David Lewin grew up in a family of machinists and almost took up that mantle for his own career. But an abiding fascination with cars, leavened by tinkering with them and the resulting sucking on busted knuckles, convinced him to turn away from trade school and study classic industrial design at Rhode Island School of Design. After many years of directing design in the corporate world his neckties felt more like nooses, so he surrendered to his hot-rod heart and went freelance. Now he designs for auto companies and custom shops, and as an industrial design consultant. Sometimes he even works on his own automotive projects.

What you see here started as a 1962-67 panel body built to tow. This is a workhorse pressed, squatted, and pulled into straight lines, colored only by satin primer split by '65 metallic artesian turquoise. It's channeled a couple of inches below the undercut, chopped two inches at the roof. The rear is diagonally sectioned and raked forward six inches. A recessed cowl with body color vents the hood, and a large aerodynamic bumper channels air into the simplified grille. Deeply inset into the grille is stainless Cadillac CTS-V mesh. Side stainless trim from a 1960 fullsize Oldsmobile is recessed into the body.

Those sketches in the margin? Renditions of David's Pikes Peak Super Truck concept of a vintage that matches the panel truck (which would also tow it). Built to break land speed records or climb the Race to the Clouds, the Super Truck can be powered by a GMC V-12, a turbodiesel, the briny taste of desert flats, or the rarified air at the top of a 14,000-foot ramp.

Old school meets new as David remixes a 1951-54 Suburban with contemporary SUV-style cues. The grille is inspired by a 1951-53 horizontal grille. Louvers automatically open and close, adjusting to warm or cool the engine. The original bumper fragment closes the grille at the bottom.

An integrated visor with NACA ducts in the roof fosters downforce. Doors unlatch at a common central handle and slide open. The C-pillar is at stock height. The A-pillar is chopped two inches and leaned back. The running boards are filled to mimic modern ground effects. Classic red Bow Ties on the 17-inch, deep, chrome-reverse wheels with big-moon caps harken to the good old days, while a fire-breathing 572ci V-8 under the hood yanks your attention back to the here and now.

David Lewin - Rod Envy