We see our share of themed hot rods throughout the car show season. To be honest, they’re hard to build. Some concepts are just too over the top or just not done well. We saw this 56 sitting out back in the perfect location to shoot it. We nicknamed it the Hot Rod TN Reaper. An all black paint job sets the tone with a light painted hot rod theme down the side of the spacious panel truck. That’s probably one of those take-it or leave-it type items, but it’s a theme, and lots of people loved it.
We didn’t get too much info on it, but we could see it’s running fatty Hoosiers out back and disc brakes up front. Exhaust was routed out the body in front of the back wheels. Drip edges and both bumpers were shaved, and the front of the running boards were fitted tightly to the front fender to give this truck a smooth look.
Of all the fat fendered trucks, there are none fatter than the mid fifty GM trucks. This truck is old school with some modern touches. The formula is almost always successful. Take a big back window cab truck, splash on some gorgeous yellow paint, lots of chrome and the whitey whitewalls, and you’ve got an awesome old school hot rod. Red accents really add to the style! This 55 also sits just right with a low stance up front and a rake toward the back. An amazing wood floor in the bed is something to behold! It’s a beautiful build and worth a closer look!
Mike’s father had purchased the C-10 from the original owner who kept the pickup garaged its whole life. After owning it for years, he then sold it to Mike’s younger brother in his teens. He drove it for many years. It was then sold to a school mate of his. The truck sat for 5 years with intentions of restoring it. Mike then bought it and set out to build something nobody else had. Mike obviously has a lot of experience working on classic vehicles. Mike said, “It’s easy to rebuild a vehicle back to stock. I was not interested in doing that.”
Starting with an absolutely rust free truck is unheard of, but this 62 was perfectly clean! Suicide doors and a full tilt front end highlight the body mods, which Mike did himself. Mike spent many, many hours trying to figure out how to build the tilt front end and suicide doors along with the rest of the body mods. To get the hood to open properly, Mike added a hinge point on the frame 12 inches behind the bumper with electric actuators that open and close the front end. He also cut the roof off, insulated and removed the rain gutter, and then welded it back on.
Mike boxed in the frame which houses all fuel lines, brake lines and wiring inside. He kept the front torsion bar suspension, but completely rebuilt all components. The 62 rides on air bags with an on board air compressor. Mike installed a 2001 Chevrolet half ton rear end with 3:73 gears, narrowed by 7” to accommodate the 11” wide wheels. Classic industries 2” front drop spindles and disc brakes on all 4 corners bring this beast to a stop. A Hydraulic brake booster handles the stopping pressure. The parking brake is a 2” electric actuator that pulls the cables to set the brake that eliminated the hand or foot pedal inside. This C-10 is riding on Vision wheels 142 legend 5 in gunmetal grey. Front wheels are 8.5” x 18” diameter with 11” x 18” in the rear.
Under the hood is a 409 cubic inch small block chevy engine that has been balanced, crank ground, rods resized and bored .40 over. A 286 grind cam, Comp Cam springs and retainers with roller rockers control the valves. A high pressure high volume oil pump keeps the Chevy powerplant lubed. Induction is supplied by a sniper EFI system. Backing up the engine is a built turbo 350 with Gear Vendor overdrive.
Inside is an all leather interior. A full touch screen stereo with 800 watt amp, 2 – 10” subwoofers behind the seats and 2 – 5”x7” 3 way speakers in the front kick panels keep Mike rocking. Sound deadening was installed to keep the cab tight.
After 14 years of building, Mike says, “It has been a labor of love, but now it is time to enjoy it.” We couldn’t agree more!
We found this 1990 Chevy C1500 in Louisville, KY in 2021. These trucks were great platforms to build a low slung hot rod truck, because the design was perfect for it. Start with a good looking Bowtie pickup, add a cowl hood, slam it to the ground and add big wheel, low profile 5 spokes. It’s almost a formula to build an awesome truck, and it works! It’s definitely a favorite pickup design of ours.
