Anyone ever asked you, "Why mess with perfection?" First off, I don't believe in perfection, though I strive to get as close to it as possible every day of my life. But when and if anyone ever asked me that question, I'd simply say, "What are you afraid of?!" Along the same lines as shunning the saying, "Some things are better left alone," Carroll Smith had no reservations when it came time to make a statement with his '48 Chevy pickup, now nicknamed Conundrum. It "began as a 'what do you think' on paper, but certainly without the name," he remarked when asked how it all basically came to be.
"I was looking for a '48-and I wanted a driver. I found this truck on eBay located out in California. I bought it sight unseen. The truck had been painted and looked pretty good; mechanically, though, it was not dependable enough-lousy brakes, too many oil leaks, temperamental starting. Why not build a dream truck?" Carroll recalled. Yeah, why not?! Well, that's pretty much how the ball got rolling-and it made its first stop at Roy Pigford's shop in Baytown, Texas, for what could quite possibly be one of the trickest truck chassis around.
What with Carroll being a proprietor of General Motors goods-he's the owner of Monument Chevrolet in Pasadena, Texas-there was no question in his mind what his pickup's underpinnings would consist of...it was just a matter of putting all the pieces together in unison. Pigford's fabrication skills and the future efforts of two employees of Carroll's (Danny Barnett and Matt Prior-two virgins to rod building before this huge venture) resulted in a stunning chassis based purely on C5 Corvette components from stem to stern-which also includes a '91 LT5 along with a Z06 six-speed transaxle (minus the torque tube for proper wheelbase configuration). Just imagine how the '48 must handle and perform now compared to when Carroll first acquired it!
After the chassis was complete, the ball began rolling once again, this time making its way due north to Windsor, Colorado, where the initial Rodney Hutcherson illustration of Conundrum would be brought to life at Pinkee's Rod Shop. Under the direction of shop owner Eric Peratt, the drawing was literally blown up full scale and hung on the wall during the pickup's metal-morphosis. Without exaggeration, each and every piece of sheetmetal was painstakingly reshaped, if not built from scratch, yet in the end, the truck is still recognizably of Chevrolet 3100-series heritage. From the molded front end to the custom-made bed, the chopped top to the frenched rear glass, Conundrum is in reality anything but that aesthetically-it's really a work of art. Strangely enough, it was the project's artist, Hutcherson, who wound up coating all the meticulous metalwork in a special-mix Coconut Yellow Pearl DuPont hue, complemented by a set of one-off Coddingtons that feature a very unique blend of painted, polished, and brushed finish surfaces. Of course, the perforated metal behind the custom-made grille as well as integrated into the custom-made taillight also fully lend themselves to the complementary factor.