Truck Builder
02/02

Yes, More Leg Room:
A Stretched-Cab '37 Chevy Pickup That Is Picture Perfect.
Stretched-Cab '37 Chevy Pickup

Story and Photography by Bob Carpenter

It comes as no surprise that the '37 Chevy pickup doesn't top any popularity lists, when it comes to restoring or hot rodding. Oh, they're fine trucks, but they just don't command the kind of attention that a '40 Ford or a '55 Chevy pickup does. They simply haven't caught on or lack that "Classic Look" a lot of people are looking for.

Richard Capua of San Marcos, California, didn't care one way or the other when he took possession of this '37 Chevy from his brother. It was a family heirloom, in a way, and Capua wanted to finish it and drive it. It was just a nice old truck that would be great for tooling around town and maybe help advertise his contracting business. He wasn't bound by the typical maniacal desire to earn trophies.

He did have a plan however. He wanted the truck to look as if it could have been built in 1937. Pay no attention to the V-8, power steering, power brakes, air conditioning, CD stereo, etc., because most of it is hidden enough anyway to go along with the "could have been built in '37" credo. He also wanted some additional legroom and a little extra space for a set of golf clubs (you've got to take clients out on the links these days, you know).

It didn't take long for Capua to realize this was a project he could not handle in his spare time. Just up the street from his company is a happinin' hot rod shop. Hot Rods & Custom Stuff is one of the most celebrated shops in the country (it even won the prestigious Ridler award in 2001). The shop regularly turns out spectacular one-of-a-kind vehicles.

The body was stripped with plastic media blasting at HR&CS, and all rust was cut out and replaced by David Wright at the shop. Wright and Sid Eby did all the bodywork in house (kudos to Rick, Pete, and Dave). The color is PPG Seashore Beige. This project took three years, since Capua started and stopped several times. That's pretty normal for projects of this scope, which require many decisions along the way. Finally, he ended up with exactly the truck he wanted, and that, after all, is what it's all about.

ididit tilt steering column and Moon gauges.

[1.] The interior is purposely simple. An ididit tilt steering column is painted to blend in, the Moon gauges have a classic look, and the Vintage Air controls are understated. A Painless Wiring 12-circuit loom kit was used to wire the truck.

Truck bed details.

[2.] Okay, how come they didn't fill in the bed stake pockets? Because Capua is going to going to put some old-time-looking wood panels on the side to help advertise his business. Told you this was a daily driver! [3.] The bed was shortened to fit the space left over when the cab was lengthened. The ends of the bed were angled to make a nicer fit.

Fiberglass rear fenders.

[4.] The view from behind is just as nice. The rear fenders are fiberglass models that are 3 inches wider than stock. Eaton Detroit Spring supplied the perfect leaf springs for the '37.

CD changer.

[5.] Virtually every piece of the stereo is hidden except this CD changer. A remote control operates the tunes.

Wheel Vintique Custom Rally wheels.

[6.] Custom Rally wheels from Wheel Vintiques help continue the theme.

Adjure motorcycle headlights

[7.] Adjure motorcycle headlights have the perfect look for the '37. The blue dots are great.

Custom Auto Interiors door panel

[8.] Ron Mangus of Custom Auto Interiors understood the concept of this truck completely, as he designed and interior that's comfortable and luxurious without looking out of the era.

Wood panel bed kit and 37 truck grill.

[9.] One of the things that every classic truck has to have is a good set of bed wood. Polished strips really finish the look. [10.] Do you know how long you have to look to find a perfect '37 Chevy truck grill? Don't ask.

Chevrolet emblem.

[11.] Capua decided to leave just one emblem on the truck. This one is perfect.

Custom quarter window.

[12.] All window trim pieces are designed to look stock, even the quarter windows. The Quarter windows are out of a '29 Ford, but the were altered by the Hot Rods & Custom Stuff crew. Ernie Butler of All Star took care of the glass.


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Hot Rods & Custom Stuff, 2324 Auto Park Way, Escondido, CA., 1-800-HOT-ROD-5.

Hot Rods & Custom Stuff - builds, restores, paints, services and sells parts for classic autos, cars, trucks and street rods.