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.