Sleepless nights dreamin' about 'em and long nights workin' on 'em-we can all relate. There are many common threads that weave through these tales of vintage truck acquisition, build, and triumph.
A heating and air conditioning technician, Louie Fesmire worked 30 miles from his home in Pueblo, Colorado. Monday through Friday he'd drive by a few vintage Chevy pickups rusting away in fields or sitting in driveways collecting decay. Eventually, vintage truck temptation got the better of him. Hot rod hauler lust is too strong to be denied. He stopped at the house with the most presentable pickup. Louie was lucky; the owner had intended to build the straight-six '48 Chevy for the last 10 years, but never found the time or money. After paying $1,500, he and his good buddy Tom Musso, owner of Musso's Machine Shop, trailered the truck to Tom's shop in Pueblo to begin deconstruction. They found considerable mice evidence: droppings, eaten-through seats, and even some healthy critters lounging in the glove box. The pesky varmints vamoosed, Renzelman Powder Coating in Pueblo sandblasted the still-sturdy frame and body panels that came from three '48s. Friend Kevin Renzelman then went to work on the exterior while Louie and Tom re-created the '48's chassis.
By boxing the front framerails, a Heidt's Mustang IFS could safely replace the stock frontend. Louie and Tom took out the factory Chevy differential and installed a narrowed Ford 9-inch with 2-inch lowered leaf springs. A 20-gallon Classic Performance Products aluminum fuel tank was located behind the 9-inch and plumbed with stainless lines. The chassis' transformation may sound like it was a snap, but remember, Louie worked in the evenings and on weekends for 6 1/2 months. To receive an orange powdercoating at Renzelman's shop, the buddies took the frame apart one last time.