Confer and his helpers are just getting ready to lift the stock roof off the cab. He can’t
The pickup bed was shortened 5-1/4 inches in front (to match the amount that the cab was lengthened) and 3-1/2 inches in the rear, to make it more proportionate. The bed was raised 3/4 inch to make the rolled top edge line up exactly with the beltline on the rest of the truck, and a completely new steel floor was constructed.
The hood required extensive modifications, too. It was sectioned 1 inch in the rear to line up with the top of the cowl, since it was lowered 1 inch when the body was channeled, and he sectioned it 2 inches in the front to give it a more graceful look, with a slight taper. Extensive reshaping was required at the front of the hood to make everything fit together smoothly.
Here’s the cab with the roof removed. You can see the great possibilities here, along with
All of the fenders were carefully reshaped, too. The trailing edge of each wheel opening was given a more graceful, swept-back line, by forming panels from new sheetmetal, and welding them into place. This is one of those details that just looks so right that many people may not notice the change at first.
In the rear, underneath the tailgate, a custom stainless steel spreader bar was fabricated, which mounts two original ’37 Ford passenger car taillights.
The grille is a Bob Drake ’40 Standard passenger car casting, and it is one of the few items on the truck that was not modified. The headlight rings, lenses, and buckets are a mix of original ’39 Ford parts and Bob Drake reproductions.
The rear panel of the cab was removed and almost completely replaced with new metal.
The extensive bodywork rests on a beefed-up stock frame, with a Heidts tubular control arm front end (equipped with airbags), and a Chassis Engineering parallel leaf 8-inch rearend, powered by a warmed-up 327 Chevy engine coupled to a Turbo 350 transmission. Confer hand-fabricated a slick cover for the top of the engine that has styling cues from the famous Greer-Black-Prudhomme dragster from the ’60s.
Confer spent 10 years building this fabulous project, doing just about all of the work himself in his home shop, including the painting. Confer’s father, and two of Confer’s friends, Rick Boyd and Chris Knieper, helped with some of the tasks, and Confer’s mother lent a hand with the upholstery. All in all, it’s a magnificent piece of work.
(Editor’s note: Look for the final feature on this incredible phantom pickup in an upcoming issue of STREET RODDER. —B.B.)