1946 Chevy Panel Truck - Drawing Board - The Mission: To Bring Back Real Customs
The big show or exposition of the year, SEMA, is known for attracting some of the world's finest custom vehicles. In recent years though, there has been an increase in late-model vehicles that have only a sprinkle of custom parts on them. We can blame most of this on the big-wheel-and-tire craze because there has been a plethora of stock vehicles coming out to the show with a new set of rollers as their only modification.
Well, Jeff Major of Bed Wood and Parts said "Enough!" to looking at relatively mild customs and decided to take things into his own hands. A few years ago, he started his company, which manufactures premade wood bed floors for classic and late-model trucks. Now he is on a mission to bring back the real customs to SEMA and showcase some of his company's talent as well. To do so, he located a '46 Chevy panel and is having Rockguy's Rod Shop of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, do a complete build of it, which will be displayed at the show by the time you read this.
As you can see from the rendering, this panel is going to have a hot-rod theme to it. Jeff knew the truck had to have a big powerplant to back up the mean looks of the vehicle. He is starting with an LS2 engine block and is having it rebuilt to 427 ci with some Darton sleeves and an Eagle Specialty Products rotating assembly. Then, the crew at Rockguy's will attach a set of Edelbrock heads with a Comp Cams valvetrain and camshaft. From there, a Performance Systems 8-71 blower will be mounted atop the engine with a Machine Tech Racing Engines intake sandwiched inbetween it and the block. March Performance's serpentine pulley system will tie it all together along with a Hilborn fuel-injection system and a FAST computer system. Helping the exiting gases flow out, will be a Dynatech stainless exhaust and a set of the company's headers coated in Jet-Hot ceramic coating. A Richmond Gear five-speed overdrive transmission equipped with SPEC Clutches' flywheel, pressure plate, and clutch will follow the engine. Then, a Frankland Racing quick-change rearend will distribute power to the wheels.
With a heap of horsepower, a vehicle needs a sturdy chassis to follow so that the vehicle maintains traction. To keep the frame strong, Rockguy's is boxing in the original frame and ditching the factory stamped crossmembers for a Progressive Automotive tubular X-member. Then an IFS from a C4 Vette will be attached to the frame along with a Progressive Automotive parallel four-link with Panhard bar and Air Ride Technologies Shockwave airbags. For the ultimate control over power, SSBC disc brakes will be attached on all four corners powered by a Classic Performance Parts booster and master cylinder. Attached to these fancy rotors will be a set of 18- and 20-inch billet wheels with BFGoodrich tires.
The real custom work will be in the exterior of the panel because the original 63-year-old sheetmetal needs reworking before modifications and a shave job. Once it is straight, the body will receive a 3-inch sectioning right under the body line, while the top will get a tapered chop with 2 1/4 inches taken out of the front and 0 from the rear. To clean up the front, the hood is being welded solid and pancaked. Also, the front grille will be cut down and chromed by Chrome Wizard. On the sides are going to be Smoothie Fabrication running boards with wood inserts on the top. Then, the rear doors will be mended together and a Sachse Rod Shop hinge system will let it open up like a hatch. After the sheetmetal is bodyworked, it will get a paintjob that will include a fade from House of Kolors' Sunrise Pearl, Tangerine Candy, and to Ultra Orange Pearl on the bottom.
A trick interior job will finish off the truck. This includes a custom dash that will accent some Classic Instruments' gauges, and an ElectroMedia sound system. The rest will include A/C from Hot Rod Air and seat covers from Katzkin. The rear will feature a wood bed kit from Jeff's company, Bed Wood and Parts. This will be the part that will show off the work that Jeff's employees are producing. The wood kit is a great reason to build a wicked-cool panel truck and promote his company. Either way, we can hardly wait until we get to see this baby in person.