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Body Details

Would you believe I drove the truck from Utah to Missouri like this. Well I did and when I left Missouri I drove in the snow for a couple hours with the back wanting to lead the front. Had my spare tire and battery on the plywood bed. Was worried I was going to get stopped for no fenders, but never did.

In this picture and the next one you can see where I made a lot of my section cuts. Basically I took 6 inches out of the cab center line (horizontally). In the front to make up for the same 6 inches I took 2 out of the hood and fire wall, 2 out of the fenders (rear portions), and 2 off of the bottom of the fenders (rear portions). The horizontal cut in the hood took 2 inches out of the top of the hood. You can see where I added a second grill shell to the bottom of the original top. I widened the bottom grill shell out to make room for the front license plate. I also had to add fillers from the bottom grill shell to the front fenders. There is also a line on the bottom of the front fender. This is about how much I cut off of the front bottoms. You can see where I sectioned the door through the middle. I have the headlights also frenched at this point.

I also widened the front fenders 1 1/2 inches. You can barely make out the filler strips in both of these pictures. I welded the front all together and made it tilt with hinges as far forward and as low as possible. Hood opens quite easily. The hood latches on both sides where the fenders hit the body with compact truck hood latches (two handles in the cab open the hood). Where I cut the front fenders for the tilt I boxed them in with 20 gauge. I also welded the backs of the front fenders to the body (also with 1 1/2 inch filler strips). The side vents on the cab were filled. After this picture was taken I sectioned the rear of the front fenders (parts attached to the cab) either 1 1/2 inches or 2 inches -- can't remember. The door handles have also been shaved. The fire wall has a deeper recess and is all new from where it angles down to the bottom.

Now the truck is starting to look like something. You can see the 3 inch top chop. Most of the front body work is roughed in and the major body work for the bed is done (lots of bondo to go). The bed is all hand made (nothing original) from 20 gauge cold rolled steel. The rear fender where set at the right width to clear the tires and the bed was made between them. You also get an idea of how the wheel base has been shortened 8 inches to 108 (stock Camero) in this view. All of the side pieces of the bed were bent over some iron on the side of my workbench. The rear fenders are stock except for 2 inches off of the front bottoms. I had a guy bend the running boars out of 16 gauge and made the mounts and caps for the top of them myself.

The tops of the bed covers and the rear tailgate were bent at a sheet metal shop and then I welded it all together. The bed cover is in two pieces, both hinging forward with the tailgate hinging upwards with the back one (see later pictures). The bed side rails, which in this picture are not welded on yet were made out of exhaust tubing with end caps made for the back ends of the tubes (see finished truck pictures). The rear taillights are frenched in with home build buckets. The license is frenched in and behind it is the filler for the gas tank and the carrier for the trailer hitch. The rear fenders are welded on to the sides of the bed.

From the rear you can kind of see the bed covers. The rear pan was made in two parts rolled over a gas bottle. The license plate is frenched. The taillights are NAPA lenses with homemade buckets. You can also see where I added little filler pieces to the rear fenders to fill the gap over to the bed. A note on the top chop: I took 2 inches out of the rear glass area and 1 inch below it. This kept the rear window a little larger than if I would have taken it all out of the glass area. With the 6 inch section a lot of people don't think the top is chopped. I wish I would have taken another inch out of the top (some day?). There is quite a bit of clearance at the back of the truck.

Under construction Page Four