This is my current and probably final project truck. Although, I may try to do a project Sweptside if all the pieces fall together in the future.
I bought this 1960 Sweptline truck on Ebay a couple years ago. It comes from Nampa, Idaho. It has a Camero front ifs and rear suspension. Also has the Camero 350/350 engine/tranny combo. They installed the Camero's bucket seats too. I'm not thrilled about the Chevy engine/tranny in it but did like the other Camero components that had been installed in this truck. It saved me a lot of time and money to have someone else do all that work before I got it. The cab wasn't the best and the doors didn't close very good. I was originally going to keep it a Sweptline but had an opportunity to buy another cab and parts truck so I started a transformation to my dream truck. My dream truck is a combo of my previous '57 and a couple hot rod Dodge trucks I've seen on the internet. Plus the last inspiration came from Jon Bell and his concept Dodge truck on the "Jon Bell Designs" page.
I really wanted a big back window on my project hotrod. This truck had the small window and my friend Korey, volunteered to do this job just for the experience. Korey did a marvelous job. This truck was fitted with better doors too. More info on this in the "Big Window Swap!" page.
Next came the frame. The parts truck had a short, narrow, bed that was in pretty good shape so it was going on this truck. We took 8 inches out of the frame to accomodate the stepside bed. At the cut and weld, we welded a strip of metal on the inside of the frame to support the weld.
After the shortening of the frame came the front sheetmetal work to change the face of the truck. This was more work than it should have been because we used parts and pieces from parts trucks, when it would have been easier to just get a piece of sheetmetal and had it formed at a fabrication shop.
A couple more pics of the front end. Have to figure out some kind of turn/park light system to match the area now.
Back of the cab showing end result of small to big window swap. Plus cut out for third brake light.
Side view showing shaved door handles and future one piece side windows.
Brand new front windshield and gasket from our local PPG glass dealer. New back gasket from Steele Rubber Products. They don't make the rear windshield anymore, so I had to polish up the best used back window I could find. The yellow color was painted prior to the windshields being installed should give you a hint as to the future color of my hot rod.
Donor bed showing smooth sides welded on to eliminate the ridge sides of the original beds. Also smoothed tailgate.
Bed fitted loosely on frame to get an idea of how it looks. Starting to take shape, but still a lot of work to get it where I want it.
Inside the bed, up near the bed rails you can see 3 black strips. These are pieces of square tubing that were welded to provide support for a tonneau cover. The second picture shows the bed wide hinge across the front of the bed.
Plywood cut to fit will be fitted with a thin piece of foam then covered with vinyl.
The first picture shows the view of the rear before adding the pan to it. The second picture has Korey cutting the pan in the middle for the licence plate holder. The pan was made from bed rails off of the old Sweptline bed, turned upside down, and it worked slick. The old bed was beyond fixing and was a good source of metal parts. The tailgate is welded shut, all latches removed and smoothed out and access to the inside will be thru the tonneau cover. If you look close, at the top of the bed next to the tailgate, you can see the ends of the bed rails are closed off and a short piece added to the inside to smooth out the area.
The recessed license plate holder was purchased from Mar-K Products and really made the job easy. The second picture is the finished product awaiting it's turn for fresh yellow paint!
Here is the console unit. The console had a template and looked pretty good but it ended up being a little too high and wide for my liking. This is ok though, it was a big hole to cover. Later on I plan on installing a cubby hole and cup holders in it. For now it is going to be this way with holes for the switches and painted. Later on down the road I hope to change it. Just anxious to get it done! A B&M Mega shifter is going to be mounted. We are looking at placing stainless steel on top of the console and carpet or vinyl on the sides. My thinking on the stainless is maybe 3/4's of the console. The carpet or vinyl will be up to the top of both sides. The 3rd picture shows the insulation that will be under the carpet or vinyl to reduce the heat and noise. Chugging along!
