But the main attraction of the truck is the hand-formed body (where Jimmy shaped 0.060 aluminum over a steel rollcage that he fabbed), and built into the design is a 4-inch chop 'n' channel job. Safety was also evident in the scratch-built doors as Jimmy incorporated crash bars to work around the Nu-Relics power windows. Though it's Jimmy's business (for small runs and prototyping), the shop is something every fabricator would love to come home to. Every imaginable tool is there (including an Amada Lasmac laser cutter), but it seems much of Jimmy's time was spent with the planishing hammer, Yoder, a CNC turret punch, and his Pullmax. Jimmy also created the shorty box bed (out of steel), and formed stainless steel strips to hold the boxed steel floor section pieces he also created.
Up front a '32 grille shell features an insert filled with 410 stainless steel bullets Jimmy painstakingly machined and assembled and the roof uses a formed aluminum sheet that he covered in white vinyl to give the illusion of a filled top.
Coker wheels (15x5 and 15x8)...
Coker wheels (15x5 and 15x8) are painted red, shod with Firestone wide white rubber (6.70-15 and 15x10 Dragster), and topped with '55 Dodge Lancer 'caps. Jimmy also built the aluminum truck and steel bed himself before painting much of it with DuPont Hot Hues Extreme Green.
With the basics of the truck done, Jimmy took it to a few car shows, including the Goodguys Kansas City meet in 2009, where many folks stopped by to check out the neat-looking engine but walked away without realizing they were standing in front of a hand-formed aluminum truck! Jimmy picked up a Top 100 award from STREET RODDER (we believe it's the first time an "unfinished" vehicle has ever done that) at the event, but at the Hunnert Car Pile-Up show, Jimmy was happy to see Keith Weesner stop by and check out his handiwork. As with any artist, when someone says, "Hey I built a copy of a car from your artwork" they usually don't hit the mark, but Weesner was pleasantly surprised at the accuracy and overall appearance of Jimmy's ride, and he autographed the dash for him.
Though it might have been a shame to cover up the aluminum, Jimmy decided to finish out his truck with paint and upholstery. After blowing the pickup apart, he rolled the parts and pieces into the paint booth and covered most of the body parts with DuPont Hot Hues Extreme Green paint while the chassis, firewall, and bed planks were sprayed in DuPont Snow Storm white.
In this Rick Bales photo from...
In this Rick Bales photo from July 2009, you can see the progress Jimmy made from when he started from scratch on the project in December 2008. For many more photos of the build of this truck, check out www.streetrodderweb.com.
Back for assembly, Jimmy tackled the upholstery by covering the Wise Guys bench seat with a tuck 'n' roll design using white vinyl with green welting, and copied the pattern on the door panels too. A two-piece aluminum headliner was also covered in the pleated vinyl, and '60s-era GM dark green loop carpet (with white binding) gives a vintage feel to the interior. Up on the Brookville dash (a '32 unit made for Model A's) five Stewart-Warner Wing gauges are set into a SO-CAL engine-turned insert (there is also a tachometer just above the column), and a white Grant three-spoke wheel is attached to a LimeWorks column. Unseen items include Lizard Skin insulation and a Painless Performance wiring kit and, and for added safety, Autoloc seat belts were installed. As a finishing touch, the title of the Weesner artwork that inspired Jimmy to build the truck in the first place, "Emerald Tide", was pinstriped on the dash by MK John from Montgomery City, Missouri. (Jimmy was sad about having to cover Keith Weesner's autograph when he painted his truck, but he hopes to have the artist redo the signing the next chance he has to see the pickup). And, if you'd like to see more photos of the build process, check out the link at www.streetrodderweb.com.
Jimmy made both the planks...
Jimmy made both the planks (from boxed steel) and the stainless steel strips used inside the truck box.
Once everything was reassembled and put back in place, Jimmy took the truck to the Goodguys 2010 event in Indy where it won a Goodguys Gazette Pick, and the next month at the Goodguys Columbus Nationals it was awarded a STREET RODDER Top 100 award (be sure to vote for it at www.streetrodderweb.com). By the time the pickup made it to the NSRA's Street Rod Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky, in August the truck had picked up one of the 12 Classic Instruments' Pro's Picks out of a group of 114 cars in contention.