Despite how the classic truck industry has developed over the years, there's more to life than Blue Ovals and Bow Ties. But even though you could say it's a pretty level playing field in today's new truck market, it hasn't always been that way, which should help explain why the current aftermarket is so biased toward the two single brands this and other publications tend to favor.
No, back in the Depression Era, Dodge Brothers trucks were, well, let's just say they weren't that favorable. Matter of fact, in 1932, truck sales for the company were as red as could be-which could also be said for pretty much every other manufacturer as well before year's end. However, just the following year, things would turn an about-face and pick up dramatically, due in no small part to Chrysler's development of its Fore-Point series of trucks, a name designated for the truck's particular load-dispersing construction. The revamped trucks were not only better designed, but much better looking as well-from their shapely grilles on back. Why we don't see more of them on the road today, whether restored or rodded, could be attributed to a number of reasons...but it sure isn't because of their looks.
Today, to be a classic Dodge owner means you not only have perseverance, but a unique style as well. Fremont, California's Randy Perez is that determined individual with a distinct taste in trucks. Along with his resolution, Randy's also fortunate to be quite the brave soul-not only is he an esteemed member of the San Jose Fire Department, where his courage is put to the test often on a daily basis, but he's also not afraid to take big risks.
Some time ago, Randy was in search of an older woodie wagon. Like many people these days, he relied on the Internet for not only references, but leads, too, which eventually lead him to a '38 Dodge panel truck clear across the country in Palm Beach, Florida. Though the only wood on the vehicle was under the seats in the cabin, there was just something about it that grabbed his attention and wouldn't let go. Maybe it was the fact that the '38 was the last of the panels produced, a rare quality that just added to the truck's overall uniqueness. Well, the risk factor took a big leap when funds were exchanged before the seller and buyer even had the chance to meet, but Randy trusted his instincts and headed to the East Coast to claim his new treasure.
Fortunately for Randy, the Dodge was all it was said to be and more. His inner fears were put to rest with the beautiful resto job previously performed by Donny Gould Restoration in Fort Lauderdale back in 1999. Of course, every new owner has to add his or her personal touch to a new acquisition, and for Randy, that came in the form of swapping out the stock 16-inch wheels for a set of smaller but rare Dodge artilleries with Coker Classic wide whites; a set of factory fender skirts; bumper guards; and the appropriate suspension lowering. The only thing left was for Randy and his girlfriend, Madelynn, to enjoy the '38 panel-for the time being.
If he hasn't done so already, Randy has further plans for the Dodge, among them a variety of collectible accessories, detailed paintwork, and more elaborate upholstery. No matter what he does, though, he'll never have to worry about getting lost in a sea of Bow Ties or Blue Ovals, that's for sure.
|Facts & Figures|
|1972 Chevy Cheyenne|
|Rear suspension:|| stock w/4" lowering blocks|
|Rear brakes:|| stock drum|
|Front suspension:|| stock w/lowered leaves|
|Front brakes:|| stock drum|
|Wheels:|| 15" Dodge artilleries|
|Tires:|| 5.60-15 Coker Classic bias-ply|
|Gas tank:|| stock|
|Engine:|| 217cid L-head six-cylinder|
|Manifold / Induction:|| stock / single 1bbl|
|Exhaust / Mufflers:|| stock manifold / none|
|Transmission:|| stock 3-speed|
|Fenders front / rear:|| stock / stock with factory skirts|
|Bodywork and paint by:|| Danny Gould Restorations, Ft. Lauderdale, FL |
|Paint color:|| classic black|
|Headlights / Taillights:|| stock / stock|
|Outside mirrors:|| hooded peep-style|
|Bumpers:|| stock w/accessory overriders|
|Air conditioning:|| none|
|Steering wheel:|| stock|
|Steering column:|| stock|
|Seats:|| stock, wood-framed, vinyl covered|
|Carpet:|| rubber mat|