Great choice for your next project-I think the '39-46 Chevys are going to be the next wave in popularity. I just finished-well, 98 percent of-my first of two '39s. The two-year project that became a six-year project, no surprise there I bet, had many forks in the road as it was being completed. Of course, thanks to CLASSIC TRUCKS I was able to overcome several issues with parts, suppliers, and the "how am I going to get this to work" problems. My 10 year old (who was 4 at the start) liked John Deere, so that is the reason for the colors chosen. Being in Tennessee, it fits right in. The only thing we changed was an upgrade to a '60 235. The old 216 ran fine but smoked a little. Being the fix-it guy, I figured I would just throw a set of rings in while I was working on everything else. Well, one thing ran into another, and I found a guy who had just rebuilt his 235 and was not going to use it. So as the project was dragging on, this would help get it back, well, closer to schedule (do many even keep a schedule after the first year?!). Now it's off to the next one.
I initially was out to do just one rodded-out truck but ended up with what I thought was enough pieces to do two. I hated to just get rid of the extra parts, so two it would be. I started working on both at the same time but soon found out that was not going to work. I knew one had to be stock, as I would not be able to afford two rods. So now it's time for the second. I already installed a coilover front and a four-link rear, installed a '98 LS1 with the 4L60E tranny, boxed the frame, and narrowed the rear section to accommodate some fatties. That should be enough with a little tweaking to the motor. Now if I could just find a right rear fender for a '39 I would be all steel!
Good luck on your project, and keep up the good work!Tim Quigley
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Tim, thanks a lot for the added inspiration-seeing your truck finished (the stock one) just makes me want to get mine all back together even more so than before! I knocked on wood after reading your comment about the engine situation, as I'm hoping the hand-me-down '58 Cameo 235 runs as good as it looks on the outside. But it was one of your last statements that got me to realize I'm not alone in my fender quest-unless I feel like dropping a ton of cash for one of the random NOS items that occasionally pop up on eBay (no), the only other option is goin' 'glass ...I'm gonna keep searching, though.
Now that my subscription has kicked in, I figured I'd ask the first of probably many questions. I have never seen anything DIY or tech that includes the cab mounts when you reskin your floor. The floorpans I got, but my '66 GMC pickup is hurtin' in the cab mount department also. Anything on the best cure would be appreciated. I have recently acquired an alleged-I will know for sure when I tear it down-'67 factory high-performance 327 small-block with camel hump heads. It was suggested this motor had 275 horsepower from the factory. I'd like to see about 375-400 hp out of the 327. What do you think is the most economic way to achieve this goal? I'm not looking for a dragster, but low and slow with a little punch to back it up. Also, what's the significance of the camel hump heads?
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A few years ago, I was having John Beck put together a 383 while he was still running Pro Machine here in Orange County (John's since packed up and relocated up north to Chico, California). I'll never forget what he told me when I dropped off a set of GM Performance Parts' repop camel back heads. With a few expletives removed for family viewing, it went a little something like, "What are those for? You want to make horsepower or lose it?" I ended up sacrificing 100 or so horses, mainly because I thought it would be "cool" to run the fuelie/camel-hump-style heads, but in the long run, I should have just stuck with a vintage set of valve covers and gone with a Vortec or Fast Burn cylinder head instead, according to him. Others will say these early heads can be made to produce a decent increase in power with a little work, the right springs, etc. If they're in good re-usable shape (valve seats haven't been cut too many times, for one) and you have someone who can do a nice port and polish, just run 'em with a cam/intake/carb package to match and you should get satisfactory results. But make sure to weigh the costs and results versus going with a new aluminum head package beforehand!
Professor Skipped Class?
I have been a subscriber to CLASSIC TRUCKS magazine for about 10 years and enjoy it very much. When Professor Hammer was introduced some years back, I found this department very educational, and it was one of my favorites. My last issue was missing Professor Hammer. Can you tell me what happened? Thanks.
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As all of you loyal Hammer fans should have noticed by now, there was indeed a lapse in class schedule. Due to unforeseen technical difficulties, the Professor got a month off, much to his pupils' dismay. We apologize, and have made sure his class will remain open from here on out.