Sinister: 1000HP '56 Chevy Truck
If you read our previous feature story on Snow White, the ’57 Chevy pickup, you would know that Rob Logsdon and his team at Premier Street Rods of Lake Havasu, Arizona are on a roll with producing top-notch custom trucks. Recently, they’ve been working with their sheet metal replacement parts for ’55-’59 GM Task Force trucks, which includes reproduction cabs. In the world of classic restoration or customization, finding rust-free original steel is costly and hard to come by. Unless you are a purest with deep pockets, starting with new pieces is the best solution to building a truck like this.
Producers of both replacement parts and turnkey vehicles, they churned out Snow White and took the world by storm. The truck was immaculate and left fans wanting more. However, they didn’t want to replicate Snow White, so they waited for a new project to intrigue them. When approached by the owner of this ’56 Chevy, the team knew they had found their next project.
New Frame on the Ground
This latest truck was first delivered to Premier with their cab and sheet metal already on it. The plan from there was to make it low, dark and mean. Though it was headed in the right direction with the exterior metal, the outdated and original frame was holding it back. It would have taken countless hours restoring and customizing the tired old frame to plant this truck on the ground, so they decided to start fresh.
Completing the job here is a modern airbagged chassis from the folks of GSI Machine & Fabrication that is kept level at all times with an AccuAir management system. The front of the chassis utilizes an IFS system and rack and pinion steering, while the rear has a parallel four-link with Watts link. Equipped with a set of 14-inch Wilwood disc brakes and an E-Stopp emergency brake system, this foundation makes the truck handle like a modern vehicle.
Better Panels and Bed
As stated before, the exterior is new, giving them a solid canvas from which to work. One misconception with bodywork is that you can simply bolt on new sheet metal and call it a day. This is rarely ever the case, as each panel on a vehicle needs to be lined up together (and modified) so that the gaps between them are even. No two trucks are the same and they each require prep work before receiving paint. After preparing the metal, they decided to give the truck a more aggressive appearance and exaggerated the exterior lines with body filler.
Other modifications included reducing the depth of the bed floor and adding a Mar-K Maple wood to it.
It was further modified to open up with the use of air shocks from Tricky Air Suspension to reveal two pairs of compartments, the Accuair reservoir and fuel cell. Once the body work and modifications were completed, it was covered in Porsche Slate Gray paint. As an added touch, the bumpers and other trim pieces were nickel-plated and brushed for a unique look.
Making this truck an absolute terror on the road is the LSX engine under the hood fit with a Holley high-rise intake and Eddie Motorsports accessory drive kit. As if that wasn’t enough, a pair of Precision 66mm turbos were added, and Brian Macy at The EFI Store tuned the Holley engine management system for maximum performance. Transferring power to the rear end is a rebuilt 4L80E transmission that delivers rotating force to the Currie 9-inch Fab-9 rear end that is equipped with an Eaton Truetrac limited-slip differential and 4.11 gears. The custom exhaust pours spent gasses out the sides of the front fenders to let everyone in the near vicinity know that 1,000hp is readily available.
Inside the cab is a clean and functional interior—much nicer than the farm truck style of the original. They added a set of Dakota Digital gauges and an Ididit steering column with a reproduction ’56 Chevy steering wheel. On the dash is a Custom Auto Sound head unit that controls a Kicker stereo. Also on the dash is a Vintage Air climate control system, keeping everyone inside cool in the Arizona heat. Ron Mangus Interior was tapped to create and upholster the custom door panels, seat and headliner. The interior was then topped off with pieces from Lokar Performance Products for a completed look.
Sinister Wheels and Tires
It’s a known fact that wheels and tires can make or break the look of a completed build. For this truck, the team sought out a set of 20-inch Billet Specialties B-Forged 252 RXL wheels for a sinister yet refined look. As for tires, this truck needed a set with an upscale appeal and capabilities to handle the demands of the wicked power plant. Filling these needs well for this slammed ’56 are meaty 245/40ZR20 and 315/35ZR20 Nitto INVO tires. Not only did these tires meet the specific sizing requirements of the build, but they finish off the look as well.
After the truck was completed, it was taken to Las Vegas for its debut in the E-Stopp booth of the 2018 SEMA Show. There, it was well received and earned a top 10 spot on Truck/Off-Road segment of the SEMA Battle of the Builders. The cherry on the top was winning a coveted GM Design Award for Truck of the Year. The team gave this truck their all and it paid-off in large fashion. Premier Street Rods is continuing efforts and already have plans for 2019 with a follow up build to Snow White to debut at SEMA and a ‘56 Buick to debut at the Grand National Roadster Show. From the details we were told about these upcoming builds, we expect that these vehicles will drop jaws just like this truck.