Buying on the Net can be a wallet drainer, as many an aficionado can attest when said vehicle arrives and it isn't quite what he expected. Not so in the case of Peter Noyes of Portland, Oregon. He tried to buy his pickup from builder Luke Bruheim of Appleton, Wisconsin, several years ago, but was out-gunned by someone else with deeper pockets. Many years later he saw a small photo of it in a magazine and contacted the new owner; one week later it showed up in Oregon. Peter was overwhelmed by the imagination and workmanship that had gone into this one-of-a-kind pickup.

Chevrolets of this era had a lot of wood supporting the body panels, and that didn't help their life on this planet, making them quite scarce these days. Luke had a huge project before him when he started on the old hauler, and as you can see, he overcame the obstacles and produced a hot rod in its truest form.

The original frame was boxed and set up for the suicide-style mounted Chassis Engineering I-beam front axle and narrowed Chrysler rear with adjustable four-link, Strange Engineering adjustable coilover shocks, and Chrysler finned 11-inch brakes. Pete & Jake's supplied the shocks to go with the Magnum axle and drilled '40 Ford brakes. Luke made his own pedal assembly and steering column, which is hooked to a Flaming River steering box. He also hand-fabricated the hairpins, radius rods, tie rod, and draglink in 4130 chrome-moly. A bomber-style fuel tank was fabricated to fit in the bed of the pickup, which Luke left open so onlookers could see the rear chassis modifications. He then added a '59 GM 348ci powerplant with an Offenhauser six-pot manifold and Holley 94 carbs. A GM 700-R4 transmission with a custom driveshaft and heavy-duty Spicer U-joints is planted between the engine and the Chrysler rear.

With the chassis ready to roll, the body had to be just as radical. The top was whacked a massive 5 1/2 inches while shortening the body and then channeling it over the frame. Luke replaced all the wood with steel, fabricating new door hinges and latches, which made the pieces fit better than they did mounted in wood the way the factory originally did it.

On the inside he added Stewart Warner gauges to the original dash panel, and made the bomber-style seats out of aluminum with canvas padding and WWII-style aircraft seatbelts. No paint, no stinking stereo, and an open cowl vent for air, this is a real, loud, fast hot rod made like it's supposed to be. Peter couldn't be happier, especially when his wife hits the line lock and lights up the Firestones!