The time spent building a custom hot-rod hauler can be months or years. However, years spent torching and wrenching doesn't necessarily mean a better result. Some owners lovingly spend decades working on a soon-to-be beautiful ride simply to keep them going each and every morning, while others have the resources and ability to see their dreams realized in a shorter period. The latter case describes Jerry Glenn's '57 Chevy Stepside. Jerry waited a relatively quick 14 months with his cab-off restoration. Considering that part of the metalwork was sent to Australia, and this is the second restoration since 1968, you might say Jerry's actually waited more like 25 years for his dream to come true.

For reasons only known to Jerry, his pickup was allowed to rest on flat tires from 1981 to July 2002, when the decision was then made to bring it back to life. One can only imagine the hours of planning, drawing, and preparation Jerry took in finalizing just the second, and probably not the last, revamping of this rich piece of commercial vehicle history.

Shortly after spotting the devilish grin from the upside-down smile grille, the next thing you'll notice is the set of 20x8-inch Boyd Coddington Cobras wrapped in P245/45R20 Michelin rubber. The five-spoke rear wheels and tires continue to arrest your attention -- they too are Boyd Cobras, 20x9.5 inches, surrounded in Michelin P295/45R20s.

Chris Alston Chassisworks created a custom chassis with tubular crossmembers and a four-link rearend mount. A Ford FAB9 limited-slip Posi holds down the tight stern, and an Alston frontend with Mustang II drop spindles gives the Chevy its low, modern wide-track stance. Wilwood front and rear polished aluminum calipers and ventilated rotors were called on for modern stopping power. After all, this vintage pickup was entering the 21st century and needed to be able to more than keep up.

The contrasting chrome and polished aluminum engine against the dark, rouge-red exterior is a delight to the visual senses. Jerry had no problem replacing the vintage hot-rod 427ci V-8 and a Turbo 400 (installed in 1968) with a '96 Corvette LT4 engine with a matching AOD tranny. The Street and Performance polished LT4 valve covers prove Jerry wanted to add some special mechanical details and performance enhancements to this latest rendition. Many more speed parts were added, and when all was said and done, the dyno read a powerful 440 hp.

After some minor bodywork was completed, everything was disassembled and the cab was sent to Jeff Pickering in Sydney, Australia, to be bead-blasted and have the door handles shaved. When the cab returned, the exterior was painted Inferno Red by Mike Forester. The bed floor and rearend has the most significant design effort applied. As stated earlier, the 9.5-inch-wide rear wheels required a larger fenderwell to make room. The 9.5-inch wheels now fit because the bed was slightly tubbed, and the oak bed floor was raised 6 inches to allow space for the rear-mounted fuel tank. Obviously, a serious amount of planning was involved during the 22-year period this devilish splendor waited.

After the decades-long slumber and extensive planning period, the interior was the final detail to create. Jerry's prayers were answered by choosing divine light-gray leather for the interior. Barry Ward of Ward Auto Interiors in Orangevale, California, covered the interior panels, including the headliner and seat, in a custom design. Just to make sure this pickup understood it was now definitely entering the next millennium, Jerry added four-way electric seats, a Dakota Digital dash, a PlayStation 2, and a 10-inch DVD screen -- just to name just a few of the added amenities.

Finally, in September of 2003, the long-overdue restoration was complete, and Jerry was now satisfied with the second overhaul. The rouge-red hauler has been brought back from the grave, entered a new century, and keeps up with the times, having had parts modified and assembled from around the world. Jerry's infernal inferno has truly become a multi-cultural, modern-day Chevy hot-rod hauler. CCT