These days it's tough to figure out which of the ever-popular, well-worn-looking shop trucks out there are actually work horses for the business lettered on each door. While most of these pickups aren't actual "employees" of any real or fictitious shops, they are decorated as such for fun, but there are still a few that punch the clock and serve as rolling business cards.
Strange Motion is a professional shop in Illinois that builds nothing but top-notch hot rods and customs and has won many awards and garnered much attention at shows and in print. Recently, shop owner Tim Strange felt the need to build a truck, not only to diversify, or for strictly utilitarian purposes either, but to have fun hauling his BMX bikes to the track!
Up front Tim knew he would have to restrain from cutting up the truck and turning it into a full-custom like he's used to doing in the shop. Plus, he thought the '66 Chevy that he was given was already kind of far-out from the factory. He knew the shortbed needed to be low, so Classic Performance Products' (CPP) Grand Slam kit was ordered to set the truck down in both the front and rear and also included power disc brakes.
Tim also ordered CPP's tubular engine mounts and a transmission crossmember to secure the '76 Chevy small-block and Turbo 350 trans. The engine was kept mild to ensure many trouble-free miles and includes a COMP cam and an Edelbrock intake and carb combo. Polished Mooneyes valve covers and matching air cleaner dress up the Spartan engine bay while the Patriot headers lead to standard Flowmaster mufflers tucked up under the bed.
Restraint was exercised for the exterior of the truck as well. There was a minimal amount of shaving, which mostly included emblems, even Tim was amazed they left the door handles on. Many new reproduction parts were bought from Classic Industries, like the chrome bumpers, the bedwood kit, and a new stock gas tank. The sheetmetal is all from GM, as is the stock aluminum grille that was polished and put back into use. Tim chose a set of 15x7 Wheel Vintiques Smoothie steel wheels shod in Coker Classic bias-ply whitewalls complete with chrome Shannon cones to further distance this truck from the usual billet wheel high-end builds the shop normally tackles. Many people ask Tim why he chose Baby Blue for the paint; he says that was the color the truck was when he found it and throughout the build he felt it had to return to its roots.
Inside the small-window cab there are only a few tricks. The stock bench was recovered by Gene Nalley using a reproduction stock seat cover that goes quite well with the Strange Motion restored steering wheel and stock column shift steering column. Since the remainder of the interior is steel, they painted it in a satin tan color to match the seat and to make it look like the rest had been upholstered. There's also square weave carpet covering the floor instead of standard loop pile. In lieu of a state-of-the-art stereo system, there is a simple, stock radio delete plate where an AM radio could have gone
In the end, Tim and Strange Motion ended up with an honest shop truck that is not only a kick to drive, but shows potential customers that you don't have tospend six figures to have fun! See more of the shop's work at www.strangemotion.com.