Recently, we introduced to you Truckin's latest project: a well-worn 1995 Chevy C1500 standard cab short bed with a 350/700R4 combo in Olympic White. After we limped the truck home from the previous owner, we got it back on the road with the help of Duralast products like a fresh battery, new power brake booster, an oil and air filter change, a coolant change, and some serious cleanup. Then we breezed through the smog station and auto club and now we have a bona fide driver on our hands.
Moving forward, the plan is simple. We want a retro '90s lowered build with a handful of updated in all the right places! We don't even have a particular order of modifications that we're planning. And besides, things don't ever really go as planned anyway, right?
| Our OBS build, or '95 C1500 as we prefer to call it, looked a lot better last time you saw it. We started removing parts and trim from the rear of the truck for a future story, and then on the way to Discount Camper Shell we stopped by the DIY car wash. We blew a good portion of the paint right off the truck. Painting the truck just went from an option to a necessity!
Case in point, we were going to try to save the original paintjob—at least for a little while. But when we needed to clean up the truck for this installment, we were pressed for time and hit the local DIY car wash, where we promptly blew about 25% of the paint right off the truck! So while the truck won't look quite as minty in this and subsequent tech stories, we're not going to let it slow us down, either!
One of the parts of building a truck we always look forward to is deciding on a bed treatment. And since we're going for that '90s look we knew we needed a smooth lid or tonneau cover. SnugTop is one of the originators of the smooth, fiberglass bed covers that are easily paint matched to your truck. They were used extensively back when these trucks were being churned out in the sport truck style.
SnugTop began in 1959 when Bob Kyle began building aftermarket hardtops for European sports cars. The transition to truck caps began in 1965 with the introduction of a topper for a Datsun pickup. In 1973 SnugTop pioneered the sleek cab-high design for full-sized pickups that complimented the lines of the truck and provided improvements in fuel economy, factors that influence their engineers to this day. Fast-forward to today, and SnugTop has expanded its lineup to include nearly 400 caps and tonneau covers to fit virtually all trucks manufactured the world over. And everything is produced at their 5-acre factory in Long Beach, California!
A local company with a rich history in truck customization? Sign us up! We placed our order for their SnugLid, which is their original, smooth, low-profile fiberglass lid with dual gas props and double locks. Besides ordering the lid in paint-matched Olympic White, we also requested that the bottom side be carpeted and added in the LED light. We placed the order and requested that the lid be delivered to Discount Camper Shells, also in Long Beach. Discount is a second-generation family business that's been around since 1973 and has always been our go-to place for all things SnugTop. A couple short weeks later, Alan gave us a call and we made an appointment to get it installed on the truck. We showed up and within an hour we were back on the road with a much more functional and better-looking truck bed. Check back right here because we have a whole lot more on this OBS truck coming up real soon!
| We like using Discount Camper Shells for all of our SnugTop installs (they are dealers for all sorts of bed and rack solutions, as well). Alan and his crew always get us in and out in a hurry. We parked the truck in one of the stalls and were ready to go!
| The SnugLid was waiting patiently around the corner. Even though Discount is only a couple miles from SnugTop HQ, it was still fully wrapped, cushioned, and boxed up.
| A forklift comes in handy a lot around here. We set the SnugLid on the forks and unwrapped it.
| We gave the lid a once-over, and as usual we were impressed with the SnugTop quality.
| Before the lid is actually set on the truck, all of the hardware has to be in place. The front bulkhead bracket and hardware was located first.
| Like the lid itself, all of the bracketry is vehicle specific, so the bulkhead bracket simple drops into place between the bedrails.
| These Snug Grip clamps are used to secure the brackets to the bed rail.
| They simply slip behind the bedrail and are bolted through the bracket. Best part? No drilling whatsoever!
| The rear brackets mount up in the exact same fashion.
| As seen here, the front bolt is also used to attach the gas prop mount.
| Then the other prop mounting bolt is snugged down.
| The wiring harness for the optional LED light is fed through a hole in the stake pocket and down to the frame. It was then zip tied to the existing harness to make its way to the battery.
| Next, the gas prop was popped onto the mount on each side.
| These stainless front mounts are what the mounts on the lid slide into to. We loosened them up so they could be fine-tuned once the lid is in place.
| Now the SnugLid could be lifted in place on the truck bed.
| Once the front brackets were mated, the lid could be raised and the props were snapped into place.
| The lid was lowered and clearances were checked all the way around the lid where it overlaps the bed.
| With the lid adjusted perfectly, the brackets were snugged down for good.
| The optional carpet really gives the bed area a finished look, even though there is still a lot of work to be done to this particular bed.
| We fed the LED harness up along the firewall and forward to the battery.
| The wire was connected to the positive side of the battery, and we were done with the install.
| This little LED provides plenty of light for loading and unloading the bed at night. Along with the carpet, this is a worthy upgrade.
| The Olympic White matched what was left of our paint perfectly! Even in this state, the SnugLid improves on the looks of our '95 C1500 and puts us one step closer to our goal. And the added secure storage makes this standard cab truck significantly more functional. It's a great first step to creating our '90s retro ride.
Discount Camper Shell