In a perfect world we would have our hot rod, daily driver, and parts chaser all wrapped up in one ride, and it would be our very own shop truck. A three-in-one, triple-duty ride that always keeps us in our hot rod frame of mind.
Around the STREET RODDER offices there's a constant search for a truck to chase this part, that part, and finally the part we need—a shop truck. A few years back we thought, "Why not build a pickup that we could use?" Given there are some on the staff quite capable of building a hot rod from scratch we figured it would be a snap. Duh, then there's the reality of deadlines. They keep getting in the way so help was sought. We turned to Dean Livermore of Hot Rods by Dean (HRBD) in Phoenix, and so the saga began.
A factory-looking radio comes by way of Custom Autosound with iPod hookup with upgraded sp
We started off with a handful of original components but soon found we needed a great deal of sheetmetal (namely the five-window cab, fenders, and running boards) and that's where the Dynacorn 1947 Chevy sheetmetal through Chevs of the 40's came in handy, along with a complete bed from MAR-K. Chevs of the 40's turned out to be our one-stop shop for all of the incidentals—and there are a lot! All this steel would eventually rest on a Fatman Fabrications chassis held together through a Totally Stainless bolt kit along with SoffSeal rubber to provide the "mortar between the bricks", leaving us with a good seal while avoiding squeaks and rattles.
We asked longtime SR artist and fellow hot rodder Josh Shaw to come up with a color scheme and artwork for us to move toward. Shaw gave us the idea for the "Street Rodder Garage" door logos (applied by Kafka) and the combination of red and cream colors with a bit of switch featuring the red in high gloss and cream in a mat finish, all based on low-VOC waterbased paints from Wanda Paints. The brilliant red was applied at HRBD under the watchful eye of Carlos Green of Akzo Nobel Coating (parent company to Wanda Paints) over the fenders and running boards while the cab, hood, and bed were covered in the mat-appearing cream color. The mat finish is paint with a reduced luster clear and not a mat primer. The advantage is that the paint's desirable characteristics are retained while none of the maintenance issues of making a mat primer last for years.
Edelbrock coil pack covers neatly disguise the MSD coil packs and primary wires while Flam
The Fatman chassis, sporting a satin black powdercoat finish by Eddie Motorsports, is equipped with a Currie 9-inch rearend filled with 3.50 gears, limited-slip differential, 31-spline axles, and drum brakes. There are Wilwood disc brakes in front and Bilstein shocks at the corners along with leaf springs in the back and coils in the front. The front features a Fatman IFS with power rack-and-pinion steering and GM single-puck calipers. A Fatman under-the-floorboard bracket and pedal arms are used for the GM master cylinder while Wilwood prop and residual check valves are employed. Additional corner adornments include American Racing Torq-Thrust five-spoke mags (7x15 and 8x15) with BFGoodrich Radial T/A rubber (215/70 and 255/70). Yes, definitely an old-school look, and that was in keeping with our plans. Lokar Performance received the nod for the underdash foot-operated e-brake and universal brake cable setup, plus their Midnight series pedals and pads used on the throttle and brake.
Mentioned before, the MAR-K bed is fitted with their hidden hinges and release while one of the wooden slats was modified to accept the power-operated fuel filler kit from Legens Hot Rod Shop. Operated from the cab via a rocker switch the single wood panel lifts up and exposes the filler cap to the Rock Valley stainless 16-gallon gas tank. The tank is equipped with an Aeromotive fuel pump and fuel line, and a sending unit for the Dakota Digital fuel gauge.
The cab is fitted with Chevs of the 40's interior trim pieces and reproduction glass wrapped with SoffSeal rubber. Creature comforts abound, and why shouldn't they, we rodders like our accessories. The stereo system comes from Custom Autosound and closely resembles an original late-1940s radio yet it controls a head unit, speakers, and an iPod connection. Resting behind the glovebox door are the controls for the Southern Air A/C and heat as well as the iPod lead. The instrumentation comes by way of Dakota Digital in their latest VHX analog gauges, cruise control, and GPS while the windshield wiper system comes from Specialty Power Windows. Built within the speedo gauge are the fuel and volt gauges and the odometer while within the tachometer gauge houses the temp and oil gauges as well as a clock. The painted tilt steering column, U-joints, and reproduction first-generation Corvette wheel come from Flaming River while the floor shifter topped with the always-popular eight ball knob and pedals are Lokar. Hidden beneath the red carpeting, under the headliner, and within the doors is an ample supply of Dynamat to both deaden sound and reflect heat. The red and cream combo of vinyl is stitched over the Wise Guys bench seat fitted with a center armrest by Glenn Kramer of Hot Rod Interiors down the street from HRBD. Underneath the adjustable bench seat is a power port to charge your accessories, such as your smartphone. Kramer also stitched the door and kick panels, headliner, and covered a portion of the interior cab behind the bench seat with carpeting.
The heart of any hot rod rests under the hood and our shop truck is no different. Keeping our Chevy all Chevy we opted for an LS327 (5.3L) crate motor based on an iron block with aluminum heads and rated at 327 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. (Our motor came from a Hummer and had an 8-inch-deep pan that was swapped out for a Camaro pan; much shallower, thereby fitting neatly over the Fatman IFS crossmember.) To our LS we fitted a FAST LSX RT 102mm intake system complete with FAST fuel rails, and injectors are all linked to a FAST XFI ECM. Hidden under the Edelbrock "valve covers" are the MSD coil packs and primary wires. American Autowire received the nod for the truck's electrics as the engine and transmission computer systems hook up to the AA loom. The fuse block and all computers are mounted to a custom panel that's mounted under the dash to the firewall just to the left of the steering column. Adjacent to the steering column is the Lokar throttle pedal and hooked to it is the Lokar throttle cable. Another engine appointment includes the Kwik Performance relocator kit that moves the A/C pump from its passenger side below the engine position as part of the GM serpentine belt system to an above the engine position. This was needed again to allow the LS to sit low in the engine bay and be positioned properly over the front crossmember. The exhaust system is based on PerTronix headers and a cut-to-fit exhaust kit with their mufflers all high-temp coated by Jet-Hot Coatings. The copper and brass combo works together on the U.S. Radiator fitted with shroud and electric fan. The brightwork on the engine and used throughout the build comes from Kerr West chrome plating. The tranny is a TCI Automotive 4L60E and converter bolted to a Dyno-Tech driveshaft that ties to the rearend. The engine, trans, power steering, and rearend all use AMSOIL INC. fluids for that one last, and important, bit of protection.
It took a lot longer than we first thought, don't they all, but our Project Shop Truck is done. Now comes the time to get out there and chase parts and enjoy Saturday morning runs to get a bag of doughnuts and a thermos filled with coffee. Hot rodding just doesn't get any better.
All of the truck’s electrics are handled by American Autowire. Bilstein polished tube shoc
The under-the-floorboard factory battery mount is retained and now houses an Optima batter
The 160 speedo is also the home for fuel and volt needles. The Midnight series of brake an