Now that the '07 show season is behind me, I can take a deep breath and relax. Depending on what is in store for you this upcoming show season, it will determine how soon you can get back to bustin' wrenches.
This is our Truckin' Volume 34, No. 3 issue, which reaches the newsstands across the country in the middle of January. At this time, many custom-truck enthusiasts are dawning long underwear while shoveling knee-deep snow during sub-freezing winter days. In some parts of the country, the only means of transportation is in a 4WD vehicle. Enthusiasts are busy thumbing through performance catalogs and surfing the Internet in search of good prices on parts.
Does it seem like the UPS guy is making daily stops leaving boxes of parts entrusted at your doorstep? Or, is your garage beginning to look like an inventory room of a speed shop? Some of you could be taking on a new frame-off project, while others are refurbishing previous rides, doing either engine, suspension, paint, interior, or audio changes and improvements.
I am even going to be able to find time to begin throwing wrenches at my old ’50 Suburban, named Sublime, again this year. Dan Dowdy and Dale Taylor at Hot Rods By Dowdy educated me on the correct way to chop and section the 'Burb's profile. They started by chopping the top 3 inches, then sectioned the body and doors 3 inches, and pie-cut the hood. The stock two-piece windshield was removed, a '54 Buick car one-piece windshield was grafted onto the roof, A-pillars, and cowl.
Sublime is currently stashed at Ironworks Speed & Custom in Bakersfield, California. Rodger Lee has been kind enough to let me try my novice skills of fabricating and welding. Some guys can just walk out to the garage or nearby shop. However, I have a 3-hour drive before I can even put my hands on my pride 'n' joy. I have to schedule at least a couple of days out of the office to make my 300-mile lap even worthwhile.
Like most custom project undertakings, they take time. My goal this year is to make it a runner. After consulting with Rodger pertaining to chassis and suspension, we decided it would be best to work with a custom-fabricated stepped frame. The 'Burban will lay running boards after the pneumatic 'bag system is installed, tuckin' 22s and 24s. The power and grunt will come from a GM Performance Parts LS3 Hot Cam crate engine, producing 480 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque. Stay tuned for more developments.