He drove past it every day, and every day the old truck spoke to him. It called silently from its weed-choked burial plot in someones backyard, its only company the daily motions of mice and spiders going about their business of survival. Although decrepit, it appeared solid enough that he could see the potential lying beneath the accumulation of grime and scale. Time wore on and he began to look upon the hulk as an old friend, imagining its former life of toting hay or hauling loads of kids to the ice cream parlor. Then one day, his old friend was gone and his heart sank. He feared the crusher, but hoped that someone had decided to breathe some life into the old man. Rounding the final curve towards home, he had to rub the disbelief from his eyes at the sight of the old hauler resting in his very own driveway. As he entered the house with questions, his hopes were confirmed with a hearty happy birthday from his wife, Gay. Ask him today and Bob Lathery will tell you that his 48 Chevy truck is the best birthday gift he has ever received.
He didnt waste time diving into the project, either. A complete teardown and rebuild was in order and the final result is as you see it here. Youd think that Bobs vocation as a pinstriper, along with his enthusiasm for old iron, would yield some sort of overstriped rolling billboard, but just the opposite is true. The striping on Bobs truck is an exercise in restraint and subtlety. A simple logo graces the beltline on each door and theres actually more striping in the doorjambs than on the entire exterior of the body. But thats the way Bob likes it, clean and simple. That theory also holds true throughout the rest of the truck; its clean, simple, and functional. Bob has a vision for the future of his best-ever birthday present; he plans to perpetuate the gift by passing it on to his sonsbut not quite yet, because hes still having fun driving it.
Drivetrain: Theres a mellow Mouse under the hood, a 305 thats been bored and rebuilt to mostly stock specifications by Bill Caughron. It sports an Edelbrock intake and carb with factory rams horn manifolds feeding a pair of Pro Flow mufflers. The motors backed by a TH350 auto trans with a B&M shift kit, and it turns a 77 Camaro rear.
Chassis: Mark Elzey handled the chassis work; he grafted a Camaro subframe to the 48 rails, giving Bob the benefit of modern suspension and disc brakes.
Wheels & Tires: Front and rear wheels are 15x7 and 15x8 Wheel Vintiques chromies capped with 49 Chevy wheelcovers. Tires on all four corners are 225/75R15 Firestones that have had their sidewalls shaved to create wide-white walls.
Body: Bob Blair of New Washington, Indiana, was responsible for getting the body straight and ready for paint, while Bill Meyer handled the recess in the firewall and the custom running boards. Shorty Coffey punched 108 louvers in the hood and 48 more in the smoothed tailgate panel.
Paint: Bob Blair sprayed the PPG Southern Belle Yellow, following the base with plenty of clear. Bob Lathery handled the minimalist pinstriping.
Interior: Inside is a vinyl roll-and-pleat in bone by Bob Lyons of Louisville, Kentucky. The dash also sports nine louvers to match the exterior. Wiring was installed by Bob Wells and includes a set of Stewart-Warner gauges and a Kenwood CD sound system. Tim Harbin installed the air conditioning to keep everything cool.