Michael B. Taggart, from Spring Valley, California, has also loved pickups since his high school years, as proved by the story of his ’37 Dodge
“I’ve had this truck since I was in high school in 1972. The original purchase price was a case of beer. At the time, I was under age so I got away with it for $5.
“The front fenders were truly flat in the front, like they had been run into a wall. The rear fenders were found in a metal recycle yard. I think we bought these for $5 as well. The front axle, steering, and brakes remain stock. I came to find out that the truck was used by a plumber. He added additional leafs to the rear springs, which I kept because I moved the gas tank from behind the seat to just over the rear end.
“The body has been channeled three inches and the rear fenders have been widened three inches. Once the body was dropped, the front grill shell also needed to be cut and sectioned, along with the hood sides. The spare tire well has been covered with a door. I shaped the metal to the contour of the fender and bolted it on the inside with a piano hinge. It latches with a glove-box lock from an old VW.
“There was no grill with the truck, so we welded
up one and massaged it to fit the circumference of the
shell and bolted inside. The radiator is an inverted core
from a Chevy Nova. The water recovery tank is an old
driveshaft welded and tubing brazed inside. The brass
nut and threaded insert comes from the hardware store
and is also brazed in.
“The pick-up bed is a 5⁄8-inch plywood sheet with the
leftover oak flooring (from the house remodel) laminated
to it. The entire floor will slide out to give access to the
battery or when hauling damaging materials.
“The running gear is all Chevy. The engine is a ’70
305 (from my mother-in-law’s four-door) with a small
cam, an aluminum manifold, and a 650cm Eldelbrock
carburetor. The distributor has been upgraded to
electronic ignition. The valve covers are custom made with my initials! The transmission is stock with
a contemporary shift kit. The truck will rumble
and rock with the best of them at the limit line.
“All of the work was done by me, my wife,
and my dad. My dad and I rebuilt the engine, and
Vivian and I handled the upholstery work. I did
the paint and flames. The base colors are true
enamel paint manufactured by X-O Rust and the
flames were done in Rust-Oleum.
“The truck has gone through many different
appearances over the decades. It was there for
me through high school, college, law school,
marriage, and kids. Hopefully it will continue on.
Hopefully, I’ll still be running when I reach its
age. Maybe I’ll have grown up by then!”