1952 Chevrolet Rat Rod - Tetanus
Rust is a Way of Life for this Rat Rod
Although we love seeing spotless show trucks with every detail addressed, there’s something truly special about trucks that embrace their imperfections as a sign of character. Every dent, scratch, or scrape tells a story, and each truck’s weathered patina shows its age with pride. This is the case with Jason Torchia’s 1952 Chevrolet pickup. Through the use of a few tasteful modifications, Jason managed to turn it into a truck that both looks its age and remains relevant alongside newer models.
It all began with a stock 1952 Chevrolet pickup, which Jason found in need of some serious work. Having previously built several ’bagged and body-dropped trucks, he always wanted to try his hand at a rat rod, so he shelled out some cash and brought it home. The build process began in Jason’s garage, where the truck’s body was lifted off its original frame and placed onto one from an S-10. The new frame was modified extensively, being extended, back-halved, and boxed with 2x3¼-inch steel for strength. Firestone 2500 and 2600 ’bags were bolted to the front and rear, respectively, along with Belltech 2-inch drop spindles and a triangulated four-link. The new stance was completed with a set of eye-catching lime green steel wheels, to which Jason mounted four BFGoodrich tires with shaved sidewalls for a whitewall look.
"Taking one look at what appears to be a decrepit old pickup with a broken suspension, you’d never guess it runs like a champ."
Next on the chopping block was the truck’s factory sheetmetal. Jason chopped 5 vertical inches out of the fenders, then sectioned the body and hood for a lower visual profile. Palmetto Rod Works in South Carolina fabricated a new set of custom running boards for the truck, and Jason treated them to match the truck’s rusty original patina. Inside the cab, Jason fabricated new door panels from a patchwork of old license plates and installed a pair of cloth bucket seats from a ’94 Silverado. Pinstriped accents were added to the dash, hood, fenders, and tailgate, but otherwise the truck retains its aged, 62-year-old finish.
Any rat rod project would not be complete without a properly rowdy engine underhood, so Jason got to work building one. A ’72 Chevy 350ci V-8 was sourced, and he and his friend Rick Gibson bored and decked the block before installing new pistons and a set of 305 H/O heads. A Comp Cams Big Mutha’ Thumpr gives the engine a nice lope at idle and some added horsepower. The V-8 was mated to a built Turbo 350 transmission, with a TPU shift kit and manual valvebody installed. A lengthened S-10 driveshaft sends power to a welded diff with 3.42 gears. Finally, Hedman headers and a custom Flowmaster exhaust let the engine roar when Jason puts his foot down.
After displaying his work at a handful of shows across the South, Jason is happy with the end result he has achieved. He did almost all the work to the truck himself, and he loves to drive it as much as possible. In fact, he got a reckless driving ticket the very first day he got it back on the road. Jason wants to thank all his friends and fellow Acrophobia members for lending a hand, and his girlfriend, Sonya Gravitt, for supporting his hobby.
Under the hood resides a built, cammed 350ci V-8 with plenty of rumble. Jason painted the engine block and other accents a vivid lime green, which helps to break up the truck’s otherwise rusty appearance.
Where there once was a bed floor, a gaping hole now reveals the truck’s boxed and reinforced S-10 frame, as well as dual air tanks and a triangulated four-link.
|1952 Chevrolet Pickup Rat Rod|
|Type:||’72 350ci V-8, rebuilt and bored .030 over|
|Heads:||Chevy 305 H/O|
|Cam:||Comp Cams Big Mutha’ Thumpr|
|Induction:||Edelbrock Performer EPS intake manifold, Edelbrock air cleaner|
|Exhaust:||Hedman headers, 2½-inch custom exhaust with Flowmaster mufflers|
|Fuel System:||Edelbrock four-barrel carburetor|
|Built By:||Jason Torchia and Rick Gibson|
|Transmission:||’72 TH-350 with TPU shift kit and manual valvebody, lengthened S-10 driveshaft|
|Rearend:||Stock with 3.42 ring and pinion, welded spider gears|
|Front Suspension:||Chevy S-10 frame, back-halved, extended, and boxed with 2x3¼-inch steel, Belltech 2-inch drop spindles, Firestone 2500 ’bags, ½-inch lines and manual valves|
|Rear Suspension:||Custom triangulated four-link, Firestone 2600 ’bags, ½-inch lines and manual valves|
|Brakes:||S-10 factory disc|
|Wheels & Tires|
|Wheels:||15-inch steelies, custom-painted green|
|Tires:||BFGoodrich Radial T/A with shaved sidewalls|