Being the resident old truck lover here at BangShift, I nearly drove our golf cart into a ditch when I laid eyes on Brad Starks’s absolutely bitchin’ 1957 two ton truck at the Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion this summer. It was sitting in the show car area, attracting a bunch of attention and I excitedly crawled all over it, talked to Brad (who is a noted hot rod builder…more on that later) and got the thumbs up to blast a bunch of photos for the feature you are now reading. This truck is everything good about hot rodding and the car hobby. It was created from pieces of at least three different vehicles, raw sheet metal, and it is a work in progress. This isn’t the “finished” product, the damned thing is so neat, we wanted to share it with the world.
What you are looking at is the cab of a 1957 Chevy 2-ton truck on a 1970s GM panel style truck frame. The bed was hand made by Brad, the rear dually fenders were widened by 10″ (also by Brad), and the whole thing is powered by the Cummins engine and four speed Allison transmission from a Bluebird bus! The stance is not the result of airbags. The truck was lowered the old fashioned way, with lowering springs in the front, modified rear spring hangers and springs along with a 7″ Z in the frame just behind the cab. We think that the static drop aspect of this truck is cool. As modern, nice, and well performing as air bags are, there is something about going all in, committing to a stance, and living with it that earns our respect. No laying it out at a show and pumping it up for a trip down the road here, this big guy’s chin is always a few whiskers above the pavement, of grass as it may be in our photos!
Brad bought the truck with the cab on the frame and a flatbed in the rear. It had a 350ci Chevy gas engine and Starks told us that he saw a lot of potential in the truck but in the state he scored it, the thing was, “way too farm truck” for his tastes. His plan was to build a working shop truck that also held up to the style of cars and trucks that his Kentucky shop, Brad Starks Customs puts out. Some of Starks creations have won big time awards like the 2009 Goodguys Custom Rod of the Year, among others. The long term plan for the truck is to finish it to the point where it is capable of pulling trailers and taking long road trips. The current gearing is not too highway friendly and the addition of a Gear Vendors unit will soon help that greatly. As proof of this need for functionality, Starks used some common sense measurements when designing the bed. I built the bed so that a 4×8 sheet of steel would fit right in there,” Starks said. “It is 9’2″ long and 52″ wide.” The engine has been tweaked as well, so the whole towing situation is going to be no sweat when the time comes for this guy to pull something down the road…like a house.
Rather than ramble on about the truck, we’ll tell you the rest of the story in photos and captions. This thing RULES!