David Wilson of Ferndale, Washington, said he’s been interested in old trucks since he was a little “fender lizard” hanging around custom cars with his dad. After his father passed away, he found the ’40 Chevy (pictured here) and decided to build it in his dad’s memory.
“The ’40 was abandoned behind an old poultry building in Nooksack, Washington, buried in a Blackberry bush. I had to locate three donor trucks and it took me two years to find enough rust-free body parts to piece together a complete pickup. It took 6 years, and one divorce to build the Chevy from start to finish.”
Once David had the sheetmetal rounded up, the ’40 headed north of the border to “Fast” Eddy in Langley, British Columbia for bodywork. The stake pockets were shaved, running boards smoothed, and a three-piece hood was installed. The stock ’40 grille, along with miscellaneous items, was rechromed by Fraser Valley Plating in Abbotsford, B.C.
Beneath the body, the chassis is the one it left the factory with, but that’s where the similarities end. The ’40’s ground-up build took place at Pyramid Street Rods in Bellingham, Washington, where John Barbero and Steve Skura started by boxing the framerails, and strengthening it with tubular crossmembers. For rear suspension, Pyramid fabricated a four-link setup to suspend a narrowed Ford 9-inch packing 3.35:1 gears with a Detroit locker and Dutchman axles. A Panhard rod is used to locate while the coilover shocks are from Alden and the disc brakes were commandeered from a Ford Explorer. For rear tires and wheels, 16x8-inch American Racing Torq Thrust IIs are shod with BFG T/A radials. Up front the ’40 rides on a Heidts Mustang II IFS with 2-inch drop spindles and KYB gas shocks. The disc brakes are 12-inch Wilwoods clamped by a Kugel 1-inch Corvette master cylinder with a 9-inch booster. The tires and wheels are 15x6 American Racing Torq Thrust IIs stuffed into a pair of skinny BFG radial T/As. Turning is via a Flaming River power steering rack-and-pinion coupled to a Flaming River steering column topped with a 15-inch diameter Grant steering wheel.
Behind the Steve Skura-smoothed firewall, the ’40 relies on a ’70 Chevy four-bolt 350 bored and stroked to 383 inches for propulsion. Tyler King of Lynden, Washington, did the machine work and helped Dave with its assembly. The build started with a Scat crankshaft hung with H-beam 6.0 steel Scat rods and Ross 9.5:1 pistons. The rod and main bearings are from Clevite, and TRW manufactured the molly rings. Induction is handled with an 820-cfm Demon carb breathing down a BDS blower mounted on a aluminum BDS intake manifold. A Comp roller cam with 509/528 lift and 222/230 duration handles valve timing in conjunction with Crane 1.5 ratio roller rockers. Air Flow Research cylinder heads are capped with finned aluminum valve covers from Speedway Motors of Lincoln, Nebraska. The blown 383’s cooling chores are handled with a Griffin radiator filled by a Stewart high-volume water pump. The gasoline supply for the blown 383’s voracious appetite comes from 22-gallon aluminum fuel tank custom-fabricated by Sound Engineering of Bellingham. Gear changes are handled with a B&M Magnum shifter attached to a beefed TH400 built by Hughes for street and strip. Its 8-inch torque converter has a 2,800-rpm stall speed. The aluminum driveshaft was custom made by Bellingham Driveline Service.
Jeff Kutz and Mike King did the two-tone Lexus Green and Gold paint scheme with Dupont products followed by Mitch Kim of Portland, Oregon pulling some tasty stripes. Inside the cab Ron Fast of Chilliwack, B.C., did the leather upholstery featuring a Glide bench seat.
Looking back David said the only thing he might have done differently was to find a truck with more room in it to fit his 6½-foot body— yeah, no kidding. CCT