Since the days of the Chevy Luv and Ford Courier, I have thought the small pickup cabs looked like the coupes of the 30s and 40s. I've also always favored the running boards and fat fenders of that era. So, I decided to tackle the task: to turn a small, regular cab pickup into a fat-fendered 40s style coupe.
I started with a 95 Chevrolet S10, purchased locally for $500 with a clear title and without an engine or transmission. I promptly sold the chassis for $250, making me at risk of losing $250 if I started cutting and ended up with scrap.
After gutting the interior, the first order was to relocate the front fenders to the rear of the cab. The inspiration for this is the rear deck of the early 30s Fords, without the rumble seat.
I took a couple of 1-day "continuing education" welding classes several years ago, but never did any welding otherwise. My son, now a professional welder, learned everything I know about metal work in 5 minutes while we worked on his first car. When he saw my first welds on these fenders, he asked if I had removed all of the paint from the front and back sides of the two pieces I attempted to join. I said, "You're supposed to remove the paint?"
I bought a couple of 2001 S10 Blazer front doors for $50, planning to use the door skins to fill in the wheel wells on the bed sides. The seller also had the two front fenders and I had $40 left in my pocket, so I drove away with all four parts. Good thing. I used part of each fender to fill in the headlight opening on each of the reversed front fenders. Luckily, the angles and curves lined up very well. One corner had been damaged and had a good amount of Bondo on it. I removed all of the Bondo and hammered out the dents before attaching it to the fender (thanks, son, for telling me to only weld bare metal).
Once I had the rear corners rounded out and leveled, I crossed two adjustable braces on the inside of the rear and pulled each corner in. The rear end is now about eight inches narrower than the grill area was. This required cutting a piece from the hood to fashion the rear deck. My son cut a piece of 1/8" plate to match the new curve of the narrowed deck and I used it to frame the skin of the tailgate and create the rear panel.
With the rear end pieced together and looking OK, I started working on the front end, turning the bed sides into the sides of the six-foot-long hood. I had removed the edges of the front fenders before attaching the fenders to the rear of the cab and used these edges to make the bed sides match up to the leading edge of each door. The bed sides are slightly taller than the fender edges, so I made some relief cuts in the edge of each bed side and pulled it bed side over at the top. I used the two extra door skins to fill in the wheel wells of each bed side.