Text by Jon Hansen : Photos by Grant Cox
In the current climate of the auto industry, it’s difficult to be the first to do anything. Of course, there’s always the yearly race to see who can be the first to build a brand-new body style or modify a new truck to be the “first of its kind,” but if you have a truck that has been around for 20, 30 or even more than 40 years, it can be a serious challenge to build something unique.
When the owner of Evapo-Rust, David Harris, began formulating a plan for a SEMA build for 2017, he wanted to be sure it would get the attention it deserved. “The truck idea came about after SEMA 2016 when I saw that much of the action and foot traffic had shifted to the parking lot.” David says, “I told my guys we needed a build that showcased what our product Evapo-Rust does for rusted car bodies.” With that in mind, the hunt began.
This captivating ’58 looks at home with the desert backdrop.
After several weeks of searching, David came across the truck that would become his showcase build sitting in a field covered in rust, dirt and snow in his home state of Arkansas. Many people wouldn’t view this as an ideal starting point, but it was exactly what David and his crew wanted: a platform on which to demonstrate the hardcore abilities of their product. Once he’d bought the truck, David noticed the faint logo on the hood, “DeMint,” which is where the truck’s name, Demented, comes from.
Restoration got underway immediately. The cab was unbolted and hoisted into a large tank of Evapo-Rust. After 24 hours of soaking, the miracle of science had removed all of the rust and gunk covering the almost 60-year-old Viking cab. It was time to get to work bringing the aged warrior to life. Any of the red paint that wasn’t destroyed by the elements was left as-is on the cab and then cleared six times to create high-gloss protection.
A truck of this stature deserves a power plant that doesn’t just move it; it deserves one that will make sure it’s very fun to drive for years to come. With that in mind, a 6.6 L Duramax V-8 was extracted from an ’03 Silverado to serve as the heart of the beast. The injectors were fully rebuilt, and a set of dual turbochargers were donated by Turbos by Garrett to ensure that the truck laid down some serious power at its SEMA 2017 debut. The large Garrett turbos were plumbed into a one-of-a-kind air-to-water intercooler (designed by 417 Motorsports) for a diesel that actually works off of the Chevrolet’s air conditioner. Next, Travis Ball at Ball Metal Fab began building the custom dual-ported 4-inch exhaust that would meet behind the turbos to embrace and disperse all of the coal this Chevy rolls. With the motor and trans painted and wrapped up, progress began on the chassis.
To secure the best ride and look for David’s Viking 40, a custom air ride setup was built and installed to make sure it was capable of laying out on the pavement just as well as it could pull weight across it. Sponsor American Force Wheels sent a perfectly aggressive set of 24-inch Omen wheels to support the beast’s weight and look good doing it. Finished in Cadillac Gray, the wheels really set off the truck’s overall, brutish theme.
Once the custom-designed full chassis from Travis Ball at Ball Metal Fab was completed, he and his crew installed the 47-gallon saddlebag tanks on each side of the truck; however, the passenger-side tank now held a secret. Travis designed the tank on the right side of the truck to house the majority of the electrical components and parts to make it convenient to work on them and hidden away so they wouldn’t obscure the custom chassis he spent so much time designing.
Though the truck had been under the knife for nearly a year, the majority of the work—like many SEMA builds—happened in the final few months before it headed to Vegas. It’s safe to say that Travis didn’t get much sleep from July to October. If you missed this one-of-a-kind resto in Vegas, it will be hitting the eight biggest shows around the U.S. this year, so be on the lookout.
Owner: David Harris
1958 Chevrolet Viking 40
Work performed by Jarrod Bowen, John Powell and Ball Metal Fab
550 hp with 1,000 ft-lbs torque running 30 pounds of boost
2005 6.6L Duramax LLY V-8
417 Motorsports intake and intake manifold
Fuss 150 lift pump
Industrial Injection injection pump
Two Garrett GTX 3076 first gen turbos, 40 psi
417 Motorsports intercooler
Fully custom exhaust with built dual 4-inch stainless exhaust
Factory 2005 Allison transmission retuned
Body & Paint
Work performed by Trevor Dewitt at Ball Metal Fab
1958 Chevy Viking 40 cab
Custom front bumper brackets
Custom rear bumper
Bumper and frame power coated by Mulberry Industrial Power Coating
Bed box semi fenders cut down with custom reveal trim piece
JW Speaker headlights
Super Bright LED headlights, semi-style
Original OEM 1958 Chevy Viking 40 red paint restored by Evapo-Rust then cleared six coats
Black and charcoal gray custom-mixed paint
Matte gray finish on cover plates and side plates painted by Steven Castleman and Richard Perkins
Shop: Trevor Dewitt
Chassis & Suspension
Full custom chassis by Ball Metal Fab
3.5×7 3/16-inch thick
2005 Duramax Hydro-boost master cylinder
Custom brake lines
T-Bird rack-and-pinion steering box
Flaming River steering column
Stainless 47-gallon driver’s side saddle tank
Optima Yellow Top in faux passenger side saddle tank with 90% of truck’s electrical
Airlift air management system
Long Shot Fabrication custom-designed front axle
Ride Tech shock absorbers
Firestone air springs
78-87 C30 front brakes
3.73 axle ratio rearend
Firestone air springs from Ride Tech
Ridetech single adjustable shock absorbers
Ford rear disc brakes
Randy’s Ring and Pinion Locker
Wheels & Tires
American Force Omen, prismatic powder Cadillac Gray with black center
Front: 24×8.25 inches, rear: 24×8.25 inches
Toyo Proxes 285-40-24
Interior & Stereo
Black German square weave
Dakota Digital gauges
Billet Specialties steering wheel
Shop: Bill Hoover in Kansas City, MO
JW speakers hidden behind seats and front kick panel
Lizard Skin sound deadener
Special Thanks From the Owner: “Special thanks to all of my family and friends, and to the sponsors of his build: Toyo Tire, American Force Wheels, Dakota Digital, Turbos by Garrett, VIAIR, Lizard Skin, JW, 417 Motorsports, Travis Ball & Ball Metal Fab, everyone at Evapo-Rust, and anyone else who had a hand in this build.”