Over the last couple of months I've been working pretty diligently trying to finish up a project I'd started while still a part of the Street Rodder magazine staff. I've made reference to it in the past (a '29 Ford closed-cab pickup), lamenting the fact that even though it is a classic pickup in every sense of the word it's just a bit too early to fit the main focus of CLASSIC TRUCKS. That said I'm stepping up those efforts so that I can begin a new project that does fit the realm of the magazine I'm lucky enough to be a part of.
My new focus will be rebuilding and modifying a '57 Chevy small window. This one won't be portrayed as a "series," but it will in any event end up as the basis for individual stories during the course of the next year or so. As is the case in most all complete rebuilds I'll be starting with the truck's foundation-chassis, suspension, brake, and driveline upgrades and then work my way through the body, electrical, and interior trim from there. What makes this a bit different than most rebuilds is the fact that I'm starting more with a pile of parts than a nearly complete old truck. On one hand it's a good way to start as I'll be able to skip most of the preliminary teardown time and labor. On the other hand and, as is the case with any basket case build, I'll more than likely spend a lot of time hunting down, shopping for, and comparing replacements for the myriad of missing components inherent in a task of this sort. As a "magazine guy" this will work well by allowing me to showcase the wares of many of our advertisers while at the same time providing you folks with a modicum of information and entertainment, as well as providing me with an excuse to continue spending my free time out in the garage.
We all have different ideas, or shall I say end uses, in mind when we begin a project, and mine is no different. My plan is for a nice-looking driver, kind of a low-key rodstoration appearance-wise. The body will retain a stock look (maybe sans emblems and badges) and possibly an OEM-style two-tone paint scheme and painted steelies, or perhaps chrome reverse wheels and wide whites. I'm also aiming for a vehicle that'll be comfortable towing a trailer. With this in mind, I may go with a BBC/TH400 combo backed by a Currie 9-inch-a combination that should work well in that respect. Chassis/suspension-wise it'll sit right; the stock frame will be treated to a basic no-frills MII-style IFS and an updated parallel leaf setup with airbag helpers for use while towing. And since it'll wear a pretty heavy-duty hitch setup, I'll more than likely retain the stock behind the seat fuel tank rather than the rear-mounted aftermarket tank prevalent in most rebuilds.
Since many of the steps will be covered in CT I wouldn't mind hearing some ideas concerning the project from you folks. Especially what particulars you might like to see in print. In fact, it'd be kind of interesting to hear from you folks regarding any ideas (within reason of course) on future tech story fodder period-as our aim is to try and supply you with information that's as usable as it is entertaining. That said-it's time to get to work on the balance of this issue, we hope you enjoy reading it as much as Grant and I do putting it together for ya.