The title "farm truck" usually conjures up all manner of imagery, such as an old stakebed dually with tall, split-ring wheels loaded with hay out in a field or next to an idyllic red barn complete with white trim and a pig trough. Or it could be a low-mileage, one-owner 1/2-ton with original oxidized paint and a diamond-plate rear "blacksmith" bumper used by its owner to mend fences. What doesn't usually come to mind is a chopped, sectioned, shortened, nipped, tucked, flamed over deep gloss black paint, and polished 17-inch American Racing wheels-a full custom '46 Chevy pickup.
Lloyd Triplett, an old farmer from Amarillo, Texas, built such a preposterous "farm truck," possibly to dispel the preconceived notions mentioned earlier, or maybe it's just because he likes working on older vehicles. While the latter is the case, there is nothing to tie Lloyd's truck to the farm other than the words printed here, otherwise most would think it was pro-built.
Lloyd got the truck in a trade with a friend of his, Larry Barclay, for a mid-'50s John Deere tractor some years ago. Larry had lost interest in the Chevy after grafting the front and rear clips from a '74 Chevelle onto new 2x4 'rails and chopping the top 3 inches. For the next three years, Lloyd was busy finishing what Larry started.
As it happens, Lloyd is pretty good with sheetmetal work and finished the chop and began sectioning the '46, shortening the 3/4-ton bed, raising and sectioning the front fenders, widening the rear, and re-radiusing all the wheel openings. Almost every piece of metal on the truck has been massaged and altered in some way, not for shock value, but for proportion and flow. The truck wound up being basically a scaled-down version of what GM intended, and possibly Ford-like thanks to the '39 Ford Standard head and taillights. There's as much work in the bed alone as many people have in a whole truck!
After Lloyd was happy with his sheetmetal and bodywork, he had Dennis Glass prime and block out the Chevy before spraying it in deep coats of gloss black Glasruit single-stage paint. To really set off the already unique truck, Mark Warrick laid out a set of flames that would tie the whole truck together and stop the unassuming in their tracks.
The Chevelle underpinnings were kept beneath the '46 since Larry did a fine job in the first place, and to make the truck sit on the ground without air suspension. Lloyd chose the Chevy 350 combo to power the truck for obvious reasons of reliability and dropped them in place after rebuilding. The fresh engine and trans are still stock spec, but now breathe through a set of Flowmasters, and the V-8 was topped with a custom air cleaner Lloyd crafted from extra vintage truck tin lying around the farm.
Inside the highly altered cab is a custom-made dashboard, again by Lloyd, which is filled with Stewart-Warner white-face Wings gauges set in an instrument panel he cut from an old stop sign and engine turned on the drill press. The bench seat is a third row item from a Suburban and was recovered in tan vinyl by Troy Anderson, also in Amarillo, who also stitched up the remainder of the interior that Lloyd didn't fabricate.
Lloyd has had the truck on the road for many years now, and like any other good piece of equipment back in Amarillo, it gets used. Looks like we could all learn something on the farm!