The Doddridges' '57 Chevy.
A new 350ci ZZ4 crate motor drives a Chevy-dominated system, from the stock aluminum heads
A tan and red, leather and cloth Guide Engineering bench seat reclines for ultimate drivin
Shaved tailgate chains and fender emblems give the truck a smooth, uninterrupted look from
Every inch of this truck was restored with a careful, loving eyeeven the bedrails ha
A new feature for the 57 model, the double-trapezoid grille features one trapezoid s
The Doddridge brothers, Tim and Wayne, of Costa Mesa, California, had an idea for the perfect Christmas present to give their father, Paul: a dream Chevy truck from the same year as his high school graduation, 1957. They didn't have to look far for their project truckactually no further than the family dealership, Connell Chevrolet, where one of the employees had a 57 Chevy 3100 Series Stepside in need of a new owner. Only 26 months later, the truck was ready to be wrapped and given to Dad. Floored by its magnificence, the 57 became the Connell Chevrolet mascot and sat on display in the showroom until the daily inquiries to purchase it overwhelmed the staff. The beauty now sits in a more secluded spot, coming out only for car shows and other special events.
Led by the Pro Design team in Santa Ana, California, the truck underwent a major primping on its almost entirely stock body and parts in its two-year transition from project to present. The largest chunk of time, seven months, was spent perfecting the body. The stock double-trapezoid-shaped grille and front and rear bumpers were chromed, and the tailgate chains and fender emblems were shaved. Almost all of the original sheetmetal was restored, and John DeBarge of Euro-American Paint & Body applied the cranberry-red finish. He also painted the bedrails to matchthe only alteration to the stock bed.
Behind those hooded lids, a new ZZ4 HiPo 350ci crate motor backed by a Turbo 400 transmission runs Hedman headers equipped with Chevy 1.94 valves. A Chevy aluminum dual-plane intake manifold and a Holley carburetor sparked by an HEI ignition sit atop the engine, while exhaust exits via a Mesa muffler system. Put them all together, and the engine produces an admirable 355 hp and 405 lb-ft of torque.
An IFS chassis by Chubby Chassis provides the spine, while a Chubby Chassis four-link rear suspension gives cushioning. In the front, the nose has been lowered 4 inches. The chassis rides on Dunlop tires wrapped around Wheelsmith smoothie 15x7 wheels.
From the bedrails to the interior carpet, a perfectly matched cranberry red attracts the eye. To complement the strong color, a tan and red interior made of leather and cloth was stitched together and installed by Taylor Trim Shop in Costa Mesa. The door panels, dash, and gauges are stock, but the driver does guide the truck with a new Budnik steering wheel. The final result is a very streetable truck (it gets almost 25 mpg) that looks perfectly stock but rides as smoothly as a new vehicle. Now a much more patient person, Tim heartily acknowledges the work was worth it to see his Dads expression when he received his dream graduation gift over 40 years late. Does this prove the old platitude, All good things come to those who wait? Maybe yes, maybe no, but in the world of classic trucks it definitely reaffirms the truism, Patience is a virtue.