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!

After sitting, waiting for other auto projects to be finished, the Dodge began to reveal that some of the 17,000 miles had been acquired during rough use while working on a nearby farm. There were more hidden defects than they'd originally thought. But the dream of a neat custom street truck hung on for dear life. After several other projects were completed, work began in earnest. The Beatty family would not only restore the damaged Dodge, but they created a pickup a bit more different the typical. As mentioned, Bill, Susan, and their son Brian chopped the top of the cab 4 inches. Many more modifications followed. Additional modifications were made to the cab, bed, and chassis by friends like Mike Silvesky, Roger Evans, Jerry Tulenko, Kevin Welshans, Art Caldwell, and Herb Grubbs. "Thanks fellas. It never would have been as fabulous without your help," says Bill.

When all the modifications that the group of friends could think of were completed and the paint had been sprayed and buffed out, Roger Evans wired the truck while more aluminum machine work was created for the engine that would provide plenty of tire-spinning power. The fenders, hood and tonneau were fabricated out of 'glass, as was the custom nosepiece that surrounds the Chrysler LHS grille. The pickup also has remote-controlled windows, doors, tonneau cover, and purple neon lights mounted underneath.

Shortly after the purple pickup was completed in 2003, it sustained a bit of body damage while being transported home from the Pittsburg World of Wheels car show. Disgusted and a more than a little defeated, Bill let the truck sit in his garage for over a year before he could summon the energy to repair it. Finally in April 2005, Bill completed the repair and began to participate in local hot rod events, and soon thereafter the pickup began to collect Best of Show and Best Design & Originality awards.

As word of the purple pickup began to spread throughout the neighborhood, a senior citizen neighbor wandered into Bill's garage to ask, "What th' hell is it?" Bill, somewhat amused by her question thought, "Well, if this pickup had a name, that just might be suitable for a Dodge pickup that's decidedly different from all the rest!"

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