Here is a truck that started out life as a parts donor. My friend Greg bought it for the the wheels for another project. I believe this happened in 2000 or 2001. He let me keep the rest of the kit. Shortly after, I used the hood to test paint compatibility. Eventually, I slapped the main body together, a solid rear axle from another kit and a set of minilites that I bought for another project and never used.
Over the years, the truck acted as a parts hauler and sat out with the rest of my active projects. I have pictures of the truck that span over the past 15 years. Usually, is in the background. At one point, I threw a spare Hemi under the hood just because it felt like the right thing to do.
Eventually, I needed the wheels for my Honda CRX project. I certainly wasn’t going to throw the truck into a box and forget about it! I had a set of wheels leftover from my ’39 Chevy rework. I thought the yellow center sections went well with the flat black truck. At one point, I practiced painting the white lettering on the tires.
Around 2014, I discovered proper paint stripping tools and used the hood for my first test. Now that I could strip away all of the paint experiments, I knew I wanted to properly finish this kit. I had thought to paint it lime green pearl. I was going to keep the same wheels and looked forward to painting the bed woodgrain. While I tried pull apart the kit, I discovered that I used so much glue on the bed that I couldn’t get it apart without destroying the pieces.
Rather than give up on the kit, I decided to keep the rat rod flat paint. I also decided that I wasn’t too worried about a perfect build and wanted to tear through it quickly. I stripped the cab, hood, bumpers and grill. I sprayed the entire truck with Krylon semi-gloss paint. The grill is Tamiya light gunmetal. I stuck with the C4 Corvette Grandsport seats that I had thrown in years earlier.
The engine had been a parts box hemi for years and I was going to stick with it until I ran across a Trans Am twin turbo 400 engine that Greg had left behind. It had an automatic and that just wouldn’t do. I hacked it off an attached a manual from a parts box Dodge engine. Yes, this turned into a whacky build. I had to add a cross member to hold the engine in place. I added a parts box drive shaft and the drivetrane was complete. I was surprised to see that I still had most of the parts for this kit, including the tail lights, exhaust and other misc pieces.
I managed to lose the rear bumper (down the train…I still can’t believe it) and decided that it didn’t need it anyway! I wrapped up the build with a pair of metal exhaust tips.
The only thing that’s really missing from the build, is exhaust piping from the turbos to the exhaust. I may fix this omission down the road with solder but for now, I’m really happy with the way this “parts truck” turned out.