1938 GMC Chopped Hot Rod Truck
Thanks to the H.A.M.B., I came in contact with Dave, the owner of this all metal 1938 GMC hot rod truck. The internet is an amazing place. First, I thought I’d share a few more pics of Dave’s work in progress pickup from Speedweek 2010. I was able to gather up more info on the truck.
In Dave’s own words, “The frame and bed have been shortened. Even the grille I am working on now is made from pieces of the original truck grille. All of it but the tailgate is from the original truck (tailgate was an eBay find). I used as much of the original truck as I could considering the limited skills and knowledge I had concerning these older vehicles and the funds available to build the truck. I also didn’t want to waste any of the old parts. If I didn’t use it on the truck, then it was sold to fund the purchase of parts I needed. I used the original frame and modified it to what I needed. I pie cut the frame in various places in front of the cab to get the drop I needed and it has been “Z”ed 17″ behind the cab to achieve the drop in the rear. The frame has been shortened about 20”, and again all of the pieces of the frame that were cut out were reused to “Z” it. The frame has been boxed in front of the cab forward and at the “Z”ed section behind the cab. The rear axle is a Ford 9 inch posi riding on leaf springs. The front is a Ford “I” beam axle riding on a posi super slider spring configured with the spring behind the axle and suicide mounted. I reused the steering wheel, shaft and column and I mated these to a Vega steering box that is cross steering. The front is dampened with your basic friction shocks. The tranny is a Turbo 350, but thinking of changing to a stick. When I built the truck, I built it with the intention of running Firestones all around but ended up running Coker classics due to the cost. There is a difference in the height of the tires, so once funds were available and the Firestones were installed out back it brought the truck back to the ride height it was designed to be at.”
Dave had a radiator failure, so that has since been addressed. Getting a car that is over 70 years old to run hard and dependable will definitely take effort, it will take constant tinkering and it is cool to watch the progress of a hot rod over time.
Here’s an area that Dave has changed up. You’ll see some update photos Dave emailed of his exhaust setup below. I personally like these straight pipes. It fits the look and sound of a bare metal chopped truck. You can see some bondo there, Dave does plan to get this truck in some paint next winter. Satin Black, what else can you paint a chopped hot rod? haha It’s gonna look cool for sure.
Here’s the only shot from the rear I got. You can see the spun aluminum gas tank in the bed and the rear window, which is a pretty good size considering its been chopped. I like that Dave’s truck still has the “GMC” body panels and logos intact. On to some updated pics…
Here is a BEFORE shot of the truck. This is what it looked like when Dave bought the truck. Wow! It has progressed quite a bit. Doesn’t look like the same vehicle at all.
This shot shows Dave’s progress pretty well. You can see that the stance is better with the taller rear Firestone wide white walls. The straight pipes have been replaced with lake pipes.
Good to see the truck has a nice home out of the elements. This helps me picture my own hot rod project in my own garage someday. Thanks for the inspiration Dave!
Here’s a look at Dave’s grille and how its changed since I saw it at Bonneville. Personally I think I might like the grille before but that’s ok, its not my hot rod. I like that Dave is continuing to work on the truck, modify and hot rod it to his taste and style.
I can’t wait to see it at Speedweek this year. Thanks for sharing your photos and info with me.