Power windows were added for comfort, a multi-function stereo/GPS/DVD console system was placed in the dash for modern flash, and custom LED lighting was added to the engine compartment to light up the big modern motor. The windshield was also customized by removing the center brace and creating a two piece window with V-butted panels, to give the effect of it being a one-piece windshield.
This leg of the work on the truck was done with the assistance of Robert and also Dennis’s long time friend Frank Ayoub, who is a chef by trade. Frank worked every Saturday with Dennis on the truck, helping out with the custom modifications Dennis had dreamed up for the project. In the spring and summer months the two pals would take the car to a number of cruise nights and to local car shows, where the partially finished Stude’ would do very well, even nabbing several awards during the build process.
When Dennis had the truck body completely modified to his liking, he disassembled the custom ride and prepped it for the final paint scheme. Using his numerous years of experience in perfecting panels and laying down paint, Dennis coated the ‘49 in a Sikkens formula tri-coat Pearl Sunset Yellow which has a white base coat and pearl orange mid coat. The beautiful orange hue was then covered with four coats of clear.
To finish off his prize winning ride, the next step in the process was to have the interior refinished and customized. This was handled expertly by Everlast Upholstery of Linden, New Jersey. The cab was done in a light tan and beige leather and suede motif, which complements the wild pearl orange exterior.
The valve covers of the big Chevy engine were also customized. Dennis filled in the lettering on the plastic covers, and had his friend laser etch “Studebaker” callouts on the stock pieces. Then, carefully, he filled in the lettering by hand with a custom green paint, which would also be used on the exterior Studebaker logos.
A set of Lokar pedals help the truck stop and go and a custom steering wheel keeps the truck pointed in the right direction. The wheel is constructed of two pieces of ¼-inch steel plate, cut out on a drill press, then hand finished and plated in chrome. This design mimics the spoke shape of the Centerline Galaxy rims upon which the truck sits, 17-inch up front, 18s out back. All four wheels are decked out in Toyo tires.
As of now, Dennis has no plans to change a thing on the truck and he enjoys taking it on the road, often logging hundreds a miles a week during the summer months. He built this ride to drive, and drive it he surely does.
Dennis would like to thank his blushing bride, Phyllis for the endless reserve of patience she displayed throughout this build process. It would not have been possible to complete this project without the assistance and input of his friends, Robert Latuso and Frank Ayoub. And finally, thanks to the paint elves at Akzo Nobel for their colorful input. CCT