Don’t let the title fool ya, though this may be the Carlson’s first crack at a full-size classic, it’s by no means their first rodstoration. Josh has been building cool custom mini-trucks for years and this awesome ’55 Chevy is the lucky recipient of years of home shop fabrication and customizing experience.
It all started one day when Josh just happened to spy the ’55 sitting forlornly in a yard on the outskirts of town. Josh had always liked the tri-five Chevy styling and, after mulling it over for a few days, decided it was time to build a full-size classic pickup rather than another mini-truck. He and his father-in-law Buzz swung by a day later and Josh left behind the wheel of his new project—rattling, smoking, and shaking away.
As is the case with any full-on rodstoration, Josh began by totally disassembling the ’55 right down to its bare frame. From there he rebuilt and/or replaced the suspension components, made his modifications, and sent the whole shebang out for powdercoating. Once the frame and components were back in his hands he assembled the chassis, installed the engine and trans, and sent the rolling chassis to the muffler shop for a custom exhaust system. With the pickups foundation under control the next order of business was the sheetmetal. Josh took care of a bunch of rust and rot, replacing the floor, the cab corners, inner and outer lower doors, and the door opening steps. While he was thrashing he went ahead and filled and smoothed the firewall, shaved the door handles and drip rails, and rounded the door corners as well.
With the cab reworked and back on the chassis the next step was the electrical wiring, Josh said this was his first try at a complete rewire and ended up really enjoying the experience. With the wiring done and tested Josh then fired up the pickup’s Dennis Grimm-built small-block Chevy for break in—the engine purred like a kitten bringing a smile to Josh’s face and giving him a fresh shot of excitement and motivation. The front sheetmetal came next and Josh, in keeping with his customizing prowess, decided that the Chevy’s front end deserved a bit of a makeover, too, so he welded and blended both fenders to the front upper and lower grille surrounds making the assembly a one-piece unit. He then Frenched the headlights and fabricated a custom one-of-a-kind grille bar and stood back to take a look. After a bit of chin scratching he decided on an additional modification—he trimmed the lower few inches off the front clip and fabricated a custom bumper which he tucked rearward into the area opened up by his trimming of the sheetmetal. Once the front end was modified Josh just couldn’t let the hood remain untouched—so he sliced it up and pancaked it, trimming 2¼ inches from its lower edge, and while he was cutting he went ahead and rounded the hood corners to match the doors, too. Having completed his handiwork on the cab and front sheetmetal, the next item on the agenda was the bed …