sported four flat tires. Despite the age and wear, the truck had only one owner prior to me.

I was so proud of my purchase and immediately began the hunt for a body shop to start the restoration. It took five years to find a body man interested in my project; then I had to wait another four years before the restoration process started! Finally, in June of 2022, PLNJANE was road ready.

Almost every part in the pickup was replaced, either with new original parts or upgrades. We sandblasted, undercoated, and painted the frame. The grill was replaced with a custom grill. Because of this custom grill, the latch to lift the hood is under the license plate and foot activated. We replaced the engine with a crate engine, kept the original transmission, installed new brakes, and updated the rear axle from a Dana 260 to a Chevy axle with 373 gears. We replaced all brake lines, installed new brakes and wheel cylinders, and updated the wheels from split rim to chrome. We installed new chrome step boards and original-looking chrome bumpers, lights, and mirrors. In the cab, we installed a new single bench seat, new classic wood steering wheel, an instrument panel, along with new carpet and rubber mats. The truck bed was rotted out with a large hole in the middle. We fixed this and replaced it with an oak and chrome floor. This pickup has a 4-speed manual transmission with no power steering, no power windows, and no air conditioning. The only upgraded addition is an old AM/FM radio. This is how I named my truck Plain Jane. Most of the parts for this renovation were purchased through LMC Truck.

Since 2022, I have proudly placed 4,200 miles on PLNJANE and am proud to show this truck at local parades and events. We cruised in the 2021 Centennial Parade in Onida, SD; the 2023 Fourth of July Parade in Ft. Pierre, SD; and the 2023 Old Settler’s Days Car Show in Highmore, SD. I also thoroughly enjoy cruising around town in my beautifully restored 1968 Pearl Blue with a bright white top Chevrolet every chance I get. My hope is that someday, she will end up with a collector who will ensure her beauty and longevity after I am gone.