1938 Chevy Panel Truck
This is our current project. The plan is to bring it back to better than new, with some custom body mods to hot rod it up a bit, including making it a window delivery, a new chassis and drive line, a lower stance and a more modern interior.
38 chevy concept
Below are some pics of how it looked when we got it
...lots of bullet holes and dents and rot...this may take a while.
Below are some pics of the body getting stripped down to the bare bones to send it out for sandblasting
Back from sandblasting
After we blew all of the sand out of everything, we gave it all a coat of epoxy inside and out to prevent rerusting while we were in the metal repair/replace stage. The next day we began the long process of hammering out the dents, filling all the bullet holes, and cutting out the rotten areas. After that, we began to fabricate and weld in replacement panels.
We replaced all of the outer and some of the inner metal on he majority of the bottom of the truck.
The back corners of the body were too rotten and damaged to repair so we cut them out and fabricated new ones.
After we got the shell of the body in a more solid state, we mated it to the newly made chassis. Then we began the repair process of all the bolt on body panels. Note that the rear delivery panels were removed to make this into a "windowed" delivery truck.
Original Chassis
New Chassis
We used the driveline and suspension components from a 2002 Chevy S-10.
Back to the body...
While discussing the idea of hidden door hinges we decided to make the doors suicide as well. These photos also show the bracketry and supports we fabricated for inner door strength as well as a place to mount the new power window set up. The outer skins from the body line down, are all newly fabricated.
These pictures show the beginnings of an all new completely hand-made rear hatch. We will be using the back glass of a Chevy HHR because it closely matches the contours of the '38.
We didn't want the roofline to carry onto the rear hatch because it would not flow nicely with the shape of the window, so it was cut short.


Things are starting to take shape, the Foose 18" and 20" wheels definitely add some eye candy to the project.

This picture also shows the tight clearance of the wheel-well to the rear tire. The large rear wheels weren't in the original plan; but having a low stance was. Therefore we decided to raise and extend the rear fenders and wheel-wells to accommodate both. The pictures below show this process.

We welded the inner fender-wells to the outer skin while off the car for easier access. We also added a strip in the wheel tub for added clearance for the tires.
The rear fenders were also widened 2" to accommodate the bigger wheels and tires.
When we originally got the truck and were working with concept drawings, we decided that the front end looked too stubby. We lengthened the chassis about 10" when we were modifying it, and as a result the running boards had to be longer. This meant that the front fenders and/or the cowl had to be widened to make up the difference and keep the flow.
The original running boards were too dented and twisted to repair and lengthen, especially with all the ribs in them. We opted for new smoothie running boards for that smooth slick look.
38 chevy panel
This truck is starting to look pretty cool.
As previously mentioned, the cowl had to be widened. We split it at the top corners to bring out the sides. The original cowl sides had a concave curve which didn't have a smooth flow with the rest of the body, so we made new sides with a convex curve. After completing this, the top of the firewall was lengthened 2". This was to add more under-dash room for wiring, heater, etc. It also leaned the firewall forward so it would reflect the engine nicely.
We had the runningboards outsourced because we don't have a long enough metal brake to make them in one piece. These pictures show that the inner bend does not flow with the body, so we made pieces with the same body curve to weld to the running boards. Doing this also made it easier to align the boards better with the body and fenders now that they were all on the car.
After the running boards were tack welded together we began the fabrication of the completely custom hand-made front end. As always we began with paper templates to get a good understanding of how things will look, where metal may need to be cut/stretched/shrank, and to save time on cutting, recutting and wasting metal.
More pics to come as the project progresses