Let's face it, the days of finding a cool, cheap classic in your local rag are long gone. For some specialty vehicles, finding a wreck with a salvage title isn't even an option. If your wallet looks like ours after the monthly bills are paid, about the only thing left is jean lint and garage dust. Sometimes a few tools and lots of cleaner is the best method of managing the dollars spent on your aspirations. Unfortunately, all the cleaning in the world wasn't going to turn our longbed into a short one. We decided to put our best foot forward and attempt to convert this '69 Chevy C20 to C10 status, as cheap as we could.
Our '69 Chevy looked pretty good, but after using 2 gallons of aircraft-quality stripper, three 7-inch wire wheels, a box of 60-grit 2-1/2-inch sanding disks, and two cheap grinders, we discovered our diamond-in-the-rough was only fool's gold buried under a 1/2-inch of automotive mud. (It's truly amazing what some people can do with Bondo.) After the body filler was swept from the garage floor, and the respirators were removed, we began shortening the bed. We pulled a number of dents with an older-style slide hammer from the toolbox arsenal. If you are in possession of a longbed and want to convert it into a more-desired shortbed, take a look at our approach and see if it can meet your needs.