After a few years away from the car scene, I have returned with a 56 Chevy 1300 pickup that we named project Dirtbag.
I'd been after a local guy for over 18 years to buy his 56 that had just been sitting in his driveway, doing nothing but gathering garbage. The truck looked to have a solid body,was mounted on an 81 chassis and had no powertrain. I've wanted a 55 or 56 chevy since I was 14 so I was bound and determined to make it mine one day. Fast forward to 2011, the owner of this truck comes to me and asks about having his Harley airbrushed. I came up with a design he loved and then the question hit me.....How much is this going to cost me?? I briefly paused and said " that 56 in your driveway" I also knew he had a collection of vintage speed parts and accessories so I told him to throw those into the deal too. He came back the next day and agreed. I picked up the truck and a week later his bike tins showed up for some custom paint.
I ended up buying another 56 from the local wrecker to replace the 81 frame. The track width was wider than I wanted and wouldn't allow me to get the truck as low as I wanted. I took a couple days off work and stripped the truck for any and all usable parts. Some I used, some I sold online to help fund the project along.
As the project sits right now, the frame has had some rot repair done, it's been painted, new power brake booster installed, mono leaf suspension and a 3" dropped front axle have been installed. The plan is to make a 50's hot rod shop pickup. It'll be running a 350 mated up to a TH 350, and 3.08 rear end from a 65 Chevelle. As far as the body goes, It'll wear satin diamond blue metallic paint with white accents, pinstriped, and a few other personal touches that you'll have to wait for.
I'll start the pictures with the way it came to us, the parts truck, a mock up and some progress shots.
Just a few shots of the upgrades in parts on this project.
The small block 350 has been rebuilt. It's now running at 11:1 compression, a Comp 270 cam, new lifters and rods, roller rockers, the heads and intake have been port matched, Holley aluminum intake, 650 Edelbrock carb, Hooker headers, HEI, and will have a Hillborn air scoop mounted on top. The transmission is a TH350 with a B&M shift kit and a 2500 stall torque converter.
The front end I wanted to keep fairly original. I bought a 3" dropped axle and mono leafs to lower the front and rear 6" from stock. The entire build of this truck is based on old school technology with a couple modern upgrades like power disc brakes.
I want to drive this truck everywhere, so I picked up a 3.08 rear end from a 65 Chevelle. The lower 2nd gear will be nice in town and the RPM's will stay a bit lower on the highway.