For Ipswich mechanic, rebuilding ‘57 Chevy truck a labor of love

The 1957 Chevrolet pickup restored in Ipswich by Dick Theriault.
The 1957 Chevrolet pickup restored in Ipswich by Dick Theriault.Bill Griffith for The Boston Globe

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IPSWICH — In his 1976 No. 1 country hit, Johnny Cash tells about the Cadillac he built “One piece at a time . . . and it didn’t cost me a dime.” That’s because the parts were purloined off the assembly line over 20-plus years.

Dick Theriault, who specializes in classic car repairs and restorations at his classic car shop, North Shore Performance on Route 1 in Ipswich, knows about that “one piece at a time process.” He recently finished rebuilding a 1957 Chevrolet 3100 half-ton pickup truck, piece by careful piece. He finished the job in four years of his spare time; however, it cost him many barrels full of dimes.

“At the end of that first day, after they planted it outside my shop door, I asked myself, for the first of many times, ‘What have I gotten myself into?’ Theriault said.

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