If there is one phrase that's sure to run chills down the spine of just about any red-blooded American male, it would have to be, "Honey, would you like to go shopping?" But when Johnny Edmundson's wife, Frances, posed the dreaded question, it was with great relief that he also heard the words "pickup truck" and "antique" in the same sentence. Johnny has been an avid fan of hot rods and old trucks since his teen years, and he shares this passion with Frances, who often accompanies him to various swap meets and shows. This is why she popped the question. She had seen quite a few customized classic trucks at various shows and had grown fond of the look of five-window Chevys, and together they agreed that if they found the right truck, Johnny could put together one of their own.

After quite a bit of searching, the Tennessee couple finally found what some folks might refer to as a basketcase for a fairly nominal fee. The truck had potential lying under its thick patina, even if it was a hybrid of years-a 1954 five-window cab and chassis sporting the front sheetmetal from a '49 pickup.

Once dismantled, the frame was thoroughly cleaned in preparation for being powdercoated to match the paint sample Johnny chose for the truck's sheetmetal. Resigned from the start to the fact that some parts could be saved while it was best to replace others, Johnny opted to replace the Chevy's torque tube with a new 9-inch Ford that came equipped with 3.50 gears. Suspension for the rear was updated with Magnum springs and tubular shocks. Rear braking is courtesy of a new pair of GM drums and shoes.

To update the truck's front suspension, a complete Fatman Fabrications setup with new springs and antisway bars replaced the mile-worn stock pieces. As in the rear, new shocks were trusted to keep the rubber on the road up front. Johnny completed the rolling chassis with timeless five-spoke Chrome American rims fitted with BFGoodrich tires front and rear. Ididit manufactured the tilt steering column, which is topped with a Lecarra steering wheel.