The word "imagination" is commonly defined as "creative ability". That definition definitely applies in the world of auto customization, as whenever a new build project is taking shape for a car/truck owner, their imagination is certainly put to use. Not only do the owners want to be creative when they are building their project, they also want the finished project to be unique. Elvin Scalise had his imagination running full blast when he started to build his 1939 GMC Truck. What you see on these pages is not only creative, but unique as well.
Elvin has been customizing his rides since he was 15 years old. In 1957, he took his mother's 1946 Ford and installed 6" shackles, and he has not stopped customizing since. Over the years, Elvin has built and customized just about anything that rides on two and four wheels. He has had Lowriders, hot rods, custom cruisers, and Harley Davidson motorcycles.
This GMC truck is Elvin's first full custom. He bought the truck 5 years ago for $300 dollars. Elvin saw the potential in the '39, even though at the purchase time, it was just a rolling chassis with the hood, fenders, the grill, and the cab attached. All of the glass had been broken out of the vehicle, and overall, the truck had certainly seen better days. Despite the work ahead of him, Elvin pressed on.
Once the truck was home with Elvin, he went right to work and started to build the truck. He installed a V6 from a Chevy Camaro, and a 7R transmission and rear end combination. After the engine and transmission were taken care of, Elvin installed a Mustang II front clip and air bags in the front and rear of the truck to allow him to lay frame or clear steep driveways when necessary.
With the engine and suspension taken care of, Elvin once again used his imagination to modify the truck cab. He took 3 inches off the top and was so satisfied with this modification, he also switched the doors to open suicide-style. Since he had modified the cab, there was no way a stock bed was going to do. Elvin found a Chevy S10 truck bed, and installed and reworked it by narrowing it down 14 inches. The tailgate was formed from a Chevy Nova hood, which was also chopped 12 inches. Elvin finished off the bed with a custom tonneau cover and tail lights from a Harley Davidson Tombstone design.
Next up were the fenders. After scouring the Internet, Elvin located two 1946 Ford Truck fenders and ordered them. Once they arrived, they were installed on the truck. Elvin was still not happy with the body panels, and felt something was missing. A friend happened to show him a pair of fender skirts that he had found, and Elvin liked the look of them. He knew they were perfect for his project, so he took off the rear fenders and reworked them to fit the fender skirts.
After Elvin was done with the rear fenders, he handmade a pair of fender skirts for the front fenders, talk about being creative! The running boards on the truck were fabricated by Elvin as well, which gave them a wide, low look to compliment the fender skirts on the front and rear of the truck. The finishing touch on the exterior of the truck was the Ford grill, which Elvin also modified. After all the body mods were complete, Elvin prepped the body for paint and then had the truck towed to Maaco Auto Body and Paint. Yes, you read that right, Maaco shot the flawless deep black paint job on the truck!