Bad to the Blown

A Not-So-Mellow-Yellow Classic

Travis NoackJun 21, 2002
Planted firmly on the earth, sporting 1200 tire-blistering horsepower and bright Lemon Ice Yellow paint, this indescribable object rumbles toward you. The ground shakes, your eardrums vibrate, and your eyes widen in amazement as this object gets closer and closer. Blinding your eyes is the polished 8-71 blower ascending to the sky through the smooth hood, while the air is filled with smoke clouds pouring off the 31-inch-wide Mickey Thompson rear tires.
The truck comes to a quick halt, and emerging from the tan leather cockpit is Rudy Hindelang of Carson City, Nevada. Upon close inspection, this bright-yellow pro-streeter appears to be a '58-'59 Chevy pickup, but in reality it is a '57 Chevy pickup trimmed with a '59 Chevy pickup front clip. Rudy purchased the truck back in 1999 in hopes of building the pavement-grinding pro-street machine seen here. With the help of his son Clint, the truck busted out onto the show scene as phat as can be, with a Perfect Ten stance and a blend of quality-crafted modifications.
Setting the stage for tire-shredding greatness underneath, Rudy's classic uses an Art Morrison chassis extended 3 inches in front and boxed with 2x4-inch steel for increased rigidity. Initiating the severe slam up front are Wilwood 2-inch dropped spindles coupled with Firestone 2500 airbags. Taking the rear stepside fenders to a lower level is a narrowed Ford 9-inch rearend held in place by an Art Morrison chrome-plated four-link. Firestone 2500 airbags suspend the rearend and regulate ride control. A stainless Mustang II rack-and-pinion was retrofitted under the nose for increased steering ease. Controlling airflow to the 'bags are Fabco 1/2-inch valves, 3/8-inch air lines, four Thomas 317 air compressors, and two 3-gallon billet air tanks. Rudy's son Clint out of Mesa, Arizona, handled all suspension slicing and dicing.
Tucked underneath the bed floor is a stainless steel 17-gallon fuel cell that continually gets quickly drained by the thirsty 540ci Rat motor. Sticking with the traditional big and little wheel and tire setup, Rudy chose 15x7-inch front and 15x15-inch rear Colorado Custom Lazear billet wheels clothed in skinny rubber up front with fat meats in the rear. Pavement cushions consist of Mickey Thompson Sportsman Pro rubber measuring 26x850x15 front and 31x1,850x15LT rear.
The real magic of Bad to the Blown lies in the blown big-block sandwiched between the Art Morrison custom rails. After Clint finished dialing the suspension in to hug the pavement and handle some serious horsepower, it was time to assemble the 1,200hp big-block on the engine stand that would send this screaming-yellow hauler down the road.
Nothing other than a big-block would suffice for this project, and Rudy decided it had to a have a large, polished huffer mounted on top. A 540ci Merlin big-block Chevy was purchased and stuffed with the best in go-fast goodies. Handling machining chores was the duty of RPM Machine in Carson City. The block was balanced, blueprinted, and deburred, before being stuffed with a forged steel crankshaft, Eagle Rods, and an Erson Odd Fire roller camshaft. A lift of 0.705-inch and duration of 292 on the intake and 304 on the exhaust ensures this bad boy will rumble as soon as the Mallory Hi-Fire electric ignition is sparked. Edelbrock ported and polished heads, a 7.5:1 compression ratio, and a Pete Jackson geardrive also add to the tire-smoking combination.
Induction obligations are met by a Weiand 8-71 blower that can be heard a mile away. Drinking more liquid than teenagers at a high school keg party are two Holley 1050 Dominator carburetors serving to feed the Rat gallons upon gallons of fuel. Rudy runs the boost at 17 pounds and never hesitates to slam his foot in it and listen to the harmonious tune produced by the blower, the geardrive, the custom-made headers, and the exhaust system feeding into DynoMax mufflers. Rudy and his coworker Darryl built the custom headers before having them ceramic-coated and mounting them up to the engine's exterior.
