Allan’s a Chevy man through-and-through

For nearly 50 years Katikati mechanic Allan Smith has prayed at the temple of Chevrolet – a quasi-religion and one he’s dedicated himself to since the age of 15.

His almost half-century of devotion to the Chevrolet pantheon has seen Allan offer up libations of motor oil to those most venerated gods: Corvette, Coupe, Camaro and Nomad.

Katikati mechanic Allan Smith with his lovingly restored 1955 Series 1 Chevrolet Pickup truck. Photo by Tracy Hardy.

“I’ve always owned Chevys,” reflects Allan. “When I was going to school I used to work for a garage in Otahuhu; the owner used to race a lot of Chev coupes at Pukekohe.

“So that’s where I hooked on to them. I really do appreciate all car brands and I won’t rubbish other types, but in truth I just simply prefer to drive Chevs.”

This year Alan performed a resurrection ritual that’s sure to please the pantheon – the restoration of a 1955 Series 1 Chevrolet Pickup Truck.

It took four years of toil, plus a cash injection of about $45,000, to restore the black and white pickup truck which he received “in a million pieces”.

But Allan says it’s been a satisfying restoration as he did every single little thing on the truck, aside from the interior.

“I owned a 1974 Corvette but never did anything with it and decided to flick it off,” he remembers.

“But I couldn’t, so in the end I swapped it for this truck which came in a million pieces.
“Being a mechanic, when you’re working all day it’s hard to get motivated to carry on with your own stuff, but once things gets closer to the end it gets exciting so you crank into it more.”

If you want to see Allan’s Chevrolet Pickup Truck, head to tomorrow’s Happy Days Car Show from 9am at Diggelmann Park in Katikati, sponsored by The Weekend Sun. Entry is a gold coin donation, with funds raised going to Katikati Toy Library.


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