Les Allen, from Arlington, Washington, and his son Rob, along with stepson Sean Hoglund decided to build a '56 Chevrolet Cameo pickup together. It was a journey that would change their lives. Les figured it would take a couple of years to complete, but it was eight years later when it had its debut this past spring at the ninth annual '09 Goodguys Show 'n Shine in Del Mar, California.
Prior to Les' decision to build the '56 Cameo he had spent three years going to shows and collecting ideas from assorted magazines. After accumulating about a three-inch stack of cutout magazine ideas, he then contacted rendering artist Jason Rushforth from Tacoma, Washington, to create a cool custom '56 pickup. Jason's first renderings were of a Fleetside Chevy pickup, but they had become common models at shows. Les wanted to go deeper into the collector's pile of rare pickups. He decided to build a '56 Chevy Cameo. Jason got back to his Etch-A-Sketch and created some different flavor Cameos. After whittling it down to the final sketch, Les began his quest to locate his dream truck. He had noticed a '56 Chevy pickup for sale in an ad in a custom car/truck magazine that was in close-by Mt. Rainier, Washington. The gentleman had started the project only to lose interest and funds, but it was about to found a home in Les' garage. After peeling off a fist full of Ben Franklins, Les retrieved the pink slip and trailered the truck home.
Les' find was delivered to a local shop where it sat for some time. Les discovered that the shop was not capable of completing the project to his level of expectation. The truck was pulled from the shop and taken to Art Morrison in Tacoma, Washington. The project began with a new Art Morrison square-tube mandrel-bent frame with an independent front suspension (IFS), two-inch dropped spindles and four-link rear suspension. An Air Ride Technologies Pro-Ride pneumatic suspension was installed on both the front and rear to allow maximum travel. A Tilton master cylinder was linked to a set of Wilwood disc brakes with 11-inch cross-drilled, ball-milled rotors and four-piston calipers with stainless steel brake lines. To dampen the ride, a set of Strange adjustable shocks were bolted up to the frame and front lower control arms. An 18-gallon Art Morrison fuel tank was mounted between the framerails behind the rearend. The Cameo rolls on a set of Colorado Customs Lazear polished aluminum 18x8-inch front, 20x10-inch rear wheels consumed in Yokohama 255/45R18 front, 295/45R20 rear rubber.