Jim got the 350 from a '94...
Jim got the 350 from a '94 cop car, decked it out with an Edelbrock intake manifold and carburetor, and threw on a bird catcher breather.
Jim wanted a red and white...
Jim wanted a red and white scheme throughout the interior. He also wanted a custom-built center console along with VDO gauges in the clusters.
The cab's interior scheme...
The cab's interior scheme flows into the bed. The spare tire cover and tank cover are the same color.
The wheel tire combo is 15-inch...
The wheel tire combo is 15-inch American Torq-Thrust IIs wrapped in Silvertown Whitewall radials.
Another subtle detail that...
Another subtle detail that builds character is this pinstriped mural on the hood's nose.
The world is a weird place. The entire human population is spread out across different towns, cities, countries, mountains, oceans and more, yet somehow we all end up being taught the same sayings and messages regardless of cultural differences. We here at CCT can understand how we all get the same messages in today's world, which runs off fiber optics, computer wires, TV, hyfernutter valves and much more, but what's unbelievable is that these sayings and lessons didn't pop up in the last 20 years. Take, for example, Confucius or Aesop, those dudes lived...we don't exactly know when, but it was a long time ago, and their lessons are still something we have all heard, messages passed down from generation to generation. Oddly enough, they're told in tons of languages and styles, but in the end they're the same concept. Take, for instance, this saying: It's better late than never. We all know it and all use it, and some of us even live to tell about it.
Jim Porter is one of those guys who is living the it's better late than never lifestyle. Jim grew up always liking hot rods and old cars, but never actually owned or even worked on one. Instead, he spent his days raising a family and being a typical American. And true to form for a lot of Americans, once the kids had grown up and moved on with their own lives, they soon found themselves in an odd situation. All of a sudden time was no longer of the essence, and every minute and dollar didn't have to be spent on the latest and greatest trend. What's a man to do? Jim's wife suggested developing some sort of hobby. Instead of cultivating a love for wearing tight white shorts with a red, white, and blue headband and swinging a racket at a yellow ball, or hiking up a pair of plaid pants to swing a club at a white moon-lookin' ball, he figured he'd revisit a fantasy that went way back into his childhood. Although Jim had never owned a hot rod or even worked on one, he always thought it would be cool to jump behind the wheel of one he could call his own.
When Jim began looking around for one nearly eight years ago, he happened to run across a '46 Ford truck for sale for $1,600. Only problem was the truck didn't exactly follow the lines of a '46. Instead, it followed the lines of jagged edges of parts scattered in a corner. The truck was completely dismantled, but with the word from Jim's buddy Kevin Shea that they could fix it, Jim forked over the cash and headed home.
Once everything was laid out at home and examined, the truck was a little rougher than expected. In fact, the frame was pretty beat. So instead of trying to fix it completely, Jim found an '81 Camaro front clip. Kevin and Jim grafted the clip to the frame and boxed the rest of the frame for a solid foundation. The cool thing about the Camaro clip is that it gave Jim disc brakes, power steering, and rack-and-pinion steering all in the same swap.
In the rear they flipped the leaf springs on the 10-bolt axle to give the chassis the desired stance. While the chassis was being finished up, Jim dropped the body off at a local body shop. The body was definitely showing its age with dings, dents, rust, and even a few war wounds it picked up during some practice shooting. The local shop slapped some Bondo on the truck, primed it, and gave Jim the call when it was ready to roll.
In the meantime, Jim was waiting for the '94 350 he got from a cop car to be finished. The engine was in the process of being bored .30 over and completely rebuilt. Along with some machining, Monty Peltier also installed an Edelbrock intake manifold along with an Edelbrock 650-cfm carburetor. Atop the engine the conventional circular air cleaner was replaced by a bird catcher cleaner. Once the body and engine were back at home, Jim and Kevin assembled the truck, and Jim drove it as often as he could just the way it was.
About a year ago Jim was turned onto a couple of brothers, Rick and Randy Murray. Together they own a custom shop, Krazy Kreations in Westminster, Colorado, right outside of Jim's hometown. They convinced him he needed to ditch the primer and go all out on the truck. From there KK took the truck under their wing. The first thing they did was strip the truck. They found the previous shop did some seriously ratty bodywork. Instead of welding all the seams up, they tacked things in place and slathered the rest in Bondo. So they completely welded all the seams along the hood and front fenders up, then shaved the handles and frenched the headlights. In the rear KK used the rear roll pan from a '55 Ford and mated it to the '46. For taillights Jim ordered some flush-mount lights from Hagans that KK installed.
With the metalwork out of the way, the truck went into phase two, paint and body. The truck was blocked straight, and Rick Murray laid down the PPG Diamond Pearl White finish. Murray also laid out some faint red and pink pearl flames across the front fenders and fiberglass tonneau cover. Adding some detail to the body is a chrome grille and hood insert from Macs.
The last thing on the agenda was the interior. The seats were pirated from a '67 Camaro, and the entire interior was covered in pearl white and red ultra leather. The dash was painted pearl white and decked out with some polished inserts and VDO gauges. Jim even had Andrew Pacheco at KK build a custom console and cover it in the interior's scheme. Along with the interior, the red and white theme was carried into the bed.
Since originally purchasing the '46 truck, better known as Malito (Spanish for little bad boy), Jim has accumulated over a half dozen hot rods. When you talk to him about the new world he dove into eight years ago, he'll be the first to tell you that the hot rod world has changed and expanded his life completely for the better, even if it did take him a little while to finally dip his feet in the water. CCT