That may not look like 2-grand...
That may not look like 2-grand worth of parts sitting on the counter, but it is. The truck needed just about every chrome or rubber part replaced, and thankfully, Early Classic Enterprises had it all in stock.
Now that I had the basic plan, it was time to get the parts from the list I made. It just so happened that my mom had just bought a little S-10, but it needed a little bodywork, so my pops and I drove up to visit and brought the truck home with us. Early Classic Enterprises happened to be on the way home, so I stopped and met up with Stan, the owner of ECE. I dropped my list on his counter and told him I need all of it. He took the list and disappeared to the back of his place, and every couple of minutes came back with a handful of boxes. This back-and-forth process lasted a little while, so it gave me time to look over the bulletin board littered with pictures of his customer's trucks. Luckily, there wasn't one that looked like my concept. When Stan came back through the magic parts door for the last time, he was carrying the lowering springs, which was the last thing on my list. After I emptied my wallet into Stan's cash register, he helped me fill the bed of the S-10 with all my newly acquired parts. I said thanks and was off.
During the 5-hour drive back to my shop, not only did I go through a whole bag of beef jerky and two bags of Combos, but the stereo in the S-10 ate my AC/DC Back In Black tape. Even though I had lost my favorite tape-and we won't go into why I still own a cassette tape-I was still in good spirits when I pulled into the shop. I offloaded the parts and started installing the bumpers. I wanted to get them on, so I could start aligning the whole front clip in one shot. While I was pounding away on the driver-side fender, trying to get a dent out, a big brown truck showed up with my hood-perfect timing. I ripped off my stock hood and threw on the Goodmark piece. By the way, if you have never installed a hood by yourself, don't. I almost blew out my O-ring, muscling that thing around. Anyway, I got all the body gaps and lines set, but I had one that was being a bitch; the passenger-side fender had a big stretched area right above the fenderwell, and no matter how much I massaged it, the hood gap wouldn't tighten up.
Here is the truck with the...
Here is the truck with the new hood and crappy passenger-side fender. See those two painted fenders leaning on the wall? Those are the ones my old man found-I told you they were clean.
Stripping and polishing your...
Stripping and polishing your own steel pieces might be a way to get your stuff chromed a little faster.
Instead of getting too frustrated, I went home and called in the cavalry for the next day, which in my case is my dad. He came over and said the fender was junk because the dent had caused it to roll the gap area open, but he might know where a clean set was. After a quick phone call, he told me to give him 250 bucks, and he'd be right back. He must have hauled ass to wherever he was going because he was back before I could finish a much-needed bathroom break-the chorizo and egg burrito from the mobile choke-and-puke was sitting heavy. After a few "What crawled up in you and died?" comments, he brought the fenders in. These bad boys were clean and were fully bodyworked and painted, so it was worth the price. Once we got it on the truck, my gap problem was gone.
I took off the bumpers and figured I better get my grille and headlight pieces to the chrome shop. I called Verne's Chrome Plating and spoke to Bob Barns, a guy I had worked with before. I asked if I could get these pieces done quickly. After he stopped laughing, he told me his polisher was backed up with parts for cars going to the Pebble Beach show, and he could get to them in a month. Being the patient person I am, I asked if I could do the polishing to speed things up, and he said sure. After a few thank yous, I got busy stripping and polishing the pieces to be chromed. I finished doing that at about 3 a.m., so I called it quits.
Things were coming along just...
Things were coming along just fine, and the truck was getting cleaner every day, but the multicolored look would have to go.
The next morning, I dropped the parts off at Verne's and got back to the shop. I decided this day would be a mechanical day, so I rebuilt the brakes. I had two leaky wheel cylinders and bad brake lines in front. I also installed the lowering springs I got from ECE, as well as the wheels and tires. The truck was taking shape, and I was excited to get going on the paint. I called in a favor with Marcel Venable to use his knowledge and his spray booth for this portion of the build. He said I could bring the truck over tomorrow and get working on it. That would give me time to do a few more things. Well, I did get something done. With an air grinder, I smoothed the sidewalls on the BFG tires. You might have seen that tech story in our Mar. '07 issue. The end result was clean, but man, I must have blown 10 pounds of black boogers after it.