When it comes to old trucks, not everyone has the same idea of what constitutes the perfect pickup. That's why there are 31 flavors, 57 varieties, and seven days in a week. Well, maybe the last one isn't a good example, but you get the idea: variety is the spice of life.
For Bob Sorensen of Salem, Oregon, the absolute best truck without exception in his eyes is a 1969 Chevrolet. At the time Bob embarked on his quest to build a '69 Chevy, he lived in Phoenix, Arizona. While not everyone agrees on what the perfect truck is, hardly anyone can argue with the fact that the climate in Arizona is one of the best places in the world when it comes to a truck body's life expectancy.
The '69 Bob located was already a work in progress. As the story goes, a father and son team blew it apart and began the customizing process, but somewhere along the line they lost interest and sold it to the next guy. Bob isn't sure, but he thinks this might have been where the '69 ended up with 4 inches chopped out of the roof. The '69 passed through a few other owners before Bob took possession of the pickup. He liked the looks of the '69's chopped top, but he hated its stance-it just didn't sit low enough for him.
To lower the frontend and maintain decent ground clearance, Bob followed the advice of Industrial Chassis in Phoenix and grafted a '95 Dodge Durango clip onto his '69 Chevy. In place of conventional springs, the truck rides on Air Ride Technologies' products, with the front shocks relocated to the A-arms. Another feature inherited with the Dodge swap was the power rack-and-pinion steering. At the top end of the '69's steering apparatus a wood-grained Grant steering wheel twists a custom steering column from Flaming River. As it turned out, grafting the Durango clip was just the tip of the iceberg for the '69's frame and suspension. The Rod Shop in Avondale, Arizona, ran 1 1/2-inch tubing from the inner crossmember rearward to the two-piece driveshaft, where each driveshaft has its own safety loop. Bringing up the rear is a Ford 9-inch differential stuffed with a set of 3.30:1 gears.
A Gaylord's lid hides all thanks to the modern miracle of space-age fiberglass. Fuel capac
Corvette LT-1-powered and backed by a beefed 700-R4, Bob's '69 has a hot rod rumble thanks
Soft like a Tijuana painting of a naked lady on black velvet, the velour interior by Craig
By the time the '69 was ready for additional bodywork, Bob had decided to move to Oregon to spend a lot more time with his 15 grandchildren. He loaded up his Chevy along with his tools and headed north. But before tearing back into the Chevy, Bob constructed a new shop to work in. Along with some of his friends, his own labor, and Myke's Rod & Chassis in Salem, Oregon, the '69 was ready for paint. To handle Oregon's colder climate and resist rust better than the Chevy's original acrylic lacquer finish, Myke's laid on a heavy coating of DuPont metallic Fire Red Imron polyurethane paint. On the inside, Craig's Auto Upholstery stitched velour from the door panels and seat up to the chop top's headliner. For instrumentation, the familiar blue glow of Dakota Digital gauges can be found. The original GM wiring harness that evolved to resemble an explosion of multicolored spaghetti was replaced with a custom made-to-fit wiring harness from Painless Products. To protect the custom work done to the bed's interior, Bob specified a lid from Gaylord's of Santa Fe Springs, California. Although Salem is on Oregon's coast, where it doesn't get all that hot, Bob installed air conditioning from Vintage Air to cope with the intense heat encountered on Oregon's and Washington's high-desert regions.
Looking back to the early stages of the '69's build, Bob said the guys he dealt with in Arizona really came through for him. When it came down to final assembly on the '69, Bob told us it was once again the guys at Myke's Rod & Chassis who deserve the credit. Since completing his truck not all that long ago, Bob has racked up almost 17,000 miles competing at shows in the Western states and getting 19 mpg doing it. He says his truck is a really nice cruiser.
A wood-grained wheel from Grant tops a Flaming River steering column. Air-conditioning cho
Different sizes but the same brand front and rear, the tires and wheels are from Convo Pro