The cab was chopped 4 inches and extended 6 inches for added legroom-then lowered as far as possible over the framerails. The framerails were boxed and the rear of the frame was Z'd. Then a homemade K-member (crossmember) was fabricated. A Fatman Fabrications Mustang II front crossmember and steering was installed in the front of the framerails. Afterward, a Maverick 8-inch rearend was mounted in the rear. All four fenders were raised on the sides of the cab and bed to compensate for the deep channel of the cabfloor.

The tailgate was molded to the siderails, and a cowl vent motor raises and lowers the license plate into the tailgate. A tall '99 Grand Am spoiler makes more than a head-turning fashion statement in the rear of the bed. If this is beginning to sound like a project gone beyond the normal restoration and rodification of a vintage truck, you're absolutely correct. This one is decidedly different!

A youthful Bill Beatty of Weirton, West Virginia, began studying car magazines when he was deprived of the chance to play organized sports, the result of an auto accident that put him in a body cast for 11 months. Like many young men, he was interested in cars almost from the time he could read and write. The interest grew to become Bill's passion-a passion that spawned dreams of custom cars and hot rods to be built in his home garage.

Over the following decades there were plenty of Corvettes rebuilt and hot rods created. Several even made the pages of Bill's favorite car magazines. One day, as he and his wife were searching a local salvage yard for parts, Bill's wife Susan began to holler for him to hurry over to where she was. Fearing she was in trouble of some kind, Bill hustled to her side. Susan was not in trouble-however, she had spotted a '40 Dodge pickup with a mere 17,000 miles on the odometer. "Bill, I want you to buy this truck!" And so he did!