1963 Chevy Crew Cab
18 December 2006
From Chad :
This is my ’63 Crew Cab. How’s this for original? "Original" meaning unique not necessarily originally outfitted this way. I understand that there were outfitters that created these trucks. So, just consider me as a modern day outfitter.
It all started in January 2004 as I felt the need to be unique in my choice for a service truck. New trucks are nice but don’t usually get a second look. An older truck would be my choice but a regular cab wouldn’t work for camping or taking more people in the cab. So the next challenge was to find a suitable crew cab.
I am a creator and fabricator so the vision came quickly to build a special truck.
I had the front cab from a ’63 Fleetside long box and the neighbor down the road had a ’60 GMC Fleetside shortbox. I always liked that style of truck even though more attention is given to the ’67-’72 era.
Four wheel drive was a necessity and an independent suspension would also be nice. So I started searching for a donor truck. I picked up a ’94 Chevy Extended cab roll over which suited just fine.
Measuring the two trucks in as many ways possible helped to make decisions as to where the grafting would work best. All the outer sheet metal was removed from the ’94 except for the firewall and floorboards. A similar carve happened to the ’63. The two firewalls were lined up and the ’94 floor was welded to the ’63 rockers. This saved allot of fabrication time because now the whole interior from the ’94 bolted right back in including the steering column, pedal controls, A/C. This also allowed for reusing the original body mounts.
There were slight modifications to the curve of the dash for the windshield, but the width was just perfect. The roof was cut just in front of the rise and the rear cab was positioned at the rear of the ’94 floor and a filler strip was put in. The center hinge pillar and rear doors were the biggest challenge.
At this point, I had seen some crew cab versions of this era truck and noticed that the hinges stuck out of the side of the body. I wanted mine inside and was able to accomplish this but it took allot of time.
The rear doors were made from original front doors but have a hinged window as opposed to a up/down window. Power window motors were added to the front doors.
I wanted to achieve an original look so the fuel filler remained in the stock location but was plumbed to the ’94 tank which has the fuel pump inside. Slight modification to wheel wells were needed to center the wheels. Box sides remained as original short box length but some adaptor plates were needed to use the ’94 steel floor.
This past summer a new original style tailgate was installed to complete the exterior. The interior still needs to be completed but one step at a time.
This short write up doesn’t cover everything but it gives you an idea of what a vision, determination, and 1100 hours of labor can accomplish. The powertrain remains basically stock 350 4L60 from the ’94 except for headers and a 4” exhaust. The ride is very nice but the wind noise is just as it is with these trucks.
This truck is a multiple show winner and attracts allot of attention.
Would anyone be interested in owning it? Maybe it’s for sale. Feel free to email me.
Winkler, Manitoba, Canada