1953 Chevy truck – Vintage Air sponsored build

Vehicle Quick Facts

Profile ID: 59996
Year: 1953
Make: Chevrolet
Model: 3100 Pickup
Markets: Classic & Antique, Performance, Resto-Mod, Rod & Custom, Truck
Vehicle Type: American
Contact: Projects CBN



Vehicle Story

1953 Chevrolet 3100

Vehicle story

In 1988, when my dad was only 15 years old, he acquired the 1953 Chevy truck in Tucson, AZ. My dad and his father worked together to get it back on the road, even though neither of them really knew what they were doing at the time. In 8 months, they managed to put the truck back to its original condition with a yellow paint job and a 250 6-cyl. My dad drove the truck throughout high school and college.

In 1995, he traded the truck for his parents' 1951 Chevrolet 3-window 3100, with a promise to rebuild the ’53 for them to drive. Over four years, he gave the truck a new front end, rear end, engine, and transmission, while preserving its yellow paint job.

The real transformation began in 1999 when the truck underwent a complete disassembly. My dad cut the frame & cab, and running boards, and lengthened them by 21 inches. He replaced the original bed with a 1995 Chevrolet short bed fleet side, narrowing it by 12 inches. Original rear fenders from the 1953 truck were cut down and grafted to the side of the 1995 bed to give it the factory retention look. The truck was put on hold in 2000 as my parents got married, and then my brother was born in 2001. In 2001, my dad started doing the bodywork and painted the truck Prowler yellow.

In 2003, he decided the truck needed some extra colors and added purple, green, and salmon. For 18 years, my grandparents drove the truck to various car shows in Arizona and California. In 2021, my grandparents returned the truck to my dad, where it sat in the garage for a couple years while he collected parts for a new drivetrain— as that’s all he wanted to do to it. I drove the truck to work and the store as often as I could.

After I attended the SEMA show in 2022 with my 1983 Chevrolet C10, I knew I needed to build the 1953 with the hopes of taking the truck to SEMA in 2023. In February 2023, my dad agreed to let me build it, and that’s where my vision and journey with the truck began. I knew that the truck would need more than just a motor and a drivetrain, so I tore the truck down, removing every nut and bolt. Nine months and over 3000 hours later, the truck is headed to SEMA 2023!





•    Engineered a 100% custom-fabricated chassis using a Scott’s hot rod front cross member and heavily modified Scott’s 4-link suspension

•    Designed a center frame stiffener to accommodate the transmission and carrier bearing

•    Built stiffeners for the C-notch

•    Built a custom panhard bar and CNCed coilover upper brackets

•    Built motor mounts and body mount points on the chassis

•    Completely bodyworked, smoothed, and painted the chassis

•    Constructed custom stainless steel TIG-welded exhaust and custom stainless steel hard lines


•    Cut out the entire floor, footboxes, and firewall

•    Fabricated new floor bracing and bead-rolled new floorboard panels

•    Constructed a custom transmission tunnel

•    Fabricated a bead-rolled firewall recessed to fit the motor's contour

•    Shaved the drip rails, refitted and gapped the doors, cut the doors to make sure they fit flush panel to panel, and refit & retrofitted original door handles with bearclaw latches

•    Installed a new dash, shifted the gauges 2.5 inches to the left for better driving position and to make room for the center console

•    Built brackets for AC, wiring harnesses, and wipers

•    Fabricated new smoothed custom running boards from scratch with all new mounting points


•    Modified inner fenders/fenders so mounting was seamless for a clean look

•    Dropped the radiator down & forward to make more room in the engine bay

•    Boxed and smoothed out the core support

•    Built a custom intake routed to inside the fender well, where I built a custom airbox and louvered it for airflow

•    Fabricated, smoothed, & polished custom stainless steel radiator tubes

•    Concealed the AC lines inside the inner fenders

•    Reworked the hood for fitment by cutting and shrinking it in multiple spots

•    Frenched in the front headlights

•    Reworked the fenders to fit the cab better

•    Took an original front bumper, tucked it and welded a splitter to it to fit the contour of the front clip and grill


•    Cut out the old steel floor

•    Built mounting points to the chassis

•    Built the entire substructure for the bed floor with scissor hinges and actuators for opening bed floor

•    Built panels on the underside to cleanly integrate the 50s fenders back to the bed

•    Built entire new bead rolled inside bed  panels to look more like a 50s bed

•    Shaved the tailgate handle, cut the whole inside of the tailgate apart, rebraced it and built a bead rolled panel to fit the shaved tailgate handle

•    Shaved the 90s taillights. Built mounting points on the original fenders to accommodate original 50s taillights

•    Cut custom bed wood, stained & cleared it


•    Completely bodyworked the truck to make sure it had a straight body and was flat between panels

•    Painted the entire truck myself, and cut and buffed it

•    Sprayed satin accents

•    Raptor lined the entire underside and color-matched it


•    Laid the carpet

•    Built & wrapped a custom console

•    Modified the rear seat to fit the width of the cab

•    Leather-wrapped the back of the cab, built a custom headliner, built and wrapped many interior panels

•    Built door panels and sent those to an interior shop with my design to get wrapped

•    Fully rewired the truck with a brand-new harness

Tech Sheet