Back in 1971, Herb and Ellie Ramsey ordered a new C-20 Chevy truck from Hovey Dallas Chevrolet. Mrs. Ramsey made sure it was that snazzy new Hugger Orange color and was equipped with A/C; the rest was left up to her husband. Shortly thereafter, Herb installed a new Four Winds camper shell, and they would take their family, which included their children Kathy and Gregg, as well as their poodles Jacque and Nicole, everywhere in the new truck. These trips included going to the Lincoln Drive-In to watch the Godfather, while cooking Italian sausage sandwiches in the camper, driving to the Sierras for fishing and camping, and cross-country road trips to visit Herb's family in Illinois, just to name a few.
In the early 1980s, Kathy met and married George Dull, who was welcomed into the fold. He and Kathy soon began taking their own trips in the '71, which continued into the mid-1990s when the truck began to show its age and was parked for about three years to await restoration. A "truck fund" was started for this effort, but things would soon take a much different turn.
During the time the truck was parked, Herb passed away, and Kathy and George thought it would be nice to restore the truck as a tribute to her dad. The couple would regularly watch the TV show Overhaulin', and a light shined bright in Kathy's mind to send in an application for her dad's truck to be "overhauled." To Kathy's amazement, the truck was picked and would soon be transformed. But how were they going to trick George, since the truck was sitting dormant in the driveway and the Overhaulin' crew wasn't "stealing" vehicles anymore?
Soon, George and his boss, Rick Dymond, from Dymond Builders, found themselves at Chip Foose's shop to bid on a job. After talking with Chip for a while, Chris Jacobs drove up in Herb's truck and the cat was out of the bag-George and Chip were soon discussing the build. George basically told Chip that he'd like it to be a tribute to Herb, and that it had to be Hugger Orange and have A/C. Easy enough, right? We all know that Chip and his A Team can't leave well enough alone, and the truck would be stunning no matter what.
The heat was on for the next seven days; Chip started sketching. Stan Hammond from Early Classics Enterprises (ECE) came down from Fresno with a load of suspension parts to install. He got busy bolting on ECE dropped spindles and springs, and installing its Extreme Drop trailing arm crossmember, tubular trailing arms, coils, adjustable track bar, and airbags to get the truck sitting right. J&S Gear in Huntington Beach, California, rebuilt the 12-bolt rearend with a new Auburn posi unit and 3.73:1 gears. Of course, the chassis would have to roll on a set of unique Foose wheels, and Chip was soon carving out this set of 19- and 20-inch billet Nitrous IIs, which were coated in gray before having a set Pirelli tires mounted and balanced. Behind each one-off Foose wheel is a 13-inch Baer Track Plus disc and caliper.
Edelbrock sent over one of their 8.5:1 Performer crate motors that cranks out a decent 310 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque. It was soon stripped of accessories and painted Hugger Orange to match the body and to give the old Chevy Orange look to the new small-block-a good-looking motor to begin with! A set of finned Edelbrock valve covers and matching K&N air cleaner set off the outside of the motor along with the Billet Specialties Tru Trac serpentine system that was painted to match the motor. The V-8 was soon backed by a TCI 700-R4 overdrive transmission, complete with a Streetfighter 2,200 stall converter. With the drivetrain settled, MagnaFlow built a custom 2 1/2-inch, stainless steel, mandrel-bent exhaust system that included two of their stainless Oval Performance mufflers; the Hedman headers were ceramic-coated by Specialty Coatings in Huntington Beach.
The team over at Lanzini Body Works in Huntington Beach got right down to business on the sheetmetal before spraying it a Chip-designed, two-tone Hugger Orange and black with a silver stripe dividing the two. Once the paint cured, pinstriping-and-paint legend Dennis Ricklefs laid down two fine lines of green and dark gray.
Time was ticking, and it was due for the interior to come together thanks to Stitch Corporation, Katzkin leather, Classic Industries, and stereo masters John Meyer and Kyle from Stillwater, Oklahoma. Hummer H3 power-and-heated seats were modified to look like they could've been an OE option before being covered in black Katzkin leather and way-cool orange and black houndstooth. Between the buckets is a '64 Impala center console from Classic Industries that also provided the repro tach, dash, and instrumentation. Chip cut down and basically shrunk the stock steering wheel just enough to fit with the updated retro interior and mount to the ididit tilt column. Of course, Kathy's mom's original request couldn't be overlooked now, so a Classic Auto Air A/C system replaces the well-used stock unit. The stereo system was built using the finest components from Kenwood and Kicker, and has iPod and Sirius compatibles so George and Kathy will be entertained on future road trips.
All in all, the "new" truck is perfect according to George and Kathy. While shooting the truck in downtown Fullerton, California, I asked George what he would do differently or change, and his response was, "Absolutely nothing," and we agree. We'd bet that Herb is happy to have his old truck back on the road for generations to enjoy.