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All-In-One Conversions

The lines of ’55-’57 Chevys are almost sacrosanct. They haven’t been modified or changed over the years with very good results. There have been a couple of exceptions, but by and large, chopped tops, restyled fenders and other modifications that alter their original lines don’t come off looking real good. The problem is in the proportions. We’re not sure if it’s because the factory got them so perfect right out of the gate, or if it’s that most have been left alone over the last 50 years, so a chopped top looks strange. Whatever the reason, the classic “greenhouse” roofline, long fenders and slab sides all work very well together.

SECOND TIME’S A CHARM

Longtime classic truck enthusiast Mark Coleman has built countless classic cars and trucks over the years, including a trio of early Mustangs, a ’56 F-100 Ford panel truck and a ’55 Ford SuperCab, which have graced these very pages. When it came time to build another truck, Coleman took a long, hard look in his own backyard and decided that his old ’53 F-100 would be the prime candidate.

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MULTITASKING FOR THE MASSES

Say you drive an older pickup in which the original designers weren’t all that interested in engine management. Thanks to the addition of that high-horsepower engine, however, you are very interested in what it is up to. But you are also interested in keeping the dash area clean and don’t want to put a bunch of holes into it. You also don’t really want to have an old-style gauge panel hanging beneath the dash. What to do? For those who drive a 1947-’53 Chevrolet pickup truck, the ideal way to handle this problem is to install Haneline’s 3-in-1 gauge clusters.

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WHAAZZZZ UP

Adding power windows has long been a popular aftermarket option for restyled pickups, as much for practical reasons as for comfort convenience. Worn-out window regulators will give people fits, and replacement parts have become increasingly harder to find, not to mention the lack of availability or the cost of retro units. So, if the vehicle is to have smooth, trouble-free window operation, it’s often easier and cheaper to replace the old regulators with new electric ones.

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CLASSIC HOT ROD CRUISER

The pictured F-100 is a 1954 model, and it was purchased by Carl and Marianne Lewis from Milwaukie, Oregon, in 1992. The truck had seen better days, as it had been sitting out in the elements under an awning next to a storage shed. In primer, and with a transplanted 289 small block, the truck was partially disassembled as it sat on four flat tires. It had not been moved for some 10 years. Mel Nichols was hired for the much needed makeover, which took 3-1/2 years to complete.

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The HEAR & NOW

Delve into the world of classic truck customization as we guide you through the installation of a Custom Autosound USA-5 unit into a 1972 Chevy C10. Learn how to seamlessly integrate modern sound technology into your vintage ride without altering its original aesthetics.

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F-THIS!

Embark on the extraordinary journey of the “F-This” F-100, a groundbreaking collaboration between Chip Foose and Super Rides by Jordan. This radical pickup, born from a 12-year project, captured attention with its rapid 12-month transformation. Uncover the intricacies of the custom-fabricated chassis, boasting elaborate plumbing systems for air suspension, fuel delivery, hydraulics, and brakes. Experience the thunderous power of the 850hp 540ci ZZ 502 GM big block and the innovative design elements, including a tilting front end and reversed suicide doors. Explore the meticulous body modifications, the eye-catching House of Kolor Spanish Gold paint, and the handcrafted interior adorned with leather and snakeskin. Immerse yourself in the accolades earned, including “Best Radical Pickup” at the ’05 Autorama, as “F-This” emerges as a triumph of automotive artistry and innovation.

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IMPRESSION

To comprehend the full effort expended in this impressive creative expression, first understand that six years have gone into its creation, through the combined skills of an impressive team of craftsmen, who by now are familiar to many. Many of these same artisans teamed once again with one of the world’s most proven commodities in automotive foresight and stylized guidance, and together they have shaped several memorable vehicles, including two past Ridler award winners, a feat that has eluded many.

THE CHEVELLE’S FINEST HOUR

Many believe that the ’70 Chevelle is the best-looking muscle car ever built. The new bulges on the sides give the car a meaner appearance, and this was the first time that a mid-size car could be ordered with a cowl-induction hood and stripes on the hood and trunk.

