1950--Ro d & Custom Dream Truck Clone
d & Custom Dream Truck Clone
Well, It's finally done.
The truck was found just a few blocks from where the original R&C Dream Truck was found in the 80's. It was traded to well known builder and upholsterer Howdy Ledbetter in the 90's as a roller as partial payment on an interior job he had done. It was wearing lavender primer . Have not been able to find any previous photos or any documentation other than word of mouth on it. Howdy, George Barris, and current R&C Dream truck owner Kurt McCormick, have been very helpful with documentation, information, and support on the build .
Howdy was going to build it and have it towing his replica of the Ala Kart , ( Howly Kart ), but also lost interest in it after he sold his Ala Kart replica. I had talked with Kurt McCormick and he had told me of the truck and I purchased it from Howdy in April 2000.
We trailered it across country from California to West Virginia. Stopped by Daryl Starbird's Rod and Custom museum on the way to take some measurements and photos of the original Dream Truck while it was on loan to the museum from current owner Kurt McCormick. The original truck is awesome. I have been in love with that truck since I first saw the early pictures in the R&C little pages during it's build. I followed the build religiously even though I was only 7 years old when it started in 1954.
We lived in Sioux City, Iowa, at that time, and went to the Rod & Custom show in Des Moines to see the truck in 1958. I can remember being sick over the news that the truck had been totaled on it's way there. I'll never forget Bruce Geislers '50 lavender GMC was at that show. It had been purchased by the owner of a Chevrolet dealership in Le Mars Iowa. I remember it ending up on a little used car lot in South Sioux City, Nebraska for sale for $250. Boy those were definitely the good old days!!!
Upon getting the truck home we immediately began tearing it all back apart. Updated some of the body work and changed some things.
It is running a GM crate 350 with 3 deuces and old style Vette valve covers. New turbo 400 trans. With Chevelle 12 bolt rear. Heidt's front end. I had Wheel Vintiques make me up a set of the reproduction '56 Chrysler wire wheels, 15"x8" & 15"x6", With Coker big & little wide whites
The hood scoop was fabricated from the photos and measurements I had taken of the original truck. It was all hand formed by a good friend of mine Reverend Doug Roser. Doug was also very instrumental in the build and one of the best fabricators and body men around. Interior is done in off white rolled & pleated naugahyde with matching bed panels. Interior was done by another good friend of mine Terry Fritz, Fritz's Upholstery Carlisle Pa.,
Has 1954 GMC dash with Moon Eye gauges. I tried to keep it pretty much 50's style. Has Lokar shifter. Painless wiring. Power windows with electric doors.
Truck is chopped 4", sectioned 5 1/4", and the bed channeled 3" with the rear fenders sectioned and the wheel arches moved up in the fenders. I talked with George Barris at a Carlisle Show the year after I bought the truck. He knew of the truck and thought he remembered the rear fenders being the ones off the original truck when Metz did the fin job. They were in the bed of the truck when Metz hauled it back to Barris in California.
All the work was done in lead
Fabricated a copy of the original
grille. Used 6 '58 Impala taillights with '56 Chevy bullet lenses.
It has been a long 7 years but I feel it was worth every minute. Been a joy to build and I have met some very nice helpful people along the way. ROD ON!!! Kurt VandeStouwe
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