Back in the '20s, when mountaineer George Mallory was asked why he wanted to climb Mt. Everest, the tallest (and, at the time, yet unconquered) mountain in the world, he's been credited with replying, "because it's there." But what would you say about someone who spent several months hand-fabricating a Model A truck out of aluminum when you could effectively go out and buy a steel version for a lot less headache? If you happen to know metal master Jimmy Hervatin, the only answer would be, "because he can."
There are a lot of guys in the rodding hobby who can shape metal, and some who are very good, but there are only a few who should be considered masters. Jimmy, who runs Precision Metal Fab & Machine in Warrenton, Missouri, not only scratch-built his entire ride, but then followed it up by painting it and doing the required upholstery as well.
"Emerald Tide" artwork, created by Keith Weesner, was the inspiration for Jimmy Hervatin t
Inspiration for the truck came directly from a painting called "Emerald Tide" by lowbrow fine artist Keith Weesner. Weesner's stylistic automotive-themed creations (often accompanied by a voluptuous female) are about as close to what hard-core hot rodders dream about, and Jimmy's interpretation of Weesner's artwork could only be termed "spot-on."
Jimmy's thought on the build was to showcase what he could do and, from the results, it looks like he can do it all. Nearly everything on his '30 pickup is hand built, with only a few exceptions. Jimmy started by building the chassis, which is set up on a 104-inch wheelbase. Widened 3 inches, the frame also features a 10-inch kick in the rear. Speaking of the rear, a Posies spring and reworked '36 trailing arms are used with a Winters quick-change rear (3.20:1) coupled with '46 Ford bells, and John's Industries aluminum 9-inch finned drum brakes as well.
Jimmy's creative hand at work. He milled his own air cleaners before having them chromed,
Jimmy also built a suicide front suspension for his truck (working off a crossmember he made wide enough to accommodate both spring and axle), which is comprised of a Posies spring, a Magnum 5-inch-drop axle, and a pair of drilled and flipped '32 'bones. Braking comes from a pair of SO-CAL '40 Lincoln units with chromed-plated aluminum finned covers, and steering is handled via a reversed Corvair box.
Coker steelies are found on each corner (15x5 and 15x8) and are shod with wide white Firestone 15x6.60 front tires and 15x10 dragster tires out back. All four wheels, painted red, are topped with '55 Lancer 'caps. Everywhere you look on the chassis you can find Jimmy's creative hand in even the smallest parts, as he made his own steering arms and tie rods as well as a stainless steel gas tank (a 7-gallon unit).
A Wise Guys bench seat was used as a base, but Jimmy stitched up the white vinyl and added
The general look of the drivetrain is derived from the artwork, too, as a 327 topped by three-twos provides the base. After Jimmy spent 40 hours grinding the block smooth, K&W Auto in Warrenton did the machining and assembly of the V-8, using flat-top pistons (9:1) and a Competition Cams camshaft in the build. Larry Fulton of Automotion Rochester Carburetor Service (Great Falls, MT) dialed in the Rochester carbs, which are found under a trio of chrome-plated air cleaners Jimmy milled on a lathe.
One of the most striking features of the engine is the unique set of double-Y headers, which Jimmy also fabbed before they were chromed outside and ceramic coated inside. A pointless PerTronix ignition system provides the spark with other parts coming from Speedway (fan), Walker (chopped radiator), and Cal Custom (chromed valve covers painted by Jimmy). The Powerglide transmission was also ground smooth before it was painted by the owner, and it connects to a driveshaft from Inland Empire Driveline.