Rifle, Colorado, isnt exactly the street-rod-building capitol of the country, but when the winter weather brings waist-deep snow to the mountains, you can either ski or stick to the shop and build something. Doug Stallsworth of Dougs Automotive chooses to light up his welding torch and build street rods and custom trucks. Last year, he constructed this orange 41 Chevy pickup for Dick Verne of Montauk, New York.
Verne purchased this longbed Chevy from a friend in Colorado and originally planned a relatively straightforward restoration, but he found himself imagining a custom truck with more power and a better ride than original equipment would provide. As Vernes imagination continued to conjure his ideal truck, the list of what he wanted grew and the idea of a mild restoration went out the window. He started looking for a builder who could turn his dreams into reality. After hooking up with Doug, he knew he had found the right man for the job. Shortly afterward, the decision was made to start with bare framerails and then build from there. Quickly, the cab and bed were stripped from the chassis, and Dougs welding equipment began heating up the shop as the suspension was updated with a Fatman Fabrications Mustang II front crossmember. Parallel leaf springs were then added to the Ford 9-inch rearend. Custom tapered running boards were fabricated between the fenders. Next, a molded tailgate and rolled box-pockets were built into the original but now straight bedsides. Under the rear of the bed, a nifty rear roll pan was added to mount large-diameter 86 Corvette taillights and complete the normally empty area.
After the bed was finished, the center hood seam was welded and the body panels were straightened and then prepped and painted in PPG Competition Orange by Jerry Crim of Grand Junction, Colorado.
In the meantime, photos and phone calls kept Verne (in New York) informed as to the progress of the 41. Stallsworth, a regular at Rod & Custom magazines Americruise, convinced Verne to let him deliver the truck to him at the 01 Americruise in Lincoln, Nebraska. Verne could enjoy taking possession of the truck and see how much the public liked the bright-orange hauler that Stallsworth dubbed the ugly cousin with the cute caboose. We think it has all the elements of being Stalls-Worthy
Drivetrain: Under the hood is a 350ci Chevy with a Comp Cams High Energy camshaft and aluminum valve covers. A Street & Performance TPI unit directs fuel flow to cast flat-top pistons. Pulleys and A/C and alternator brackets are S&P items. B&B Transmission of Grand Junction, Colorado, built the Turbo 350 trans employing a Lokar Performance shifter. Spent gases are exhaled through stock manifolds to 3-inch tubes and Flowmaster mufflers.
Chassis: The original chassis has been modified with a Fatman front crossmember and heavy-duty (upper and lower) tubular control arms. Disc brakes are located at the corners, while a Chassis Engineering antisway bar keeps the Chevy cab from leaning while going through curves. The gas tank was moved to the rear of the chassis. A Ford 9-inch rearend holds 3.0:1 gears and is mounted with Camaro leaf springs.
Wheels & Tires: American Torque Thrust IIs mount BFGoodrich radials: Fronts are 14x6s with P195/R7014s and rears are 15x7s with P235/R7015s.
Body: The Chevy cab is relatively stock except for a filled cowl vent. Plating Specialities of Grand Junction handled all re-plating of the chrome trim. The hood sides were smoothed and the two-piece hood was welded to a one-piece and then smoothed. A 40 Ford bumper was split and moved closer to the fenders by shortening the bumper brackets. Custom-made running boards taper from front to rear.
Paint: The PPG Competition Orange was applied by Jerry Crim.
Interior: Mike Elliots Upholstery in Grand Junction designed and fabricated the vanilla vinyl and cream-coffee-tan Mercedes carpet. A LeCarra steering wheel sits on a GM tilt columnnote the wraparound column drop. The stock dash was extended to house A/C vents and cover electrical components. United Speedometer rebuilt the original gauges and restored the gauge faces. Everything is wired through a Ron Francis Wire Works panel.