Sometimes even the best-laid plans fall to pieces. Just ask Randy Roberts. Randy is one of those guys who always figured it would be cool to actually show up to a car show with a ride of his own, and nearly seven years ago he figured the time was now. With a teenage son on the verge of getting his license and a father who was ready to cannonball into his first hot rod, he figured the two of them would have their new Saturday night special on the road in no time. As it turned out, the only easy part was deciding that they wanted a 1957 Chevy Stepside hauler.
It wasn't long before they picked up the already road-worthy '57. Problem was, the '57 wasn't to Randy's liking, but seeing as how the father and son duo was armed with articles, catalogs, and an idea of what they wanted, how hard could it be to build what they wanted? But as the build went on, Randy began to realize they were missing key steps and repeatedly redoing them, or ordering new parts to fix them; basically, everything they did seemed to be moving in reverse before they made any headway. That's when Randy realized that instead of just winging it, he needed to lay down a solid plan. Just a few miles away from his home is the renowned Hot Rides by Dean in Moorpark, California. Randy dropped in and explained the situation to shop owner Dean Sears. Dean laid out a step-by-step plan for Randy, but as Randy watched the list get longer and longer, he finally popped the question to Dean and asked him if he would just build the truck for him. And just like that, the build was back in motion at Hot Rides, only this time it would only be moving forward.
Hot Rides started at the bottom and worked their way up. Randy wanted a truck that looked like a classic on the outside, but drove like a new truck. In order to accomplish this, Dean handed the truck over to Brian at Hot Rides. From there, Brian installed a Total Cost Involved Mustang II IFS clip in the front. The new TCI clip is outfitted with disc brakes and rack-and-pinion steering. For maximum drivability, he ordered the kit with the optional 2-inch drop spindles and air springs. Out back, Hot Rides installed a TCI four-link with air springs to complement the IFS up front. To control the truck's ride height, Hot Rides used an Air Ride Technologies system. As for the drivetrain, Hot Rides installed a somewhat mild-mannered Chevy 350. Helping the motor come to life are TRW 10:1 pistons, a Crane RV cam, Crane hydraulic lifters, and an Edelbrock intake manifold with a 650 carburetor. Echoing through the streets are Rewarder headers with Flowmaster exhaust pipes and Muffler Time mufflers. Backing up the 350 is a Gear Star 700R4 transmission.
Dig the frenched-in LED taillights...
Dig the frenched-in LED taillights in the '57's rear fenders!
Just to the left of the polished...
Just to the left of the polished tilt column, Hot Rides installed the mission control center for the Air Ride Technologies system. Just above that, the stock gauges were tossed for a set of Auto Meter gauges.
Once Hot Rides finished assembling the truck's chassis, they sent it over to Palmers Custom Paint and Body. Randy let shop owner Alan Palmer in on his vision of a truck with the '57's classic lines and details, but cleaned up here and there. What the two of them came up with is a handful of mild custom touches that cleaned up the stock Chevy truck's bulky appearance. The first step was easy; Palmer's did away with any trim and trim holes on the truck and filled the body seams. Next up, they filled the stake holes along the bed and removed the rain gutters. The subtlest yet most difficult task was doing away with the squared corner for a clean, rounded edge. The new door edges give the cab a sleek look that matches the Chevy body's round design. In the rear of the truck, the taillights were ditched for some custom LED lights Palmer's frenched into the rear fenders. For paint, Palmers mixed up a custom concoction of Sierra Copper. Depending on the sun, the truck takes on the appearance of Sierra Copper all the way to a deep root beer. Matching the paint's high energy are Billet Specialties Vintec 18x8 and 20x8 wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich rubber.
On the inside, Custom Interiors in Camarillo, California, stitched up a customized seat from a '95 Silverado with Porsche Champagne leather. They also fabbed up some custom door panels and stitched them in Porsche leather as well. The top half of the dash was painted to match the truck, but underneath the Sierra Copper dash, Custom Interiors' Jose installed a Mercedes champagne carpet. At the top of the cab, Jose stitched up a suede headliner. Back at Hot Rides, they installed a tilt column with a billet steering wheel. Along with that, they installed Auto Meter gauges with a billet gauge cluster and a Lokar shifter. Even though Randy's plan may have had a small glitch in it, the overall scheme of things couldn't have turned out any better.
The Billet Specialties flamed...
The Billet Specialties flamed air cleaner and valve covers really bring the 350 to life.