The old cliché, "Being in the right place at the right time," comes to mind after learning of how this '46 International came to be. It's pretty safe to assume we've all been somewhere where we stumble upon something we just have to have, correct? Steve Dalrymple did just that and wouldn't take "no" for an answer.
Steve happened to be in Sturgis, South Dakota, when he first came across his truck to be. Yes, Sturgis! I know it's not what most would think of as a prime picking ground for classic trucks or vintage cruisers, but it worked out perfectly for Steve. He first spotted the '46 sitting at a shop just outside of Spearfish. When he looked for the owner, Steve was told that the truck belonged to a wife of one of the auto repair workers. She inherited it from her father of whom inherited it from his father, who purchased it new after the war. Steve chatted with her about the '46, learning the history behind it, and how all her children learned how to drive from that very truck. When he asked if it was for sale he got a stern "No!" Well, Steve wasn't very fond of taking no for an answer. "I went back four times and visited her husband at the auto repair shop," Steve says. He learned that her husband had intentions of building the truck into a hot rod eventually; a Nova front clip and a 350 small-block had already been installed. With persistence Steve offered to take it off their hands but kept getting the same answer. Now, as luck would have it, Steve ran into some locals who knew the husband fairly well, receiving info that he had been looking for a great deal on a custom Harley-Davidson. That said Steve traded his '99 Harley-Davidson Lowrider for the '46 International you see here.
Once Steve got it home and started tearing it down he learned that it needed more work than he once thought. The chassis was a total disaster; it was divided into three sections: Nova front rails, International main rails, and set of rear rails. Steve decided to take it to Masterpiece Rodding and Color on Wheels in Denver for a professional opinion. Steve was told an all-new chassis was needed; the one on there was just too unsafe, to say the least. That was just the beginning of it; Steve tossed his heart and soul into the rest of the build. Let the fun begin. A custom frame built by Masterpiece was the perfect start to this journey. A Heidts' Mustang II-type unequal length A-arm front suspension and Heidts' crossmembers were installed as were Heidts' 2-inch drop spindles. Out back Steve chose to go with a Chassis Engineering hung, narrowed, Ford 9-inch rearend with ratio of 3.25:1. To soften up the ride a bit he went with a couple Corvette air shocks. No, it's not super slammed, but a subtle yet definitely noticeable lower stance that looks great! Lastly, a set of 11-inch ventilated disc brakes were bolted on, front and rear, to make sure there are no doubts when coming to a stop at anytime.
Now it was time to move on to the powertrain portion of the build. Wanting more than the 350 that was already in, Steve decided to go with a 400 Chevy small-block stroked and balanced, also having it bored out at .030 giving this little truck a big bite. Crane was the brand of choice for Steve when it came to the camshaft with a lift of 427. Then a Performer intake manifold from Edelbrock was tossed in, as well as a 600-cfm carburetor from Edelbrock. A GM HEI was installed to help ensure there would be no problems getting this baby running. A pair of Sanderson Hugger headers were bolted up, which then ran into a custom thermal-coated 2 1/2-inch exhaust that was run to a pair of Flowmaster mufflers, giving a nice throaty tone. To help get this '46 moving smoothly Steve chose to go with a Chevy TH350 for the tranny, assembled by Jelard's Transmissions. They finished off the engine with some Moon Equipment valve covers and air cleaner.