Some stories aren't meant to be passed down. For instance, stories with so many ups and downs and turns and twists that they sound like a National Lampoon movie are always better from the horse's mouth. Retelling that sort of story is right on par with second-hand news. For that reason, we're going to let Randy Thompson of Castro Valley, California, tell you his story about how his '57 Chevy came to be:
"In '89 I wanted to build a truck, but not just any truck: a '57 Chevy with a big window. After looking at several project trucks, I saw an ad in the Penny Saver that read: ''57 Big-Window Chevy, frozen 396 motor.' I decided to go take a look. Turned out the truck had rotten bed wood, the side glass had bullet holes in them, and the dash was covered with 3-inch-long black gorilla fur! So I purchased it for $1,000. After I drug it home, I proceeded to remove everything from the truck until it was down to bare frame.
"Now fast-forward to '95: After the truck had been sitting in my backyard for six years, my financial situation had improved-as in my kids had moved out-which meant I now had the money to start the truck. First the frame was taken to Magnum Force in San Jose, California, to get boxed and C-notched. They then installed a Chris Alston's four-link with Varishock coilovers. Also in the mix was a 50-inch-wide 9-inch Ford rearend with a Williams pumpkin and axles, Wilwood disc brakes, and 31x18.50-inch rubber. Next, I took the truck to KJ's Auto Body in Oakland. There, Kenny installed a front clip from a '73 Malibu.
"While all this was going on with the chassis I had the body, which I thought was pretty cherry, media-blasted. You can imagine my surprise when I picked up the cleaned parts encrypted with dents, rust, holes, and more dents and holes. I had Kenny at KJ's hand-fab new front and rear cab corners and floorpans. To save money I decided to tackle the body and paintwork. My wife said I just like to make dust, because all I seemed to do was put Bondo on and sand it right back off! By '01 I was ready for paint. That year I also installed a Nash five-speed, at my wife's request. By this point I was taking the truck out for drives regularly. In '04 I met Ben at Smeding Performance and purchased one of his 383 crate motors. With the new motor the truck runs a 12.70 @ 114.28 in the quarter-mile.