Starting the 1946 Chevrolet project.

After searching for about a year I found this gem in New Mexico for $1200. Its a 1946 Chevrolet half ton pick up. For some reason I love the front end on these and have been wanting to build one that laid running boards.

I loaded up the car dolly, grabbed the wife and headed to New Mexico.

We stopped on the way back for lunch and I decided to get a picture of the process. Glad I have a real trailer these days.

Notice those tires? I took a new set of tires on 6 lug wheels with me. The seller said it had 6-lugs on it. Turns out there were 5 lug. No it didn’t make it home. We spent a while at a local tire shop getting used tires put on those 5-lug wheels to make the trip home to Colorado.

At this point I do not have a title or a bed. Back to watching Craigslist. I found another 46 that was titled as a 1947. It came with a bed, another cab and lots of other parts. Only issue was I had to take it all or nothing.

I knew I did not want to use the 46 frame. I wanted something a lot more modern and something I could get parts for.

Just so happened that I had a 1980 3/4 Chevy C20 sitting around that I was going to fix up and flip. I paid $500 for it. Had a running 350/Th400 in it. Well… turns out the frame is a much better fit then an S10.

only issue was the wheels base was to wide. A lot to wide.

preview of 46 on C20

I guess that means its time to cut stuff up.

46 frame cut

A friend of mine had a 80’s Camaro sub frame and rear diff sitting around. I have always been a fan of Camaro’s and know them pretty well. ┬áDonner list is growing. 1946 Chevy, 1980 C20 and an 80’s Camaro.

Sorry, but I did a terrible job taking pictures of the next few steps.

I was able to install the engine on the stock Camaro mounts and it was to far forward. So we decided to move the mounts back 3″ closer to the cab.

My friend was able to fabricate some mounts to use the 1946 core support. This will make it much easier to use the stock radiator.

We then built cab mounts and put the cab where I felt the wheels looked best in the fender. We used the Camaro transmission cross member but its attached to the C20 frame. So we made a track that it can kinda slide in. If I decide to change out the engine or tranny. I just slide the cross member to the needed location and drill new mounting holes.

This will be one of the coolest builds I have done and strangely one of the least expensive. Everything is used or fabricated. I only have about $2k in this. That isn’t counting the bags set up I had. It was bought for the 94 dually I built. I sold the truck before I put the bags on.

The front is down. 1/2 inch off the ground. It is sitting on the tires. I am going to get smaller tires in the next few days. I have not installed the front bags. I just cut the coils out. We needed the front down to measure for the rear notch.

The rear frame is striped and the axle is sitting under it.We are planning where to put the axle and waiting on a few 4 link parts. Since the tire is low, you can see the running board on the ground.

I’m getting excited again after seeing it one the ground.

My original plan was to paint the inside making it feel like new. After some time working on the dash I knew I could not paint anything on this truck.

That is a work or art and not something that could be faked.

All rat rods need to have some type of shop logo on the door. So I drew one for mine.

Decided the dash need to match the doors.

Back to work on the frame. I switch back and forth working on the frame when my friend Leon has time to come lend a hand. If he isnt around I work on the interior.

This time we started working on the bed.

Its just sitting on the jack stands but we can get an idea of how the truck is going to look.

I know rat rods normally keep all there rust but since I have 3 cabs and this is kinda of a structural part I went a head and replaced a bad section of the floor.

 

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Gordon French

Gordon French was born in Wyoming in 1978. He is married to Tiffany French. He has two children Halie and Zac. His first passion of course family with cars coming in a very close second.

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