It had to be at least 10 or 12 years ago that Mike Krummen first ran across this 1955 Chevy. On that day he was just looking forward to a fun day of four-wheeling on his folk's property up in Indiana. As he was rolling along he happened to glance over and see the rusty old nose of a 1955 Chevy sticking out of the edge of an overgrown wooded area. As he got closer, that good-looking nose and the raggedy, faded for-sale sign in the window hit him in the face like a hot wet kiss on the end of a cold fist – he just had to have that truck.
He jammed on the brakes and pulled over to the shoulder of the road, gave the pickup a quick look (it was a ¾-ton, small-window, longbed), and dialed the number on the faded old sign. The following weekend he was back, he handed the owner $1,000, snatched the bill of sale, hopped in, and drove the Chevy home.
It ended up being about a year later that he began to actually work on it, and he quickly found that about the only useable parts on the truck were the cab, doors, and frame. The rest he dismantled and scrapped. Mike loved the look of the 1955 and planned on keeping the body in as close to stock as he could, no chop, no section, just straight-as-an-arrow sheetmetal, gleaming fresh paint, and the perfect stance.
Mike started the rodstoration by blasting the frame and shortening it 12 inches – instant shortbed. Next he replaced the front crossmember with a Fatman Fabrications IFS setup equipped with custom Scott's Hot Rod adjustable A-arms, Heidt's 2-inch-drop spindles, RideTech airbags, and 11-inch disc brakes. Out back he fabricated and installed a huge pair of C-notches, a four-bar and triangulated Panhard bar, and a 10-bolt Posi rearend. Mike also fabricated and installed a tubular bridge-style rear crossmember with integral airbag bracketry. Once the chassis was painted, plumbed, and fully assembled, a quartet of Boyd Coddington wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich rubber was added and the chassis lowered to the ground.
With the chassis under control it was time for Mike to turn his attention to the pickup's sheetmetal. He just happened to find the remains of a big-window cab in the woods behind a buddy's house and immediately hauled out the torches, cut off the back panel and roof, and hauled it back home to his two-car garage/shop. Oh yeah, did I mention Mike built this truck himself in his home garage? Well, he did, and commenced drilling out countless spot-welds from both his cab and the donor pieces from the big-window panel. With that tedious chore behind him he then began to reassemble his cab using the pieces he'd torched from the donor, turning his small-window into a big-window.
After plug-welding countless spot-weld holes, the new/old big window and roof panels were permanently attached to the back of his cab. He then replaced both door bottoms, inner and outer cab corners, inner and outer rockers, left and right door-step plates, and nearly the complete cab floor as well. Mike then filled and reworked the firewall and door jams so they were as smooth as the exterior sheetmetal. As he was working on the cab his new Mar-K cargo bed assembly arrived and as soon as he buttoned up the cab structure he turned his attention to assembling the new bed.
Though Mike had promised himself that he was gonna keep the look of the stock exterior in the beginning, he did allow himself some artistic license. With that in mind, Mike decided to suicide the doors. To accomplish the job from scratch and keep the modification unnoticeable (until they opened anyway) he designed and fabricated custom door hinge assemblies.
Once the suicide door conversion was completed Mike turned his attention to the interior of the cab. Figuring the new door treatment would allow a more expansive interior view he again designed an all-steel custom dash and center console. And since he was on a roll, he didn't leave the bed alone either. Mike extended the rear stake pockets on either side of the bed and fitted both with Cadillac taillight assemblies. He also added a rolled rear pan, raised the bed floor, fabricated a pair of small wheeltubs, and fashioned a pair of hidden tailgate hinges and latches as well. So with the body mods and prep completed from the firewall rearward Mike decided to save some time and effort by purchasing all new front sheetmetal, which ended up needing a fair amount of help to meet his high standards – so much for saving time and elbow grease.