Fresh yellow paint! Not sure I liked it at first from pictures, but after seeing it in person I do like it! It is actually lighter and brighter than the pictures show. Pretty close to the new Mustang color but not quite that light. Bed to be painted next. Am I ever getting excited!!!
These pics will give you a better idea of the color. The first picture is of the headlights and surrounds mounted. The second one shows the mounting brackets for the '58 grille. The third one shows the '58 grille mounted with a twist........we added a fourth bar to it. This was a pain to accomplish and it took Korey and I roughly 3 hours. Had to drill new holes to make all the bars line up. The fourth picture shows the LED lights I bought at the Portland Swap Meet this year. The fifth picture shows the license plate mounted and the front end complete. I LOVE IT!!!
The first picture shows the piece added to the front of the bed post. It flares out the corner to smooth out the post and looks good. The second picture shows the rear of truck in primer-sealer. The third picture is Korey applying the paint. The last picture is paint on the rear of the bed. Check out the smooth tailgate lines and bedrail corners. Cool LED taillights will be added to the rolled pan soon.
DOT approved flush mounted LED taillights from Technostalgia. Next up is carpet for the bed.
I chose carpet over paint for a several reasons. Getting every little ding and scratch mark out is too time consuming and expensive. I'm going to be throwing a few things in the bed from time to time and carpet is better than paint. I was going to use the carpet glue that the dealers sold me but Korey showed me a project that used their glue and it didn't stick. Korey recommended Liquid Nails and it works good. 3rd picture is the final carpet laid. The holes and objects sticking up through the floor are Camero springs. There is a carpeted cover that will hide the spring mounts. The last picture is a view of the taillights, tailgate, and smooth bed side.
This is what is known as a fuelcell. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. These are used in racing. They are great for hotrods too! You can replace that rusty gas tank and you can mount them anywhere in the bed or between the frame rails. If you look real close to the left side, you can see the cover we made to fit over the Camero springs. Up next is a tonneau cover.
I don't know where Korey got this plywood but it isn't standard. As you know the bed is about 54 inces wide and regular plywood is 48 inches wide. This plywood was about 12 feet long too. Weird stuff but it sure worked good for this bed. Korey stapling around the bottom edges after we glued the vinyl on. Finished project. It isn't perfect but looks pretty good for amateurs!
We cut down that gawdy looking console to make it more to my liking! 2 days work later and it looks so much better. Still need to grind and bondo the seams. B&M Mega shifter installed. Next up is sanding and repaint.
My brother inlaw Steve Grimes made the panel for me out of laser cut aluminum. Then I engine turned it with a kit from Eastwood. The guages are Auto Meter. It will look real nice when installed. Note: I wouldn't recommend aluminum as it tends to fade. I'm going to spray clear over it which will help preserve it's brightness. Stainless steel panels are the real way to go.
Korey brought the truck out to me late one Saturday night. He started it up, backed it off the trailer, and into the shop. Next morning I went out and drove it out of the shop and took pictures. It has a brilliant shine to it. Looks really brite and cool in sunlight. I'm pretty darn happy with the results. It isn't perfect by any means, but it really is an eye catcher! Cruiser and daily driver, not a show truck. Not bad for two guys with a vision and determination to get the job done. No professional work touched this truck. Still have to finish it up but that's the easy part of this truck.
Well, my engine took a fall on me so I was going to replace it with a Mopar, but a friend of mine had a 454/400 that was recently rebuilt in a truck that I could buy for $750. This truck had chrome wheels with brand new tires so I bought the truck and put the wheels and tires on my 3/4 ton 4X4 and the engine tranny in my hot rod. I figure the value on the tires and wheels was $400 so the engine and tranny only cost me $350. It would have cost me nearly that much to swap out the motor mounts to fit a Mopar in there. I had a limited budget so this was my best option. Sorry to all you Mopar purists. Truck runs great again and I'm looking forward to starting the interior soon.
More to come. To be continued as time allows.