Hot Rod Pickup Perfection: SMG Motoring x Factory Five Racing
Flashback: 2019. Our own Greg Friend writes the story of a sweet, red, hot rod pickup built by SMG. It's the operation's shop truck; a good representation of what SMG can do. Like most shop vehicles, it's the owner's way of making something fun to drive without getting all that fancy. As SMG's Fred Simmons put it, “With shop trucks you cut corners to save money.” But what if someone else saw said truck and wanted one “just like it” only without cutting those corners? Chris Fitch's SMG project is that truck.
The original in-house shop truck garnered a ton of interest, especially after it was put up for sale. Chris was among the many eager would-be new owners but alas, he was too late. He was determined, though, and followed up with the question many people in his position have: “If I can't have that one, can you build me one?” SMG Motoring, of course, responded with the correct answer: “Yes.” And, well, here we all are.
Chris' project spawned off of that red truck and elevated it. This one blows the red one out of water with attention to detail,” Fred Simmons says. “He could afford to do super nice wheels and hardware. That took the idea to the next level.”
That attention to detail was the whole idea going into the build. Chris Fitch is a very detail-oriented guy; that was fine by SMG Motoring: “He's the ideal customer to build for because our ideas got along well. 'I like everything you're saying but make sure it's mint,' he told me. Chris wanted the details no one else will ever see, he likes that,” Fred continued.
Factory Five Racing specializes in replicating very rare, nigh-impossible to find bodywork, like the `35 truck skin found on Chris Fitch's hot rod truck. Covered in Porsche Graphite Blue matte and gloss paints, it cloaks a mild steel skeleton comprised of both square and round tubing, with a cantilevered suspension up front. Both the front and back pack Koni coilover double adjustable shocks. The cab and body are fiberglass, inset with a stainless steel inner bed. SMG Motoring added its own mojo to the bed with the custom water tank in it; that's just part of the air-to-water intercooling system that keeps a lid on the motor's heat.
It's a considerable amount of heat at that. This is because Fred didn't wimp out on the powerplant: “I like the Procharger P1X blower on this truck. I'm a horsepower junkie. The Procharger is definitely one of my things.” Convincing Chris and his wife Pam to commit to the blower took a little work, though: “He went back and forth on it. We'd sold the red truck about this time last year and it was going to Barrett Jackson. Chris and his wife came out to Barrett's to see it. They originally weren't going to do it. Then I took him for a ride around the Barrett complex in Scottsdale, and he said, 'We're doing the blower.'”
Blueprint Engines made the Chevy LS3 376 you see before you; the aforementioned blower sucks in plenty of air while Hooker LS manifolds and Magnaflow mufflers expel the spent gasses ignited by the Holley single plane manifold and EFI. All of which adds up to a claimed 800 hp and 695 lbs.-ft. of torque. Dynamic Racing Transmissions' 4L60C tranny and a Lokar shifter send all of that power to the wheels.
Which, by the way, are Budnik Tungsten wheels (18-inch front, 19-inch rear) riding in Nitto NT05 (front) and NT05R drag radial (rear) tires. “I like that style, the NT05. I know the brand from my own personal use. When you go open like we did with Perfection, you need a tire that looks the part. Put those tires on and they look serious. That's the tire that grabs my attention. The drag radial in the rear also helps keep the power hooked-up really well.”
All along the way, there was that high level of attention to detail. Not one thing went overlooked: “All those ideas that you want to do with a project like this, you get to do because that's how the customer wants it. Hide this to look cleaner, and so on,' Freddy says.
“Sometimes you don't have the freedom to put the effort into a custom but we did, here. The focus on the details was the most fun and the most challenging part of the build at the same time.”