David Harris’s One-Off 1958 Chevrolet Viking 40
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.
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.
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. ”
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 was 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-towater 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 keep them 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. ST
THE SUBTLE FINISH ON THE AMERICAN FORCE 24-INCH WHEELS LOOKS SPECTACULAR UNDER THE TUBS.