Sunday, September 6, 2009

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Slight Change In Direction

After starting to tear down the S10, I came across an interesting local ad during my periodic craigslist browsing: 1954 Dodge cab on 2000 S10 frame - $600. Wow! What are the chances? I went to look at it and ended up buying it.

This S10 was 13 years newer than the one I had bought previously and the S10 body and drivetrain was already out! The '54 cab was in good shape and I'll be able to steal some parts from it too - most importantly the windshield! The windshield on my truck is cracked and fogged but new windshields are extremely hard to find for my style and are over $600 new. Too rich for my blood. The reason they are hard to find and expensive to replace is my style of windshield was only produced for 1.5 model years - 1954 through early-1955 - before Dodge switched to a 50's style wrap around (with vertical B-pillars). This '54's windshield was in great shape!

The front clip fits inside the bed of a late model Ford pickup - can even put up the tailgate! :)

Still going

My vision for the truck is flat black, lowered, wide meats, and smoooooth. But I also want it to be a solid, safe, and reliable driver. The stock drum brakes, leafs at all four corners, and sloppy steering would not do.

I came across a company called E-Z Chassis Swaps that makes kits to adapt 50's pickups onto modern Chevy S10 chassis. The more I thought about it, the S10 made a lot of sense, particularly because parts are so hard to find for the Dodge. The S10 had nearly everything I needed: Disc brakes - check. IFS - check. Modern steering - check. GM Steering column - check. Cheap aftermarket and performance parts - check and check. This was a win-win in my mind. So I started researching E-Z Chassis Swaps and while they didn't have a kit specifically for Dodge, they did have a universal kit for under $1,000. I decided to go for it!

First, I needed the S10. I found a non-running one locally fr a few hundred dollars, dragged it home, and started tearing it down.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Solid in the Usual Rust Trouble Spots

Bottom of passender door and running board.

Passenger side footwell. Many old trucks rust out badly in this area of the cab.

Driver side floor pan has a little surface rust. The panel that's adjar in the floor is the battery cover. Battery will be relocated under the right front corner of the bed.

Bottom of door looks solid.

We shall see how solid after media blasting!

Back at the Farm - Interior

Glove Box nice and handy in center of dash. A squirrel found it handy to store nuts in there!

Back At the Farm - Exterior

Additional photos once I got the truck back to my brother's farm.

Note the Chevy S10 in the background. The Dodge will be going onto the S10 frame (more on that later!).

The hood opens like a clamshell on each side

It Begins

Browsing Craigslist in spring 2008, I came across an ad for a 1955 Dodge pickup truck in nearby Wisconsin for $600. The ad read (sic):
1955 Dodge 4x2 rustfree calf. truck half ton, - $600
1955 dodge 4x2 shortbox std cab rustfree from california, no box, engine or trans, otherwise complete roller, steering and brakes all hooked up, this is a very solid truck that would not take a ton of work to make a rat rod, clear title. Has factory corner windows. $600 cash. To reach me please call xxx-xxx-xxxx, thanks delivery possible, may take trade? 3/10/2008 Clayton, WI
Now just a few weeks earlier, I had driven from Minneapolis to Kansas and back with my brother to pickup a '52 DeSoto Hemi Firedome 8, also a roller, that I purchased on eBay. It was very clean and rust free and the plan was to put a motor and tranny in, paint it flat black, and just drive it as a rat rod.

However, when I found the ad for the old Dodge, I fell in love. Old trucks have always had a special place in my car-guy heart and the fact that this one was so unique (i.e. not a much more common Ford or Chevy), so rust free, and so close to home, I had to have it!

So I went to look at the truck and found it to be in the good condition described. A deal was struck with the seller and my brother and I headed back to his farm to get his pickup truck and dolly to bring the Dodge home. Gas was expensive at the time so we elected to drive my car initially, but in the end we burned more gas having to go back for the tow vehicle! Oh well.
Incidentally, the DeSoto is now for sale. Click here for a pic. Email me and I can send additional pics and details if you're interested.

Below are some pics of the truck on the day I picked it up. As we loaded it onto the dolly to tow home, the skies opened up into a thunderstorm and we got drenched!