As is often the case with any of our personal projects, they take longer than we would like them to. Such is the case with our Project Shop Truck build. It's a '47 Chevy pickup based on brand-new sheetmetal that we obtained from Chevs of the 40's and dropped onto a Fatman chassis under the direction of Dean Livermore of Hot Rods by Dean (Phoenix). From here our five-window pickup was destined to be a work truck. The idea was to build a truck using new pieces showing that you can start with nothing or you can start with an assortment of pieces and fill in the gaps. What we have ended up with is a daily driver that can also be used as a shop truck, a push truck, or a tow truck. In other words, it's a great truck.
We have already run stories on the frame, suspension, and engine and transmission. In the future we will have something on paint. But this month we will focus on the first of two parts on the interior insulation and seating. We will also address such items in an additional story on instrumentation (Dakota Digital); steering column and wheel (Flaming River); air conditioning (Southern Air); pedals, e-brake, and shifter (Lokar); and those oh-so-important sounds (Custom Autosound).
Speaking of comfort, the focal point of this '47 Chevy is a '47-55 power seat by Wise Guys Accessories. It's center foldout armrest with two 12V power receptacles, a 7-inch slide with 4-inch adjustable riser, and a seat-back release that will provide a myriad of adjustments for any size driver. The crew at Hot Rods by Dean has pushed the truck in and out of the shop more times than they would like to remember but finally it's complete. (Project Shop Truck made its debut at the NSRA Street Rod Nationals Plus in Louisville this past summer.) The interior was included in the build, such as the insulation, seat mounting, and upholstery. (All of the dash-related items will fall to another story.)
Over the Wise Guys bench seat, door, and kick panels, and the rear of the cab area, Glenn Kramer of Hot Rod Interiors by Glenn (Glendale, Arizona) covered everything in cream and red vinyl with a matching red carpet and floor mats, including sunvisors. The upholstery hand tools came by way of The Eastwood Company. (The Pro Upholstery kit comes with 300 hog rings and a bent-nose, straight-nose, and stretching pliers. All ideally suited for the at-home hot rodder.) Plenty of sound and heat insulation came from Dynamat, which is known for reducing excess heat, engine, and road noise.
Follow along and see how you can spiff up your truck's interior with a number of aftermarket pieces.
Wise Guys Seating and Accessories supplied an awesome adjustable seat and foam kit.
Jonathan Williams of Hot Rods by Dean measures the seat prior to fitting it to the cab floor.
Williams installs the rod linking the two front-to-back seat adjuster mechanisms, which work in tandem.
The power port for the seat is checked to make sure it is in good working order.
To allow access to the back of the cab, Wise Guys engineered this particular unit with a tilt-release lever on the driver-side seat back.
The seat's measurements are transferred to the floor of the cab.
Once all the measurements are double-checked, mounting holes are drilled in the Chevs of the 40's cab floor.
All holes are de-burred prior to installing the seat support plates.
Reinforced support plates provide additional floor and seat support. The different-sized plates correspond to the driver and passenger side of the cab.
The smaller of the two support plates is designed to clear the battery box cover.
The larger of the two plates is test-fit.
The seat with its risers is bolted to the floor. It's now off to Hot Rod Interiors by Glenn for upholstery.
For mock-up purposes, a thick cardboard is used to create various templates that are then transferred to a harder KB board used for the rugs on the firewall and the upholstered door panels.
Brian Willingham of Hot Rod Interiors by Glenn installs template boards on the firewall. When transferred to KB board they will be covered to match the rugs.
Dynamat keeps out engine heat to keep the cab cool. Chevs of the 40's sill plates at the edge of the floor hold the carpet in place; the extruded aluminum can be purchased at Home Depot. The white areas in the Dynamat are "close-cell" foam. Used to fill in the voids in the floor, it provides a flat, smooth surface for the padding.
Willingham applies glue to adhere the rebond carpet foam to the floor. Rebond is similar to carpet padding, and provides a soft plush feel under your feet.
No floor is perfectly flat; an orbital disc sander and a gentle touch ensure a flat floor for a perfect fit.
Willingham trims the edge of the seal plate to allow for the thickness of the carpet to slide under, and sit even with the sill plate.
Kramer holds an example of the aluminum stock used to create the seal plate.
The extruded aluminum is cut to the desired length.
Kramer drills and installs the Chevs of the 40's sill plate with sheetmetal screws.
The carpet positioned in the cab is now ready to be cut and trimmed.
The carpet and the matching floor mats are now completed. The holes in the carpet are for the seat riser.
With the carpet removed, the raw seat is test-fitted.
The metal seat frame is now fitted with foam pads and custom contoured to STREET RODDER specs.
Kramer and his righthand man, Willingham, made quick work of upholstering the seat so we could photograph the process for this article.
The fold-out armrest makes long hauls a bit more comfortable.
Template board is cut to the shape of the kick panel and test-fitted.
Lines are drawn on the board to mimic the reveals in the door's sheetmetal. Foam was cut and installed between the board and upholstery material.
The kick panel with the foam is test-fit; note the lines that match the reveals in the door.
Kramer measures the vinyl, then marks where the stitching will mimic the door reveals.
The vinyl is stitched along the pre-marked lines.
The completed kick panel is wrapped and stapled to the KB backer board.
The completed kick panel is now installed.