Stanley Brett is a man of unlimited patience, one has to be to spend the better part of 20 years plugging away at one project without losing interest—and you have to agree that this baby was worth every minute.
Stan’s ’57 Dodge began as a rusty hulk with no drivetrain. It did have one very important attribute though—and that was potential. Stan began working on the Dodge as soon as he’d dragged the sorry truck home. He was inspired in part by the Little Red Wagon of drag racing fame—he and his son took pictures of both the ’57 and the Little Red Wagon cut ’em up and pieced ’em together to mock-up what they hoped to build. As is the case in many rodstorations, work began by refurbishing the foundation. The frame was cut apart and reassembled by grafting a front clip from a ’79 Chrysler 300 to the framerails. The frame was also Z’d a good 5 inches in the front and 8 inches in the rear. Out back, Stan added an 8¾-inch rear end and leaf springs donated by a ’70 Dodge Dart. The next step in the process was the engine installation—that was when Stan realized he’d have to cut the cab firewall in order to fit the engine comfortably. Normally a chore of that nature is relatively straightforward, but in this case he quickly realized that moving the firewall took up way too much leg room inside the cab. The set back (no pun intended) was enough to discourage Stan at the time so he decided to put the project to the side for a bit. Well, a bit turned out to be nearly 10 years but Stan let no grass grow beneath his feet. During those years he started and completed a slew of street rods, muscle cars, and custom four-wheel drive vehicles, as well as staying on top of the all familiar “honey-do list.”
Stan was inspired to return to the pickup after he’d just completed a ’39 Dodge sedan powered by a Dodge Magnum V-8. He was so impressed with the power of the Magnum motor he bought another from his local wrecking yard especially for the pickup. He went back to working on the ’57 in 2004 and did so until he wrecked his ’30 Chevy roadster, which he had to repair before resuming work on the pickup. In early 2006, Stan was back on the Dodge. He fabricated the new bed and exhaust system, installed the torsion bar front suspension, completed the bodywork, and delivered the cab to the body shop. By 2007, The painter had all the sheetmetal and the chrome shop had all the parts to be plated. During that time, Stan gathered up the interior and a myriad of other components. By the end of 2007, the painter had still not finished the Dodge’s paint work so Stan began work on a ’24 Dodge track roadster. Well, 2008 and 2009 came and went with no pickup parts back from the body shop—but the ’24 Dodge roadster was on the road (I told ya Stan was a patient man). In early 2010, Stan finally got his freshly painted sheetmetal back from the painter and in short order had the pickup all together and on the road in June of that year. Since then, when I ran across it at a Goodguys show in Rhinebeck, New York, this past June, he’d clocked over 7,000 miles on it.
I have to say, Stan’s a better man than I—cuz I’d have gone nuts waiting for those painted parts, that’s for sure. CT