1950 Chevy 3100- The Boss
King of all Retirement Gifts
Retirement is that time of your life where you get to finally enjoy the fruits of your labor and your life’s hard work. For the past 32 years, Kenneth Lemieux of Marrero, Louisiana, has been employed at Jefferson Parish Department of Streets. He gradually worked his way up from the concrete crew to eventually the head of the department as Superintendent. Throughout those years, he never stepped out of the box and into something creative. That moment changed when he realized that his retirement was right around the corner.
During a family trip, Kenneth took his fiancé Angela to her mother’s house and noticed a old beat-up 1950 Chevy 3100 truck at the side of the house. The jalopy belonged to Angela’s half-brother and just appeared to be sitting around taking up space. “I knew it was some sort of an antique vehicle,” Kenneth says. “It was hard to tell exactly what the true potential was.” The truck had no motor, but Kenneth knew this was the perfectly bare canvas for his retirement project.
Kenneth paid $2,200 for the truck and had it towed to his home where the critical thinking began on his new project. A close friend, Mark Redo, told Kenneth the truck was a rust bucket and nothing could be done to it. To prove him wrong, he decided to bring it to a local body shop. There it just ended up collecting dust. He removed it from that shop and brought it to a different body shop. Again, no progress was made. Aggravated and to the point of almost giving up, he ran into Kerry Delatte, who told him he could bring the classic to life. He brought the Chevy to Kerry’s shop in Vacherie, Louisiana, where they laid down the groundwork and discussed the truck’s exact blueprint.
Originally, Kenneth had wanted to use a S10 chassis for the Chevy, but they decided on a ’79 Chevy Camaro sub-frame and built the rest with square tubing. The next step, complete the bodywork by removing the rust and piecing it all back together. The doors were removed and switched over to suicide style for a more custom look. Kenneth purchased a 5.7L LS motor out of a ’02 Camaro SS. Once mounted, it was determined the cab needed a transmission tunnel to accommodate both the motor and transmission. The fuel tank was relocated to the rear, so they built a frame with a hinge in order to raise the bed up.
The next step was to bring the classic 1500 lower to the ground by way of an AccuAir e-Level system and changing it to a three-link wishbone suspension. While the truck was being built, Kenneth hadn’t yet decided on a color. He went to the Cruising the Coast show for research purposes, looking for a color. He found a classic Ford with a paint job that stood out and got the paint code from the owner. Taking the code name straight to Bellerose Paint & Body Shop, Timmy Bailey coated the truck in DuPont Mandarin Copper. Living in Louisiana, Kenneth loves the gator look. So when the interior was ready to be added, he asked Robert “Toy” Torey to lay down reptile designs throughout the truck.
Kenneth wants to thank his friend Mark for calling it a rust bucket, which motivated him to turn his once-neglected truck into a masterpiece. He wishes to thank God for putting him in the position to be able to build a truck of this caliber. He also wishes to thank his mother for reminding him to have patience and understanding. Kenneth and his beautiful fiancé Angela can now enjoy their golden years in a truck built in gold.
Inside the buildYear/Make/Model: 1950 Chevy 3100
Owner and City/State: Kenneth Lemieux, Sr.; Marrero, Louisiana
Front Suspension: ’79 Camaro sub frame with 3/4 tubed chassis, custom built 2 by 4 tubing, 2-inch dropped spindles, crossed-drilled slotted rotors, ’bag cups, painted control arms, Firestone 2.500lb air bags
Rear Suspension: Three-link wishbone, cross-drilled slotted rotors, ’bag cups, painted control arms, Firestone 2,500lb ’bags, two Viair 380 compressors, AccuAir e-Level air management, two 3-gallon aluminum air tanks
Engine: ’02 LS1 5.7L, fuel-injected K&N cold-air intake, Thunder Racing Raptor cam shaft, 7.400 hardened pushrods, LS 6 intake, PSI LS conversion wire harness, Corvette front serpentine accessories, 1 3/4-long tube headers, Magnaflow mufflers, Optima Red Top battery, chrome brake booster, chrome master cylinder
Transmission: 4L60 E, PTC stall converter
Rearend: ’85 Chevy, shortened 8-inches, 10-bolt rearend with a 390 gear ratio, limited-slip differential, SSBC disc brakes
Body/Paint: Mandarin Copper DuPont paint done by Bellerose Paint & Body, suicide doors, shaved door handles, V-Butt windshield, frenched headlights, front and rear rollpan, 11-inch LED taillights, Spal shaved door kit
Interior: Tan leather seats, gator inserts and piping, gator-wrapped sunvisors, gator shifter boot, Flaming River tilt-steering column, custom center console, Dakota Digital gauges, AVS 200psi digital gauge, Explosion steering wheel by Raceline, tan-covered doors with painted inserts, custom floor mats with LSX embroidery, Vintage A/C and heat, power windows all by Robert Torey
Stereo: Pioneer in console touchscreen head unit, JL Audio components, JL Audio 8-inch shallow-mount subwoofer, JL Audio amplifier
Wheels & Tires:
Wheels: 20x8.5, 22x10; Raceline Explosion 5
Tires: 245/35R20, 285/30R22; Lionhart
Special Thanks: Kenneth Lemieux, Jr., for the engine build and installation. Billy Lane, Jr., and Billy Lane, III, for installing the AccuAir air bag system, three-link wishbone suspension, painted accessories, brake booster and master cylinder install, and helping with all the issues during this build. Kerry Delatte for the chassis build, suicide doors, and putting truck together every Saturday until it was beer time. Robert “Toy” Torrey for the upholstery work. Timmy and Jordie at Belle Rose Paint & Body Shop in Belle Rose, Louisiana, for their amazing paintwork, transmission tunnel build, and recessed firewall install. Jed Allemand for the A/C install, Bruce Lemieux for miscellaneous welding, Tyrone Lemieux for showing it off with cellphone snap shots all over Marrero before it was completed. Angela and Kenysha for reminding me how much money I spent on this build when I said I didn’t have any money.