Publish date: 2017-01-11 09:04:36
We’ve seen a lot of restomods in the classic car community that has been restored to its classic look with a more modern performance and amenities. What we need are classic trucks with the same treatment. In 1948, Dodge reinvented their Hauler trucks with fresh innovations to keep up with the demanding market who wanted fresh styles and could do heavy work. Dodge was always at the top of their game. They installed new features such as the Pilot-House cabin that have an unhindered vision on all sides, comfortable Air-O-Ride seats, and the All-Weather AC. Despite their success, the sleek Hauler slowly vanished into history.
William “Biddy” Winward from Newark, Delaware grew up loving these trucks. He enjoyed the loud roar of the Flathead V8 engine and became obsessed with these powerful engines. He learned how they functioned and studied how to improve them. Over the years, his passion grew into a successful career and owning several auto shops between 1950 and 1970. His first shop was the Casseday & Winward Speed & Machine Shop. During this time, he built his dragster with a front engine and raced it in drag strips around the country. His skills in building engines were proven on the strip and his fame grew.
During his successful career, he joined several dragster groups such as Top Fuel, Top Gas, and Funny Cars. The members of the group included Don Garlits, Walt Kinsley, Bob Casseday, Ray Marsh, and Joe Jacono. As the years went by, Biddy won several championships and awarded as Mechanic of the Year for several years. He is even listed at the NHRA Easter Division Hall of Fame. Biddy was always on the move and continued to create a name for himself.
But even though most of his time was spent with drag racing, he has always been haunted by a classic car project that he never got the chance to do. One day he found a beat down 1948 Dodge pickup left alone at a farm in Oxford, Pennsylvania. The pickup was in a really bad condition, it was mostly covered in rust but Biddy saw its potential with what was left in the old truck. He bought the truck and shipped it to his shop so he could completely check every part of the truck before planning the build.
Biddy complete dismantled the truck and saw that the original chassis could be saved. To ensure that the chassis was a solid base for his project, he shipped it to Pro Street Services located in Claymont, Delaware. The original chassis was thoroughly cleaned and reinforced with custom tubular cross-members. To improve the trucks performance and ensure that it can handle sharp turns, a Corvette C5 IFS was modified to fit into the chassis. At the back, Biddy installed a Corvette C5 IRS that is fitted with 3/50:1 gears. All of the suspension upgrades were done by Biddy. For a reliable stopping power, Corvette C5 four-piston disc brakes were installed on all sides. All brakes are controlled by Corvette dual-bowl power master. For the smooth ride, it rides on 17’’ Fiske Profil 10 wheels finished in silver and are fitted with Dunlop performance tires for the rear and BFGoodrich tires for the front.
After the chassis was fully upgraded with modern performance parts, it was time to pick the heart of Biddy’s truck. This Dodge pickup is powered by the infamous 392 cid Chrysler Hemi engine. Biddy did not hold back on build his long-time dream truck. Using his own X-Top Fuel engine, he shipped all of the engine parts to Alderman Automotive located in New Castle, Delaware. They rebuilt the engine and increased the displacement to 500 cubic inches. The engine was then fitted with performance goodies such as Delta crank, Howard rods, and J&E pistons.
To squeeze more power from the Hemi, Biddy installed an Edelbrock dual-quad intake manifold with 2 Edelbrock 750-cfm carburetors that are connected to Mallory Unilite distributor. It then breathes through a custom exhaust that is connected to Flowmaster mufflers. The powerful Hemi engine is connected to a Mopar 727 transmission that was supplied by Independent Transmission.
After all of the mechanical parts were finished. It was time to move on to the body and Biddy tasked Stewart’s Rod Shop from Middletown, Delaware to do the job. Because the body was completely covered with rust, plenty of new sheet metal were used to restore the body in top shape. To create a signature look for the truck, some customizations were added such as modified 1954 Ford truck rear fenders and 1950 Pontiac taillights. Custom Sheet Metal from Newport, Delaware built a new truck bed with a hydraulic tilt function which shows off its beautiful chassis. After the body was finished and everything was in order. The final touches were added and the truck was painted in Sherwin-Williams red pearl color.
For the interior, the original dashboard was fitted with Auto Meter gauges. For the smooth driving, a Camaro steering wheel is connected to a GM tilt column. A custom bench was built by Richard Keithley from Elkton, Maryland. The interior was then covered in a charming fawn leather and square-weave carpet on the floor. For some safety, Custom Sheet Metal built a custom rollbar.
The finished product is a very classic looking hauler with a very modern performance. This is a truck you can’t ignore.
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