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1955 Chevy Truck - Fahrenheit 454

Double Nickel Bow Tie

Bob Ryder
Aug 1, 2009
Photographers: Brandan Gillogly
Photo 2/9   |   1955 Chevy Truck right Front Angle
Todd Boatright, from Tuttle, Oklahoma, has been building custom trucks and cars for 20 years. It is cool when your creative, hands-on passion becomes your occupation and livelihood. Todd's commitment to building custom high-quality performance street machines has made Todds Custom & Collision well-known in the hot-rod world. Every time one of his pristine creations is complete, it becomes another instant rolling business card. This red '55 Chevy Step Side pickup with real flames flowing from its leading edge is a prime example of his dedication to custom truck excellence.
The front factory framerails and leaf spring/straight axle suspension was removed at the firewall. An '85 Chevy pickup front clip was welded to the '55's factory framerails at the firewall and then boxed using 3/16-inch thick steel plate from front to rear, which added both strength and rigidity. A pair of `85 GM front disc brakes were installed onto DJM 2-inch drop spindles. The quick firm brake pedal comes from a Corvette power brake booster. To allow Fahrenheit 454 to lay rocker, a pair of Firestone airbags were installed and aided by Monroe shocks to dampen the frontend's oscillating action. The front spinning bling comes from a set of B.A.D. polished aluminum Mauler 18x7-inch wheels consumed in Michelin Pilot 225/40R18 rubber. Out back, a four-link rear suspension was designed and fabricated with a ladder bar/cantilever Firestone airbag system. The rear framerails were C-notched to allow ample clearance between the rearend housing and framerails when the rear `bags were deflated. Todd fabricated a 12-gallon steel fuel tank that was installed between the rear framerails behind the rearend housing. A pair of B.A.D. polished aluminum Mauler 20x10-inch wheels were wrapped in 275/35R20 rubber and attached to the rear axle.
Photo 3/9   |   1955 Chevy Truck right Side Angle
A disassembled, machined, and re-assembled '70 Chevy 454ci big-block from the crew at Blue Chip Motor and Machine in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was used to give Fahrenheit 454 its muscle. A set of Wiseco pistons and rings were pinned to the reconditioned stock rods, then bolted to the factory re-machined 0.030-inch over crankshaft. A mild Crane cam was carefully inserted into the cam bores. Crane lifters and pushrods link the camshaft lobe action to the roller rockers. An Edelbrock Performer intake manifold was capped with an Edelbrock Performer 650 cfm carburetor. To add some good-looks to the 454, Todd installed a pair of March Performance flame etched polished aluminum valve covers, matching air cleaner, and a timing chain cover. To finish off the engine's impressive appearance, Todd installed a March polished billet aluminum serpentine pulley kit. A yellow top Optima battery delivered plenty of cold cranking amps to fire the mighty 454ci power plant. An MSD Blaster II coil, 6A ignition box, and distributor create plenty of electric charge to maintain the high-energy amps to keep the power at its maximum efficiency. A pair of Sanderson ceramic-coated shorty 1 7/8-inch headers flow into a pair of dual-chamber Thrush mufflers that deliver a deep, throaty tone. A GM400 turbo automatic transmission was disassembled and rebuilt with all the right performance components by the team at Master Tech, who also installed the B&M shift kit and 1,300 rpm stall converter. The Ford 9-inch rearend was stuffed with 3.83 gears and a posi-unit to hook up and smoke those rear meats in unison.
The all-steel '55 skin was massaged to obtain its flawless complexion. The factory firewall was removed and replaced with a smooth firewall. When Todd fabricated the double-walled bedsides, it allowed him to run wires, cables, and hoses between the walls. A smoothed tailgate and custom roll pan with flush-mounted LED taillights clean up the rear end. Two large nitrogen bottles were stored underneath the wooden plank floor, which can be raised for easy access to the bottles. The bedrails were capped then welded smooth. An ol' school frenched antenna was bored into the cabs passenger side rear corner. A No Limit front-tilt hood kit was installed to allow easy engine bay access and it eliminated a hood blow-over while driving -- besides, it looked cool. Todd selected BASF GM code 81 Fire Red as the base coat and quickly called his good buddy Charles Armstrong from the Auto Art Studio in Prescott, Arizona. Charles is a whiz with a spray gun and airbrush and it shows as he engulfed the grille and leading edge of the `55 with his realistic flames. The fresh chrome exterior door handles, headlight bezels, front and rear bumpers were installed to maintain that hot-rod appearance.
The interior of Todd's '55 was stripped clean and the dash was welded smooth giving it a fresh start. Vintage Air A/C was the choice for climate control. A Dakota Digital gauge cluster displays continuous engine vital signs. An ididit tilt steering column was capped with a B.A.D. steering wheel that matches the exterior billet rollers. One-piece electric side windows were installed creating that clean, see-through-cab appearance.
The audio system was installed and wired by the crew at Advantage Audio in Norman, Oklahoma. The rockin' tunes are produced by an Eclipse head unit that sends the audio signals to a JL Audio four-channel amp. Another JL four-channel amplifier powers the JL 10-inch subwoofer that was enclosed into a custom made sub enclosure, flanked by a pair of JL four-channel amplifiers hidden behind the bench seat. The mids and highs can be found in both kick panels.
Todd's wife, Geri was responsible for naming the mighty red flaming '55, "Fahrenheit 454". It's just another incredible rolling business card for Todd to add to his custom ride Rolodex.



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