The crew at Nissen's Hot Rod Garage has distinguished itself by building an extensive series of innovative hot rods. John Nissen has developed ideas and products for years but counts his discovery of longtime employee, Tom Stephens, as one of the greatest finds of his career, second of course to his wife, Dawn. She keeps it all together while the crew gets greasy. Tom came to work at Nissen's shop in remote Williams, California, as a talented rookie with a desire to learn and has developed into a very serious car builder.
Tom made the perhaps unlikely choice of a '48 Ford pickup as his first major personal project. With the intention of expressing his own design ideas on his own car and wreaking a little havoc in the show world, the truck is named "Vendetta." Sounds like a little revenge for all the hard work he has put in on other people's cars over the last few years! Tom's very original concept rolled '37 LaSalle fenders and nose, an original '62 Ford 406 (blown and injected), an AOD trans, and a truly eclectic mix of parts from 10 different cars and a boat, into one of the most original show vehicles of the decade. The chassis, scratch built at Nissen's, features handmade suspension, all Ford derived. The entire undercarriage is bellypanned and about eighty million louvers are hiding down there with only the pavement to bear witness to their existence. The truck, hacked and whacked from every possible direction, abounds with handmade detail, from bedrail integrated taillights to an interior that is at once nostalgic and contemporary.
The finished project will be completed in a one-off Sherwin-Williams hue that has been dubbed "Down Under Orange," augmented by striping by the very talented Craig Judd. Tom credits designer Christian Dotson with the concept drawings and paint scheme details.
Tom and the crew at Nissen's hope to have "Vendetta" complete in time for the 2010 Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, California.