I have a black-on-black '87 Chevy Silverado shortbed pickup. Maybe I should amend that to say black-on-black-on-black, because I have black alloy wheels too. The chrome trim has all been blacked out, including the front bumper. The rear pan is rolled with a frenched license-plate holder.
I'm tired of the all-black look, but I don't want to repaint the truck. The current paintjob is one of the finest black paintjobs I've ever seen, so it would be a shame to undo it. I've thought about flames, but everybody does that. Do you have some ideas about how I could brighten up my truck and still keep the black paint?
Instead of doing something to the paint, why not brighten up the interior? Black and red are great contrasting colors. It's very common to see red trucks with black interiors but not so common to see the reverse. Redoing the interior in bright-red leather or vinyl would be much less expensive than repainting the body.
We've seen super-bright-red upholstery in black street rods and it's a wild look. When we say a red interior we mean the whole thing-steering wheel, dashpad, headliner, and carpet. Paint all interior metal surfaces the same bright red. A slightly less bold idea is to do the interior in orange-tan saddle leather such as you might see on an exotic Italian sports car.
If you go with the red, consider painting the inside of the bed red, also. We'd swap the black grille and bumper for chrome ones. Get some chrome spoke mags and use the same bright-red paint on the calipers and brake drums.
Is it legal to run a license plate in the back window of my truck? I just installed a rolled rear pan and don't want the plate back there.
Not in California. We're not vehicle code experts (as the fine print says, check your local regulations), but besides the possible glass glare you probably don't have the plate properly illuminated. One quick way to find out is to do a burnout in front of a cop.
On a more serious note, if you didn't see the SEMA Show new products coverage in the March issue, check out the retractable license-plate kit that AVS offers. The example shown rises and retracts out of the top of the tailgate. More info is available at www.airbagparts.com.
I frequent the Carlisle (PA) Truck Nationals when I can. I saw a vendor there that was selling a replica of a '41 Willys pickup that sits on an S-10 chassis, but I failed to get info on this. I have searched the Internet to the best of my abilities and have come up empty-handed. Does this ring a bell to you? I am interested in converting my '94 if I can find more information. Thanks, and keep up the good work with the greatest magazine out there!
Willys Hot Rods by Auto Classics offers the kit you're after, Mike. The company manufactures fiberglass replica '33 and '41 Willys coupe and pickup bodies that will fit Chevy S-10 and S-15 chassis. The coupe requires shortening the chassis to the original 102-inch wheelbase of the Willys, but the pickup will fit without modding the chassis much. The shop offers some bitchen mods for the Willys such as a gasser-style body or street-rod body with suicide doors. For more information, visit