HOT & HAMMERED

The Modtiques of Eastern Pennsylvania have been producing a quality rod run for the past several years. It’s the quintessential “small rod run” produced by a local club that draws quality cars to comfortable venues. The quality of cars and people is high, and many of rodders who attend the event do so annually, making it a long-standing tradition in the process. Author Photography by Walt Winklespecht The Rodder’s Cup is the top award for the event, and some 30 or so years ago, we entered into an interesting partnership with the Modtiques, whereby we agreed to feature the street rod that captured the award. It has made for an interesting selection of hot rods, and this year is no exception. The club members chose the car, and it seems—for the most part—the cars chosen have a common thread or two. First, it seems the Modtiques have a thirst for real hot rods, as most of its selections tend to have “very healthy” powerplants. Second, chopped tops and often non-Fords come to the forefront, making the Rodder’s Cup an award that has been bestowed upon a diverse selection of cars. This year was no exception, and Bob Naudascher’s bright red ’41 Chevrolet sedan encompasses all of the things one has come to expect of a Rodder’s Cup winner. The sedan cuts a wicked profile with a chopped top, no bumpers and bright red paint—all adding to the look. Under the hood, a hot tunnel ram fed small block is found, and making all this even better, the car is a homebuilt hot rod. When Bob Naudascher hauled home his self-described rust bucket, it was far from show quality. The typical oxidation process had taken its toll on the car with the floors and lower extremities of the body requiring replacement. After repairing the considerable rust and getting the body structurally sound with all panel gaps fitting perfectly, Naudascher had Jack Consonza and Carl Chuppa drop the top on the sedan two inches. In the process, the front vent windows were eliminated. While the sheetmetal was being moved, front fenders were molded, the headlights frenched and the hood was filled and shaved of all trim. The stock grille remains but has been relieved of all stainless steel in favor of a monochromatic approach. Moving toward the rear of the car, all side trim was removed, and the door handles were shaved. Lower rocker moldings were given the deep six and the rear decklid is now devoid of any hardware. The stock taillights remain, but have been lowered on the body, and the rear pan was rolled after eliminating the rear bumper. When the body was finally smoothed, straightened and fit the Viper Red DuPont paint was applied by Jack Consonza and Carl Chuppa. “Scotty the Striper” from York, Pennsylvania added the pinstriping and small graphic to the sides of the sedan. Under the bright red Chevrolet is a state-of-the-art street rod chassis. Front suspension comes from Heidt’s Hot Rod Shop, and the fully independent suspension provides handling, ride and good braking all in one package. Out back, a kit from Chassis Engineering locates the 9-inch Ford rear via parallel leaf springs and tube shocks. Power for the sedan comes in the form of a ’78 vintage 355 cubic inch small-block Chevrolet. The over-bored 0.030 engine runs stock heads and a 350hp cam. MSD provides the hot spark, and between the heads, a tunnel ram intake mounts a pair of Holley carbs. A neat homebuilt aluminum air breather houses K&N filter elements and polished no-name valve covers keep things simple. A Walker radiator cools the small block and noise suppression comes from a set of stainless steel mufflers. Behind the small block, a rebuilt Turbo-400 transmission handles the shifting chores. After the body and chassis were completed, the sedan was taken to W.N.J. Upholstery in Hatboro, Pennsylvania, to upholster the stock seats in a horizontal pleated design. The smoothed and filled dashboard now carries a full set of Stewart-Warner gauges and a controller for the Vintage Air heat and AC system. Power windows from Juliano’s drop the glass and Big Al’s door handles add a bit of billet to the interior. An owner-installed American Autowire harness and panel control the entire electrical system. A LeCarra wheel in matching gray leather tops the steering column while the column shifter selects the gear. It took Bob Naudascher four years to bring his sedan back to life, but in the end, the effort was well worthwhile. The Viper red sedan is a great example of Chevrolet’s last year of full production, prior to WWII and beyond. It is a classic example of fat-fendered hot rodding. The chopped top, the tunnel ram motor and everything in between simply make the winner of the Rodder’s Cup for 2003 hot and hammered.   ARTICLE SOURCES

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