Nothing really radical here,...
Nothing really radical here, just months of getting things right. Fresh chrome glistens on the stock bumper and grille while the hood is filled and vents have been smoothed. But checkout the fit and finish on this truck, the panel fit on this truck is remarkable.
There are any number of ways to make a truck stand out in a sea of fine iron typically found at a local cruise night or rod run. It may be a radical top chop, insane flames, or a monster blower motor protruding through the hood. Or it could be simply attending to details on a red and righteous truck. Tony McAlister opted for the latter approach, rather than go radical, he spent his hours attending to myriad details that in concert make a truck that has a power presence. It's a truck that doesn't shout for attention; rather it simply beckons you to come nearer for a closer look. It's one of the trucks that you almost walk past, and then you pause and turn around only to spend a long time admiring the craftsmanship and subtle changes on this 1954 Chevrolet.
The truck was purchased locally in Georgia, and to say it was a basket case would be an understatement. It took two trucks and a trailer to haul it home. But for the most part, it was a solid start and a fairly complete truck. Tony owns and operates Southern Paint & Body in Rockmart, Georgia, so the truck was unloaded at the shop where parts were separated, cataloged and prepared.
The engine bay received a...
The engine bay received a lot of attention, from the smooth firewall to the fine finish on the fenderwells. The 350 engine is a well-dressed unit with finned valve covers and sixties-style breather. The engine sports a mild cam and a single 4-bbl Edelbrock carburetor.
The sheetmetal panels were all stripped and brought into finished primer before being assembled on the chassis for a test fit. The doors and front sheetmetal were painstakingly fitted to the cab, and in the process, all chrome emblems were eliminated and the center hood seam was filled. In 1954, Chevrolet introduced the one-piece windshield and Tony decided one-piece side glass should have been introduced too, so the vent windows were eliminated and Adairsville Glass cut and installed the new side glass and windshield. The one-piece side glass glides up and down with the help of a NuRelics power window kit. The firewall received extensive work to smooth it out and the inner fenderwells were modified while handformed sheetmetal now surrounds the Griffin aluminum radiator. The grille and front bumper were sent off for some fresh chrome while the rear bumper was inverted and modified to accept a hand crafted rear exhaust port. Below the tailgate you'll find a handformed rear pan while 1959 Chevy taillights glow bright thanks to new LED technology.
Inside the bed, Bruce Horkey supplied the wood and the stainless steel strips while Tony massaged a pair of 1972 Chevy inner wheeltubs by splitting and welding them to the desired width. Hidden latches by Terry Womack keep the tailgate closed and, of course, the bed is free of chains and the stake pockets and bedrail ends are filled.
A unique rear pan fills the...
A unique rear pan fills the void between the tailgate and the new bumper pan, and also fills the space behind the rear fender.
After fitting all the exterior panels, the interior of the truck was addressed. With a set of 2008 GMC Sierra seats mounted in the cab, Tony set about fabricating a fantastic center console. The dashboard was modified for the Dakota Digital gauges while a Flaming River steering column mounts a custom Banjo wheel. With all the fabrication completed, the truck was completely disassembled for paintwork.
The chassis was kept simple with an eye toward detail. Up front, a Mustang II front suspension is controlled with coilover shocks while out back, a rear end from a four-wheel drive S-10 is located on the stock springs. The 3:42.1 final gear incorporates a locker rear to spin the big 20x10 Coys on the rear. The fuel tank is from Tanks, Inc. and Tony handled all the plumbing on the truck with help from Freddie McFall.