We saw this old school shop truck 48 F1 in Columbus in 2021 at the GoodGuys Hot Rod Show. Sporting a lowered stance, upgraded disc brakes and a straight body, this classic F1 was a great weekend cruiser!.Under the hood was a SBC with a 700R4 transmission.
Hot Rodders from Michigan and surrounding states came out to the Kalamazoo County Expo Center for a weekend of fun and hot rodding. K-Zoo brings out a little bit of everything. While this show isn’t nearly as big as the NSRA Street Rod Nationals in KY, plenty of really nice classic cars and trucks were on hand of all types and years. There were plenty of used parts in the swap area. In fact, it was one of the bigger swap meet areas at the car shows we’ve been to. We loved visiting this show. If you haven’t checked it out, put it on your schedule next year.
It just seems right that this 53 Ford truck has a blown flathead revving under the hood. 1953 was the last year for the flathead V8 in a Ford truck. Besides, who doesn’t like a blown flathead?
Looking around the rest of this 53, you’ll see a nice, quality build. You can’t miss this truck. The body is very straight with nice door gaps. And, oh, that color. We don’t know what it was called, but it’s intense! Deluxe grille teeth in a chromed grille up front round out the body highlights.
The Mid-70’s weren’t known for great looking cars. We were in the middle of the fuel crunch, and performance and style were suffering. There were still a few bright spots in American auto manufacturing though. In that era, there aren’t many vehicles cooler than than the Early Ford Bronco.
This ’76 is an absolutely perfect Bronco. Beautiful workmanship, style and a fun summer ride make this a favorite. Under the hood is a V8 backed up by an auto transmission. Warn hubs, Warn winch and BG Goodrich rubber round out the highlights.
We spotted this family cruiser 72 Chevy Suburban at the GoodGuys show in Columbus on the Midway. It’s in the resto-mod category with a mostly stock body that’s been smoothed of some trim and other mods. Under the hood is a 502 BBC and TH-400 transmission. Keeping that original style interior cool inside is an AC system. All of that ‘Burban body is riding on AirRide that gives it the perfect stance while maintaining road performance. Ten spoke Forgeline wheels fill the wells.
If all you need is a bed to be considered a truck, then this ’31 hot rod certainly is! It’s definitely 100% hot rod! We love that building hot rods can be so creative allowing builders to push the limits of what you think a hot rod is. We spotted this one at the 2021 NSRA show in Louisville, KY in line with a line of other really nice cars and trucks.
The chopped top, ride height and stance are all perfect. Add those FAT Mickey Thompson S/R radials with flame tread and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a classic hot rod.
From the 2021 NSRA Show we bring you this 63 Chevy. As resto-mod trucks go, this is one of the nicest you’ll ever see. It’s a near perfect build with just the right ride height and stance. The owner made a great choice with the 5 spoke wheel style and LS power under the hood.
It’s bright. It’s mean. It’s a cool ride! These style of pre-50’s BIG dually hot rod trucks with no fenders have gained popularity over the years. Like most, this ’38 is a custom build with semi styling, dually rims and tires in the rear and a big block Ford powering it down the road! With open exhaust, you’ll probably hear it before you see it!
We found this 56 Volvo military “truck” at the NSRA show in Louisville, KY. It’s a really unique build using the Volvo body and a 1994 Dodge 2500 Chassis and diesel engine. We love anything unique and this certainly qualifies!
Early to mid-60’s Chevy trucks are the perfect platform to make just about any kind of truck you want. They look great as 4×4’s, plain trucks and our favorites: Slammed and bagged!!! This truck sports an LS engine and 4L60 trans, patina paint and very little chrome. Check it out.
We see really nice 67-72 C10’s pretty often throughout the show and cruise season. They range from rat rods & nice drivers to full custom show trucks that never touch the daily drive. When we see a resto-mod made to show and go and is this nice, we really take notice. After all, functional is important too! Everything on this 71 was cleanly painted and finished professionally. Body gaps were way better than from the factory! Body mods were minimal, but the 71 Chevy is a great looking truck. No need to majorly change it unless you really want to! Besides custom wheels and a decent amount of lowering front and rear, the truck is a bit of a sleeper.