Airbags drop the front to within inches of the street, but the rear still hangs a little h
Heinrich Schifferer's '47 Dodge Pickup started life the same as most pickups from the Big Band Era-as a cow-punching, hay-haulin', farmin' machine
The truck belonged to Heinrich's nephew in Menan, Idaho, who used to work the ranch. It broke Heinrich's heart to see a classic truck doing stoop labor. So he retired it from the fields and brought it into the big house. Then he spent four years and $85,000 transforming a battered truck into a street-pounding rodder
If you imagine what a 50-year-old tractor looked like, then you wouldn't be too far off in your estimation of the '47's aesthetic condition. Tools are made to be used, not cherished, and while Heinrich's kin no doubt took care of the pickup, he had something in mind for it that was entirely different: a roadster
That body you see? Mostly original, except for the handmade siderails, the shaved door handles, the roll pan, and the tailgate that's been modified by internal hinges-as opposed to the stock hooks-and-chains
Under the truck's classy, swoopy body are some aftermarket upgrades designed to give this hayseed some big-city swing. Heinrich didn't want to cut through the bed, so while releasing the Air Ride suspension lowers the truck, only the front dips low enough to almost kiss the ground. The result, however, is a rakish stance. Wrapped in low-profile Hankook Aurora 255/40ZR18 tires, those American Racing Torque Thrust wheels are a perfect match for this truck. Up front are 18-inch models, while 20 inchers roll under the rear. A Fatman Mustang II frontend ponies-up its IFS. Disc brakes from a '77 Lincoln stop the '47 long enough to give people an opportunity to stop and admire Heinrich's ride
That '77 Lincoln sacrificed more than a set of brakes, however. Out came the retired engine that had been running the truck for a few years and in went a 331ci Hemi. Obviously, the 331ci was too big, so Heinrich resorted to the Lincoln's 351ci Windsor V-8. Marshall Machine Shop crafted the engine to good effect, porting and polishing it, installing 9.5:1 compression pistons, a half-lift comp cam, and upgrading the tranny with a TCI 2,500-stall converter. The battery was moved to beneath the right fender, and the gas tank was swapped with a fuel cell fed by an inlet set into the wood-finished bed
Inside the cab, Vintage Air cools the red leather seats to a temperature any well-to-do rancher could rest upon. That same bold red pipes the black chamois carpeting and lines the headliner, no doubt spiking the anger of Idaho bulls. Hudson's Rod & Custom in Strawberry Plains, Tennessee, worked its magic on the upholstery.
Heinrich extends his grateful thanks to the folks mentioned, along with Homer and Will Hudson and the rest of the boys at Hudson's Rod & Customs for helping him build this sporty street-roarer with classic looks.