Wowee! Jeremy Bach's Reality Rodshop creation isn't anything like an exact reproduction of a '34 Dodge pickup. It's more like the fantasies of a custom builder who has future design aspirations, but who also has a reverence for the designs of the past. No doubt this black '34 Dodge is long, low, and collects admiring looks like a Victoria Secret lingerie model.
We met 20-year-old Jeremy Bach at Louisville during the 2004 NSRA Nationals in the Pros Pick area, where his radical Dodge pickup was gathering a crowd of interested spectators. Our first guess was that we were looking at a much-modified steel truck from a well-respected professional builder. We were wrong about the steel part, but the overall quality of the Dodge pickup proved that it was well constructed and full of thoughtful details. We learned later that Jeremy's dad Mike, his auto bodyshop employees, and some friends from the Southern Illinois Street Rod Association were a big help.
The project began as a dream rod rendering and soon thereafter became an overwhelming desire to see the design as a reality. Starting with what was left of an original steel cab, the idea was to lengthen the doors and chop the top. But that idea took a turn toward a more buildable cab when the Bachs decided to create their own extended fiberglass cab, fenders, and custom frame. They also channeled the floor of the cab 2 inches and constructed the custom bed with a tonneau.
The extended cab, hood, and hand-cut framerails have lengthened the wheelbase to 124 inches for an improved ride. The ride is further improved by a Heidt's IFS with Air Ride adjustable shockwear and a parallel four-link rear-suspended Winters Performance IRS on a fully boxed/stepped chassis.
One look at the plush interior confirms the fact that the inside looks as good as the outside. Jeremy fabricated a custom wraparound dash, mounting Dakota Digital instruments in the center, new door panels, and a console that extends to the modified Camaro bucket seats. Controls for an Alpine head unit/amp with an Infinity Kappa subwoofer and Boston Acoustic speakers are located below the passenger seat. The stereo was installed with the help of Dave Yuskus. Bill at SS Interiors in Harrison, Missouri, covered the modified bucket seats and interior panels in saddle tan, or if you prefer, caramel-colored Ultraleather.
As impressed as we were, judges at several summer events were equally impressed, awarding Best Mopar at the Evansville, Indiana Frog Follies, a Boyd's Pros Pick, and a Mopar Country selection at the NSRA Nationals. Talking to Jeremy several months after his experience at Louisville, Kentucky, he's encouraged by all the interest and awards his Dodge pickup received. Soon there may even be limited-edition pickup clones emerging from the original body molds.
Our impression of 20-year-old Jeremy was that he's an intelligent and amiable young man with a good deal of drive in the field of custom-crafted vehicles. With some hard work, dedication, good fortune, and loyal customers, we may be looking at one leading member of the next wave of custom car/truck builders from the Midwest. We look forward to seeing what his Reality Rodshop in Belleville, Illinois, will do next.