(Photo: Cobblestone Customs) Let’s see here: we have a Chevrolet truck that is slammed down to the ground, sporting a Duramax/Allison powertrain, on air. That’s got Chad’s attention. The truck itself is a one-of-one, a coach-built design that was built for the Dutch government that worked until 1977 until it was mothballed in a warehouse, and since it’s a 1950s work rig, it smacks of everything that Brian stands for in his tastes. Small wonder, then, why it’s in the line of sight for BangShift, isn’t it? The 1955 Chevrolet 5400 cab-over is known as “Big Bertha” and was built by Cobblestone Customs in Belgium for the 2018 SEMA Battle of the Builders program. According to Wes, the builder: “I had a vision for it since the day I saw it. Since the body isn’t detachable from the chassis, everyone told me it wasn’t feasible to lay it’s frame, but hey…don’t challenge me!”
Besides the Duramax/Allison swap, Bertha is sporting a 14-bolt rear axle, Old Air Products air conditioning, an iPad controls the sound system, Dakota Digital gauges keep the driver informed, and in order to make Bertha lie “as flat as your grandmother’s”…well, you can fill in the rest of that sentence there, an air ride system from Brabant Customs in the Netherlands got the nod to handle the suspension duties. The wheels are 24” one-piece billet units from Radical Wheels.
The build is awesome but the overall look of the COE is what really pushes this build over the top. From some angles you get hints of school bus, others makes you think of a VW bus on steroids (the green and white paint doesn’t help that much) and at other angles, you get a kind of recreational vehicle vibe. The Chevrolet is a unique selection for a build, but Cobblestone Customs gave this civil servant a second life that didn’t involve just sitting in the warehouse!