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StreetHeat’s 1950 Chevy 3100

IF YOU’VE EVER WONDERED WHAT IT TAKES TO CREATE A FEATURE-WORTHY TRUCK, WE THINK IT’S A BLEND OF OPPORTUNITY, TALENT AND PASSION. First is always opportunity because the right truck has to be found, whether it’s parked in a field half a mile away or an internet search that unearths a potential candidate on the other side of the country. Typically, you will go through several before you find the one that fits your needs. Once the basic truck is located and in your garage, that’s when the combination of talent and passion take over. Obviously you need the talent to transform the truck into your vision, and you need the passion to overcome those inevitable setbacks that occur during the build process.

Gavin Broome and Matt Verzi of StreetHeat in West Melbourne, Florida know what it takes to get the job done and as proof, during the half-dozen years that they’ve been running their company, many of their cool custom vehicles have been shipped literally around the world. Both men were individually active in the automotive repair business and brought 30 years of combined experience to the table when they teamed up back in 2007. They began by doing minor repairs but soon realized that concentrating on one vehicle until it was finished was a better solution. Starting this latest build with opportunity, they searched multiple sources until they found this 1950 Chevy 3100 on Craig’s List, located in South Carolina and in seriously rough condition. Construction did not begin immediately, however, and the truck sat in the shop for almost a year waiting for the right moment. Although it was not making any money for the business, the venerable old ride did play a role, providing inspiration with its farmer-inspired paint job. Slathered on with a brush to prevent rust, the heavy coating of paint had been fairly effective in preserving the Chevy sheet metal. It also led to one of StreetHeat’s trademarks, unique patina exteriors applied to ultramodern vintage pickups. In fact, several trucks left the shop with carefully constructed patina paint jobs, designed to resemble the vintage paint on this old Chevy! When a previous build sold via the internet to a customer in Australia, it also caught the eye of their current customer in England. He was intrigued with the unique finish, and when they showed him the photos of their 3100, he said upgrade the mechanicals and leave the exterior as is. That’s when the StreetHeat-style rejuvenation of this old farm truck began in earnest.

“THE ENTIRE BUILD WAS ACCOMPLISHED IN A LIGHTNING QUICK THREE MONTHS SINCE THE BOYS HAD A PLAN.”

The process always starts with separating the body from the chassis. After the frame rails were boxed, C-notched and reinforced with new cross members, they were powder coated and fitted with a CPP Mustang II front end with tubular control arms, T-Bird rack-and-pinion power steering, and 11-inch drilled and slotted disc brakes. A StreetHeat-designed 2-link holds 82 DECEMBER 2015 | STREETTRUCKS an 8.8 Ford rear with an Eaton Posi, 3.73 gears, another pair of 11-inch discs, and a pan hard bar. Speedway shocks on all four corners ensured modern handling, and the new air suspension system ensured an equally modern profile, dropping the Chevy rockers on the deck. The system uses Air Maxxx ’bags along with a Viair 480 compressor and Horn Blaster 5-gallon reserve tank mounted under the raised bed. Air Lift gauges under the dash and the company’s four corner paddle valves control the system through ¼-inch lines. The chassis became a roller thanks to 17-inch late-model Chrysler 300 wheels, fitted with spider caps for a nostalgic look and wrapped with 225/55-17 wide whites from Fritz’s Tire.

Motive power was next, and since it’s difficult to build your own engine that can compete with a modern warranty-equipped crate motor, the StreetHeat team chose a GM 350 V-8 pumping out a more-than-adequate 300 hp. Replacing the long gone straight six, the new engine was carefully positioned, taking into account the clearance concerns for the oil pan, steering, exhaust and cross members when the truck is on the ground. Free breathing began with an Edelbrock 600- cfm carb, KMJ Performance dual plane intake and K&N filter. HEI ignition guarantees a hot spark and Hedman ceramic-coated shorty headers feed a pair of Magnaflow three-chamber mufflers that end in custom Cherry Bomb exhaust tips cut through the bumper. Engine details include billet engine pulleys along with finned and painted-tomatch valve covers and breathers. A Champion aluminum radiator and 16-inch Tsunami electric fan keep temperatures in the green. The 700R4 transfers the power using a custom Olsen Industries driveshaft and is controlled by a nostalgic 23- inch Lokar shifter. The smooth and recessed firewall showcases the new power plant perfectly.

