The taillights-at least their lenses and reflectors-actually started life as production motorcycle units. To make their bezels, Duc Pham carved wooden bucks in the fenders' profile and submitted them to the foundry that cast the crank-hole plug. To understand the challenge those bezels presented, consider that Pham finish-shaped the metal pieces to fit fenders after the fenders were painted.
The running boards' skins between the front and rear fenders sandwich aircraft-type honeycomb. Pins, rather than bolts, make the unions among fenders and boards possible.
Its days of hauling dirt may...
Its days of hauling dirt may be a distant memory but the Dodge's bed loosely reflects the truck's utilitarian heritage. The abstracted "wood" planking is actually a leather-wrapped steel floor. The steel strips are like the originals in material only; these were machined with a smooth crown profile and designed to bolt to the floor á la Nomad cargo strips.
Dodge's original open-channel frame hardly stood a chance in light of the truck's proposed Hemi power. The longer wheelbase made it less practical yet. Instead, SAR cut and assembled one from plate stock.
The framerails meet by way of several crossmembers, the leading one from Heidts. It mounts the company's Superide suspension components. The middle and rear crossmembers are entirely original. The center one drops out from the chassis to permit transmission access as well as accommodate the transmission cooler lines; the rear one attaches permanently to the frame and mounts a narrowed Dana 60 rearend, its attendant coilovers, and an antiroll bar.
Pressing the brake pedal engages a linkage that transmits force to a Tilton master cylinder mounted on the frame's inner wall. That cylinder, in turn, converts mechanical force to hydraulic pressure, which a network of polished stainless lines distributes to Wilwood (front) and fourth-generation Corvette (rear) calipers.
The wheels bolted to those rotors aren't your average billets. Budnik Wheel made these wheels-at least their centers-the way you probably always thought billet wheels were made: by removing metal that didn't resemble a wheel from a solid block. Unencumbered by the constraints imposed by the pre-shaped forgings from which most billet wheel centers are machined, Ito penciled an entirely original wheel design. They are, by the definition of the word and just like the rest of the car, unique.
As part of trimming the cockpit,...
As part of trimming the cockpit, Chavers made these door pulls and the armrests below them. He carved the armrests from wood but machined the pulls from aluminum plate stock.
When the truck arrived at SAR it came with a Pro Street mandate. It also came with a billet blower, an Enderle-style injector hat bolted to one side, and a Chrysler Hemi on the other. Naturally, the truck shed the Pro Street theme, but as the hat poking through the hood indicates, the power remains.
The blower of note is a Blower Shop interpretation of a GMC 6-71. The hat that tops it is also a BDS piece, a fully functional throttle valve with linkage and various sensors hidden within it. An early Cragar manifold makes the marriage between the GM blower design and Chrysler engine possible.
Chris Ito preserved elements that make trucks truck-like, including the gauge cluster that made the truck look car-like in the first place. Naturally it underwent transformation, albeit for function only; Classic Instruments updated its gauges with modern electronic movements and re-screened the faces in the original typeface, albeit in contemporary statistics.
Machined from the center bedstrip...
Machined from the center bedstrip is a slot and in that slot is a handle. The bed floor pops up when released but the handle brings it up the rest of the way.
When Ito sketched the shape of the header between the dash and the windshield, he drew a hole in its middle. Inside it is a bezel stepped to reflect the main panel's detail; in it is a tachometer that Classic Instruments made in the likeness of the existing gauges.
Though the center console's shape and detail suggest an old radio housing, it's entirely original. Pressing and releasing the upper edge of the housing causes the door to descend fluidly to expose a Kenwood multimedia head unit. The head unit commands signal processors and amplifiers hidden behind doors in the bed. They, in turn, feed 6-inch component speakers, mounted kick panels, and 10-inch subwoofers in enclosures at the back of the cab.
The console also mounts the various controls for the truck and the Vintage Air climate-control system. Energizing the system causes air to blow through slots cut into what appear to be speaker grilles at the console's sides.