Meet “Rosco” (I’m a huge Dukes of Hazzard fan) Frame off build,1954 Chevy 3100 3 window Resto Mod/ Patina Paradise/ Shop truck pickup.
Rosco is actually the first truck sourced from the state I live in, South Carolina. I only had to drive 2 hours away to find him sitting in a cow pasture, off the road since the early 80’s. Seeing a resto mod 1954 or 1955 First series 3100 is rare nowadays, so when I saw Rosco sitting under the oak tree I knew he had good bones and would be a great candidate to bring back to life. He also had killer patina and the thought of painting him never even crossed my mind.
With a name like Rosco, the truck has to be a little rowdy. So we found the donor vehicle (2002 Suburban) and stripped it of it’s prize possession (5.3 LS motor and 4l60E overdrive trans) and got to work. While the motor was out we smoothed the firewall to clean things up a bit under the hood. Then we decided on a BTR NSR camshaft upgrade, while there we replaced lifters, oil pump, water pump, alternator, starter, and re-gasketed the entire motor. To help the motor breath, we installed a set of speed engineering shorty headers with new plugs and wires that exit into dual exhaust with turndowns at the rear end. The cooling system has been upgraded to an aluminum radiator with an electric fan. BP Automotive supplied the new engine harness as well as the new GM ECM for the 5.3. We recently had the truck tuned on a Dyno and he put down a respectable 300 RWHP on the rollers. The look on peoples faces when you pull up to a light in a rusty ole truck with a cam is priceless. To handle the additional power the transmission was completely rebuilt, a new convertor with higher stall was installed, and a new driveshaft was made for the truck.
Like most of our trucks we ditched the factory frame and upgraded to a newer S10 chassis. During the upgrade we added new brakes, new drop shocks, drop spindles and blocks, new front end parts, new EFI gas tank and fuel system, and new wheels with Diamondback whitewall tires to complete the vintage look. The truck also received a brand new body wiring harness from front to rear. We replaced the wood in the bed with new pine and added in new stainless strips to maintain the old school bed floor that would have come from the factory. I loved the patina on the front grill and bumper and decided to leave all that rather than replace with shinny new chrome. We replaced al the exterior lights and retained all the original badging. New cab corners were added and blended into the original patina and the whole truck was shot with matte clear to give the truck a little shine but not an unnatural looking shine.
Turning our focus to the inside of the truck next, everything is new. We replaced all the glass, seals, weather striping and used Vibro Mat sound deadener in the entire truck. The doors received Altman easy latches to make opening and shutting the doors a breeze. The truck sports a new custom one-off interior with new bench seat, new headliner, door panels and carpeting. Complimenting the interior is a new tilt column with Budnik steering wheel. Dolphin gauges on the dash mixed with the Vintage Air controls complete the simple yet classic dashboard unique to the 1954 and 1955 first series trucks. These trucks typically didn’t come with a radio and we didn’t want to junk up the dash with a head unit. So we have a hidden Bluetooth setup with 4 speakers that immediately pairs with your phone when the truck is running.
This truck is an absolute blast to drive and embodies the essence of the 50’s styling but with modern drivability and creature comforts (AC, PS, PB, Bluetooth, Tilt, EFI). Like I mention with all our trucks, be prepared for long conversations at the gas pump and neighbors you never knew coming up the driveaway to ask questions about it. Also be prepared for the “when you going to paint it” question that you will invariably get LOL. This truck will make the perfect cars and coffee or run to the sun cruiser and make it’s new owner have a big sh*t eating grin every time he or she gets behind the wheel (and mashes the go pedal). Rosco is a unique truck, looking for a new owner and ready to get back on the streets after a 40 year hiatus.