But did you ever hear of anybody spending – sight unseen, mind you – an even vaster sum of money for a turn-key rod? In fact, let’s go one further. Have you ever known of a guy who put a down payment on a hot rod that hadn’t even been contracted to be built yet, nor had he ever met the shop owner face to face? MeetBernard Gans, a trusting guy from New York who knew that he wanted 1948 Chevrolet pickup, and he knew that he wanted Bob Nall from the Adult Toy Factory in Las Cruces, New Mexico, to build it. the only glitch – Bernard didn’t have a ’48 pickup, nor did he know Bob.
Let’s rephrase that.
Bernard knew of Bob Nall, but he didn’t know him personally. the saga begins shortly after Bernard crossed paths with an old issue of American Rodder that had a shop feature on the Adult Toy Factory.
One of the trucks pictured in the article set Bernard’s fun alarm, so he send a down payment to Bob, with a note attached that essentially read,“Build me a cool ’48 Chevy pickup.”
Bob picks up the story from here.
“I called him on the phone and asked him to be a little more specific, and all he really said was, ‘Ah, you know what looks good, Just build it.’ He just told me to make it look neat, so I put every trick I could dream of in it.”
It happened to be based on what amounts to a pieced-together truck. See, the bulk of the cab is from a ’51, the left door is from a ’47, the frame is from a ’48 through ’54 Chevy pickups are essentially interchangeable, so Bob gathered only good pieces whenever possible. Then the fun began. He chopped the top two inches, channeled the body four inches, and repositioned the
rear window to align with the two quarter windows.
All seams were filled, and he restructured the bed with 10-gauge cold rolled steel, lining its floor with red oak and stainless steel ribs. Bob fashioned the rear gravel shields, and an ’80 El Camino bumper was trimmed to fit.The headlights were frenched, and the grille was formed to mimic that of a ’55 Chevy. when all the metalwork was complete, Bob coated the truck with generous amounts of 1972 Ford Medium Bright Yellow paint.
The tan leather interior was stitched by Johnny’s Auto Trim in Alamosa, Colorado, but only after Bob smoothed and filled the dashboard, and installed an overhead console for the Clarion sound system. Beneath all the interior beauty looms a Ron Francis Wire Works kit. Bob didn’t hold back with the drivetrain, either.
He slipped in a new ZZ-3 crate motor, and all the underhood do-dads are chromed, polished, or painted to match the exterior. The motor checks out at 405 horsepower, but that didn’t stop Bernard from calling Bob after the truck was delivered to jokingly request another motor.
“He said this one was too clean.” said Bob. Of course Bernard was only needling Bob, in a complimentary sort of way. Turns out that moments after the truck was delivered, Bernard set out on a 300-mile journey through the New York metropolitan area !
One more thing about Bob and Bernie. They have yet to meet face to face, yet during the year it took to build this truck they became great friends.
by Dain GingerelliTags:1948, 48, American Rodder, Chevy, Hotrod, Pickup, Rod