Handling putting this newfound power to the street is a Turbo 400 transmission massaged with an Art Carr shift-improvement kit. A custom driveshaft built by Rudy at his shop Precision CV Axles and Drive Lines, in Carson City linked up to a narrowed Chris Alston Fab Ford 9-inch rearend fit with a Spool setup for traction and 4.11:1 gears puts the truck in motion. Adding some shine to go with all the speed are billet valve covers, the fully polished 8-71 blower, a polished aluminum radiator with Cool-Flex hoses, and Lemon Ice Yellow paint throughout the compartment.
After the chassis and drivetrain were set up and ready to hit the street, Rudy began modifying the body to give it a hot rod feel. The first noticeable difference in the truck's factory '57 GM landscape is the addition of the '59 Chevy front clip. Viewing the roof while standing next to Bad to the Blown is no problem because John Johnson of John Johnson Hot Rods in Carson City gave the Chevy a haircut in the form of a 3-1/2-inch chopped top. While he was at it, to create an even more low-down look, John channeled the body 5 inches over the frame. In order to create a streamlined appearance on the hood, Pete Harris of Dreamstreet in Carson City pie-cut the stock '59 bonnet to allow it to sit more flush with the fender lines.
Further changing the factory metal are stock '59 Chevy fenders extended 1-1/2 inches and frenched for a neat tucked-in look. The stock door handles were tossed in the trash, and their mounting holes were filled and smoothed. Cleaning up the cab was handled by shaving the rain gutters and wipers.
Moving to the rear, a custom roll pan can be found with a frenched license plate and '48 Chevy taillights. A smoothed tailgate complete with rounded edges brings the whole smooth theme together nicely. Another innovative trick is the smooth custom-made bed steps that blend seamlessly into the bright-yellow backdrop. When in show mode, a tilt forward hood exposes the rumbling Rat motor, while suicide doors reveal the plush leather threads inside the cab.
After the body had been smoothed within an inch of its life, Pete Harris rolled Bad to the Blown into the paint booth and began laying down countless coats of PPG Lemon Ice Yellow liquid over the freshly modified metal. Once the bed, cab, and front clip were covered in the eye-grabbing hue and color sanding and polishing had been finished, it was time to complete the truck with some tunes and upgraded interior amenities.
Completion of the paint and bodywork put Rudy's Bow Tie on the homestretch to hitting the road, so he trailered it over to Audio 2000 in Tucson, Arizona, for an ear-blistering stereo system. A Clarion AM/FM CD head unit delivers music to Kove Audio mids and tweeters located in the kick panels, while 10-inch Hart Professional subwoofers mounted behind the seats bring some bass into the mix. Powering the mids and tweeters is a Hart 800-watt four-channel amp, while the subs rock courtesy of a Hart 800-watt two-channel amplifier. Bill Wyko of Audio 2000 is credited with building the glass and wood subwoofer enclosure.
After the cabin was filled with cranking tunes, Marvin Strickland of Custom Creations in Tucson got busy lacing out the cab with tan leather sewn over the custom seats, the door panels, and the headliner. Tan, plush carpet brings the cockpit up to date, while a Colorado Custom flame steering wheel tops the column. In addition to the supple leather, the cockpit was treated to a smoothed and painted dash, while the seats were frenched into steel. The unique center console is half of a Harley-Davidson easy rider gas tank filled with the air suspension gauges and a shifter handle. A look at the dash reveals a set of custom white-face vintage-style gauges molded into the smoothed and painted dash.
Rudy Hindelang has worked extremely hard to create the pavement-shredding custom seen here. His quality-crafted pickup is the result of good planning, patience, and a commitment to quality. Finding the right shops and people to help execute his plan was also instrumental in the truck's completion. Rudy would like to thank his son Clint, his wife Charmaine, Colorado Custom Wheels, Meguiar's Wax, Mallory, and Erson, as well as all who helped make Bad to the Blown a 1,200hp pickup reality. There is truly no stone left unturned on this bold and bright classic.

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