Pressurized: SMG Motoring's '35 Hot Rod Truck
With so many cool vehicles out there, why would anyone build a kit car like the ones offered by Factory Five Racing (FFR)? First of all, the kits offered by FFR are replicas of rare and/or hard or impossible-to-find and/or acquire vehicles. Additionally, the parts are new and are designed to work together, so it’s like assembling a Lego set for a gearhead.
Located in Mendon, Massachusetts, SMG Motoring’s owner, Freddy Simmons, was looking for a different kind of patron for his shop and had a good idea of how to lure them in. “We’ve been stuck with customers that tried to work on their own cars and screwed them up worse than the original damage, so we were always fixing problems like that. What we really want are full custom builds, which is a different type of customer. We needed to take the next step in advertising the abilities of our shop, so we decided to go all-out, full-custom on Factory Five’s ’35 Hot Rod Truck.”
Simmons had some previous experience with Factory Five Racing’s replica cars and was happy with the result. “Years ago, our first shop project was a prototype FFR ’33 Hot Rod with an all-steel body that we called ‘Magnetic.’ That car was fun to build, so we felt FFR’s new ’35 Hot Rod Truck would be fun, too.”
Like many custom builds, they tend to “speak” to the builder and sometimes plans change over the course of a project. “Way before we started, we had decided on the color red with a supercharger hanging off the side of the engine,” Simmons said. “Once we established the foundation was going to be the Hot Rod Truck, we thought it was going to be flowing full fenders all around. As we stood around staring at the incomplete body without fenders, we realized how much meaner it looked. It didn’t take us long to remove them from the project altogether.”
If a vehicle’s fenders have been nixed, the wheels and tires had better make a statement. Simmons and crew quickly came up with a winning solution for the spartan truck: wide Rocket Racing wheels and fat NT05 max performance Nitto tires for a large contact patch, precise and responsive handling and a look that screams “hot rod.” The 18x9-inch front wheels were shod with a pair of NT05 275/40R18s and the rear 18x12-inchers hold a set of NT05R 315/40R18s.
Between the front frame tubes, they stuffed an all-aluminum 5.7 LS1 and a ProCharger P1X supercharger. With their in-house dyno, they tuned and tweaked the engine and power-adder to produce 546rwhp. “The truck weighs about 2,600 pounds ready to drive; it’s lots of fun on the road. Stab the gas pedal at any speed, and it spins those huge Nittos in the back. It’s like tire spin on demand,” Simmons said.
Only time will tell if this truck will attract the customers they’re looking for, but it certainly caught the eyes of us at Driving Line, so there’s a good chance other people will notice it, too. “While I’d love to keep it as a shop truck, we want it out there in the real world to help us get exposure, so we have to sell it,” Simmons said. “Our next build plan is a little different and involves a ’76 Chevy Nova with a sinister look. No Factory Five builds are planned right now, but I know we’ll do another one in the future.”
Specs: Factory Five Racing ’35 Hot Rod Truck “Pressurized”
|Owner/Hometown:||Freddy Simmons (SMG Motoring)|
|Engine:||5.7 LS1 all-aluminum with ProCharger P1X Supercharger|
|Drivetrain:||GM4L65 Transmission four-speed Overdrive, 8.8 Ford rearend|
|Exterior:||One-piece roll pan and one-piece bed|
|Suspension:||KONI coilovers and shock absorbers|
|Wheels:||Rocket Racing Wheels 18x9-inch front, 18x12-inch rear|
|Tires:||NT05 275/40/18; NT05R 315/40/18|
|Sponsors:||ProCharger, Dynamic Racing Transmissions, Amsoil and Speedhut|