Every generation has looked back at their teenage years and thought to themselves, "What was I thinking?" From bellbottom pants, to parachute pants, to pants that sag seven inches below the waist, we're all guilty. The odd yet unsurprising thing is that each decade has left its mark in the fashion world. However, just about every fashion statement from that decade has stayed in that decade, along with most teenage ideologies. There are very few dreams and aspirations that we retain from our teenage years, so one can imagine how rare it is when one hangs on to a dream and fulfills it decades later. For Ed Arensdorf, his dream of owning a '72 Chevy truck emerged when he was 15 years old.
Six years ago, Ed decided the time was now, and he went out to find the truck he dreamt about so many times. Once found, he knew he wanted to build the truck the way he wanted it, and only the way he wanted it. Although Ed knew the way he wanted the truck to look would take a lot of work, and more importantly time, he figured he had waited this long for his dream to come to fruition, so what would a few extra years be? However, Ed will be the first to tell you he couldn't be happier that the build is over and he can sit back and bask in his glory.
To kick-start the build, Ed took his truck to Bill Turner Enterprises to get begin the groundwork-literally. Bill took on the job of setting up the chassis to get the look Ed was after. His first step was to drop the truck on the ground. Up front, Bill used a set of Air Ride Technologies lower A-arms with Firestone airbags and two-inch drop spindles. From there, he fabbed the upper A-arms and notched and raided the front crossmember to get the truck at the desired ride height and drop height. Out back, Bill ditched the factory truck arm setup completely; in its place is a custom truck arm setup by BTE. The new setup includes BTE trailing arms, Firestone airbags, and a custom Panhard bar setup from BTE.
With the suspension done, the truck was then taken to B&N Custom Rods. There the Aerospace Components disc brakes with billet calipers were installed at each corner. They also mounted all the air-ride equipment, battery, brake booster, master cylinder, and gas tank under the body to keep the bed and engine compartment clean. Next, B&N dropped in a ZZ4 crate motor, but not before the block was smoothed and a March serpentine system was installed. Other items installed include an Edelbrock fuel-injection setup and a Walter Prosper air cleaner. Covering the engine compartment are custom inner fender panels from Northwest Auto Fab. Putting things in motion are 20-inch Intro Matrix wheels out back and 19-inch Intros up front.
With the chassis squared away, it was time for the Chevy to take on its new look. For starters, Ed wanted the top to look completely different. B&N's first job was to whack two inches from the A-pillar and 1 1/2 inches from the rear. From there they shaved the driprail to give the Chevy a clean top. They also ditched the '72's nose and installed the front half of a '67.
As for the rest of the metalwork, Ed took the truck to Rudy Sandoval. Rudy started off with all the ABCs, such as shaving the door handles, gas filler neck, marker lights, antenna, and so on. From there he shaved the vents in the cowl, the roof seam, and the firewall with a Direct Sheet Metal Firewall. Next up, he moved to the bed, where both sides of the tailgate were shaved clean and the roll pan was molded in. Inside the bed, the traditional wood or steel bed was thrown out for a 1/4-inch slate of steel outfitted with stainless steel strips and a Harley gas cap. Rudy also installed custom LED lights in the rear quarters and the front grille.
With the bodywork finished, it was time to pick a color. Ed knew from the beginning he wanted the truck to be dark red, but he could never find the exact color he was after. In fact, it was nearly three years before his wife, Vicky, spotted a 50th Anniversary Corvette with its metallic red on the freeway, and from there all it took was a trip to the Chevy dealership showroom to seal the deal. B&N then worked the body and sprayed the Corvette Red on the truck.
Inside the heavily worked cab is more of the same extensive metalwork. For starters, the stock dash was smoothed clean until all that was left was a set of Auto Meter gauges painted to match the exterior. Rudy then incorporated the dash and doors to flow into the door panels for a wraparound feel. Ron Magnus Custom Interiors created the custom interior. The custom seat, wraparound kick panels, door panels, and center console were upholstered in tan leather with pigskin inserts. The AccuAir air-ride controls, window switches, and ignition were all hidden in the center console as well.
After six years of watching his dream unfold before his eyes, Ed's vision is no longer a mirage floating above his head. Instead, it's a testament to the fact that all teenage dogmas aren't absurd.
The Ron Mangus interior features...
The Ron Mangus interior features nice touches such as the ididit column with a Billet Specialties wheel and matching Auto Meter gauges.
Dig the steel bed with stainless...
Dig the steel bed with stainless strips and a Harley gas cap. The other cool thing about the bed floor is that it has been molded into the bed sides for a clean appearance.
Whether it's the ZZ4 outshining...
Whether it's the ZZ4 outshining Mr. T or the Northwest Auto Fab inner fenders, this motor is not to be ignored.