Custom 1953 Chevrolet Pickup Truck Hot Rod

This 1953 pickup came my way recently, and it seemed that it was worth a few words here. It is a mildly custom design, built on a modern 1980 Chevrolet C10 pickup frame. I was told the 1953 cab and chassis was a near basket case at the start, that the owner picked up for mere $1000.
1953 Chevrolet Pickup Nameplate
The 53 cab and box bolt nicely to the 1980 frame and allowed for a performance drive train to lurk under the hood. That drive train included a crate motor Chev 350 cid engine with a mild camshaft upgrade to a street performer grind. A single Holley double pumper on Edelbrock Torquer manifold feeds the engine nicely. Flow master exhaust system joins up to the Hooker headers up front, having a sound only only small block chevy with headers can have.

1953 Chevrolet Pickup Front View Right1953 Chevrolet Pickup Front View Right, click photo to enlarge

Do It Yourself and Save at AutoZone

Transferring the power is a 3 speed Turbo-hydramatic 350 transmission. Output is put to the ground via a 12 bolt GM limited slip rear end, giving a little extra traction for the always too light rear end of a pickup rod. Braking is power front disc,rear drum in a more or less stock setup with the exception of stainless steel lines replacing the 1980 old lines.

Interior modifications included black leather Ford-Harley Davidson bucket seats out of a 2008 F350 truck. Nicely matching door panels were created and placed. Dash was kept more or less stock, with addition of Autometer tachometer, speedometer, and voltage, oil, and temperature gauges.

Paint for this hotrod was carefully chosen for its subdued look. After the flawless body work was done, removing all the rust of ages, a basecoat flat black coating was applied over a red flat paint. Hours of work went into getting the paint to look like overspray highlights on the panel edges and window trim.

1953 Chevrolet Pickup Side Right1953 Chevrolet Pickup Right Side, click photo to enlarge

The chrome around the windows was left off the finished truck. Flawless chrome grille and bumpers being the only glaring items that separate this truck from an average rat rod . Centerline chrome steel wheels finish the look off , with red matching center caps and have that old-school nostalgic hot-rod look.

Despite the owner doing most of the work involved, he still had to invest a large amount of money into the project, though he wouldn’t say how much. My estimation is in the $20,000 range but I am probably too low at that.

I liked his final product since it was not a pristine show car, but a nice driver hot-rod that he can enjoy. Most certainly it is an alternative way to make a 50’s pickup truck great. Happy Hunting! :)

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