Committing to building an early-model custom truck from scratch can become a major challenge. Using the original parts and pieces, which in some cases are 50 years old, can test your fabricating and mechanical skills. Consider yourself lucky if your project vehicle comes to you in one complete form. Refurbishing worn, original components can be more of a pain than it is worthwhile. Purchasing new re-popped parts is sometimes easier, but watch out for the fitment and quality.
Carroll Smith from Pasadena, Texas, took on this challenge, when he decided to build his custom '48 Chevy 3100 five-window pickup. Carroll had been involved in a number of hot rods, customs, and muscle-car buildups during the past 35 years, but he never built a custom pickup. After purchasing his '48 Chevy on the eBay website, it was delivered. Initially, it was going to be a daily driver for Carroll and his son, Brandon, until they discovered the truck was leaking about 3 quarts of oil per day, due to a dried out rear main rope seal. Brandon replaced the original rope seal, only to find it leaking 4 quarts a day. And so, Brandon and Carroll decided to dismantle the old '48 and begin the six-year journey of building this immaculate, high-end ride. After completion, it was displayed at the '07 Detroit Autorama, where it was picked as a Great 8 finalist for the prestigious Ridler Award.
We were fortunate enough to gain access to these images taken during the construction process of Carroll Smith's '48 Chevy five-window, Conundrum.