SHARE
Fixer-upper . . . Gore’s Bryan Neilson takes his 1942 Chevrolet 15 CWT Pickup out for a drive.

Bryan Neilson’s car may have been in the wars but these days it looks better than ever.

The Gore man has owned the 1942 Chevrolet 15 CWT pickup for almost two decades.

“This is surplus army equipment,” Mr Neilson said.

“It’s war issue.”

Those in the know could tell this by looking at the vehicle.

Chrome was not used on blackout-series war-issue Chevrolets.

These vehicles, made in 1942-45, were more stealthy.

“It’s less reflective if you’re out at night, in the searchlights.”

On other vehicles, chrome would have been used on door handles, grills , headlights, windows and bumpers, he said.

The parklights were also narrower.

“They just have a wee slot for the light to get out.”

After the war, the car was used as an all-purpose vehicle by a farming couple.

“It was the only vehicle on their farm. They went on their honeymoon in it.

“They also used it as a tractor.”

Ground-up restoration on the vehicle was needed when he bought it from the couple.

The former mechanic had the skills to restore his new purchase but it was a big job.

He had to contend with a faulty motor and rust on the chassis, among other problems.

“It took me 12 years to restore.

“I used the parts of five different vehicles.”

The restoration was finished off with a black and red paint job that was far cry from the original “greenish” army colour.

He liked the car for its style and now drove it out every week.

“It’s never failed me.”

A special memory was returning to give the former owner a ride in the spruced-up vehicle.

She had enjoyed the memories it brought back, he said.