Most of the exterior remains untouched, just upgraded with modern projector beam headlights, new chrome grille and LED taillights. The bed was raised and finished with a cedar bed floor reclaimed from a local barbecue restaurant back in the ’70s. Still sporting cracks and knotholes, the ancient wood was mahogany stained, cleared with four coats of urethane and brought back to life for use in the truck. Lots of internal repairs were required, however, to restore strength to the cab. New floors, inner panels, braces and rocker panels were added. The only original portion of the interior is the dash, which needed only sandblasting and paint. Upgrades began with Dolphin gauges, RetroSound Classic radio, electric wipers, Gear Head pedals and a stylish 1958 Chevrolet Biscayne steering wheel on a tilt CPP column. The windshield trim is done in gloss black and the truck sports new window glass. Gavin made a new seat frame to retain the original look, upholstering it in Endurasoft brown vinyl with matching door panels and new door hardware. Custom loop brown carpeting, Stinger Road Kill sound insulation and black headliner complete the look. The outside portion of the truck is still vintage farmer yellow tractor paint along with some red splotches and a little red rust, thanks to Mother Nature. Since the customer requested the look, the exterior remains essentially untouched, but the detailed portions of the truck were painted Maroon Glacier metallic, similar to the Root Beer metallic, covering much of the interior and the wheels.

The entire build was accomplished in a lightning quick three months since the boys had a plan. The goal was to complete the vehicle in time for the Goodguys show in Kissimmee, Florida. Since the pair is a well-oiled team with multiple builds to their credit, they were able to make their deadline with one day to spare. They drove the truck 10 miles down the road on its very first test drive. “We didn’t test the truck in advance,” Matt told us. “When we pulled it out, we knew it was complete. We are so methodical that we double and triple check everything we do. There is no room for any other way.” As it turned out, going to the show became a wonderful vote of confidence in StreetHeat build talents. “We didn’t know what the reaction would be,” Gavin added, “since that show typically has high-end, high-dollar vehicles on display,” In fact, the boys didn’t need to worry. All that was left was to head home, add the trophy to their collection and put the truck on a boat to England.

TRUCK SPECS

BUILDERS

Gavin Broome and Matt Verzi of StreetHeat
West Melbourne, FL
1950 Chevy 3100

ENGINE

  • Shop: StreetHeat, West Melbourne, FL
  • GM 350 V-8
  • Edelbrock 600-cfm carb
  • KMJ Performance dual-plane intake
  • K&N filter
  • HEI ignition
  • Shorty headers
  • Magnaflow three-chamber mufflers
  • Cherry Bomb exhaust tips through the bumper
  • Billet engine pulleys
  • Painted to match valve covers and breathers
  • Champion aluminum radiator with 16-inch Tsunami electric fan
  • 700R4 automatic transmission
  • 23-inch Lokar shifter
  • Olsen Industries driveshaft
  • Smooth firewall

SUSPENSION

  • Shop: StreetHeat, West Melbourne, FL
  • Boxed and C-notched, powdercoated frame
  • Reinforced with new cross members
  • CPP Mustang II front end
  • Tubular control arms
  • Thunderbird rack-and-pinion power steering
  • StreetHeat-designed 2-link rear suspension with pan hard bar
  • 8.8 Ford rearend with Eaton Posi and 3.73 gears
  • 11-inch drilled and slotted disc brakes on all four wheels
  • Speedway shock absorbers
  • AirMaxx ’bags, Viair 480 compressor, Horn Blasters 5-gallon reserve tank

WHEELS & TIRES

  • 17-inch Chrysler 300 wheels with spider caps
  • Wide whites from Fritz’s Tire, 225/55-17

BODY & PAINT

  • Shop: StreetHeat, West Melbourne, FL
  • Untouched exterior sheet metal showcasing the patina acquired over the last half-century
  • Projector beam headlights
  • New chrome grille
  • LED taillights
  • Raised bed floor with mahoganystained, cedar plank

INTERIOR

  • Shop: StreetHheat, West Melbourne, FL
  • New floors and inner panels
  • Custom bench seat frame upholstered in Endurasoft brown vinyl
  • Matching door panels and new hardware
  • Dolphin gauges
  • RetroSound classic radio
  • Gear Head peddles
  • Chevrolet Biscayne steering wheel on a tilt CPP column
  • New window glass
  • Black headliner
  • Brown loop pile carpeting
  • Stinger Road Kill sound insulation

SPECIAL THANKS FROM THE OWNER: Thanks to Precision Powder Coat, Charlie’s Customs and Olsen Industries.

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