Next, a set of stock rear fenders were procured and modified to hold the oversized rear running gear. Richie then cleaned up the rear fender’s stabilizer bracket, removing the factory rivets, welding it on and then finally smoothing out the welds for a neater look. Last, but not least, the rear gas filler panel was moved from the cab and placed out on the rear fender, closer to the relocated gas tank.
Richie went on to further touch up the body. Underhood, the engine bay was cleaned out, welds were touched up, and every crease and junction was smoothed out. This cradle that now holds the engine is like glass, and it’s the perfect encasement for the fully decked out crate ZZ4 which would power this ride. In the bed, fresh oak was laid out, and marine style pop up cleats were installed for a trick look, and to have a means of tying anything down that might roll around on acceleration. The roll pan was kept out back, and the bumper was flipped and installed. Unfortunately, there was an issue with where to install license plate, as to place it where it wasn’t obstructed from view. It was decided that the bumper would be cut out in the middle, making it into two separate bumperettes, which would make the local law enforcement community happy.
Once the body was set, Alex had to choose an appropriate color to paint his ride. Richie laid out several different colors on the truck … at the same time! He did this so Alex could compare different hues, and how they interacted with the truck. After a few changes, he finally settled on silver as the color. Richie then laid out a few coats of an Alfa Romeo Silver Standox paint on the body. His painting technique involves spraying the car with a few color coats and a coat of clear, letting it sit for a month to let the paint and body work settle. Next, he once again blocks the paint out, smoothing out any imperfections.
Once finished, he again shoots the truck with color, finishing it off with four coats of clear. During this process, the grille, running boards, splash pan and frame were sent out and powdercoated in silver, which almost identically matched the silver on the body. The 16x10 and 15x8 steel wheels were also sent out and powdercoated to a deep red, keeping with the vintage look of his ride. Alex wrapped them in Goodrich radials … 215/65/15 up front, and 265/60/16 out back.
As far as handling the road, the truck rides on polished SST suspension, which came onboard with the Fat Man chassis. Out back, a three link is in place, while the Chevy rides on Pro Shock coilovers in all four corners. For stopping power, four wheel power disc brakes help bring the ’51 to a halt in a hurry, while a narrowed Ford 9-inch rear, stuffed with 3.70 gears get the power out to the wheels.
The cab was sent out to RP Interiors in Horseheads, New York, to get the full treatment. Custom door panels, carpets and headliner were made for the Chevy, and they even did a custom console up in the headliner. The seats are also custom made by Leather Glide, and were reupholstered in leather at the shop. The dash was also smoothed out by Richie and painted to match the trucks exterior. Classic gauges were then installed throughout the cockpit, a tilt Flaming River column with flashers was installed, and then topped off with a polished aluminum Flaming River steering wheel … of course, wrapped in leather.