An all out custom vehicle is something that reflects the personal taste and style preferences of the owner. When someone is doing something from the ground up, and they’re doing a completely custom job, there are no rules. If you want something one way or another, you just do it. You don’t ask permission, you don’t make concessions, you make things how you want.
That’s absolutely the case for Bill Demaray of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and his 1936 Chevrolet pickup. Bill has had his truck for a relatively short amount of time when compared to some of the folks we talk to, but that is no indicator that he doesn’t have as much or more sweat-equity built into his project. “I bought the truck over 5 years ago on Craigslist locally,” Bill explained. “The old fellow got it out of California, but just didn’t want to go ahead with the build.”
Bill bought the truck because the while original grill was there, the windshield crank still worked, and the cowl vent as all there as well. “It looked like it had originally been built in the 1960’s as it had a 1955 Chevrolet front suspension and differential,” he said. “I considered rebuilding that front end but wasn’t comfortable with the way it had been mounted and desired more modern handling.” With that, he cut the original frame-rails that had been modified for the ’55 front end and made new rails to fit a new TCI crossmember.
The previous owner had installed a 4-link rear suspension system with coil overs that he decided to keep, a decision that would end up haunting him down the road. From there, he boxed the original frame rails and added a receiver hitch. “It is a pickup,” he explained. “You need to be able to pull a trailer.” He also replaced the differential gears with Yukon 3.55:1 positraction gears.
The door posts were so bad that he decided he wanted to suicide the doors. He searched and found a setup from a company called Scissor-Doors in New Brunswick, Canada. “They were great to work with as they had never made them for this narrow a door,” he explained. “They really listened to my concerns, and worked to make them exactly as needed.”
He also added another significant custom touch with the integrated visor. “I have never been fond of the bald forehead look of early pickups and wanted a visor, but not a bolt-on visor,” he said, “I wanted to create one that looks like it is part of the roof as it might have come from the factory.” With that he worked with a local shop, Outlaw Kustoms, and they got it put together just right.
The drivetrain on this awesome truck lives up to the classic vibe that Bill was working towards. He got an Oldsmobile rocket 324 cubic-inch engine from a friend that had restomoded a ’55 Oldsmobile Holiday. “When I bought the truck I envisioned an 60’s flavor build,” he explained,“So called him and acquired the original Oldsmobile Rocket 324 which another friend helped me rebuild.” He then found a new-old-stock Offenhauser 3-deuces manifold for the Olds’ Rocket engine and mounted a trio of 9Super7s on it with progressive linkage. He also had to design and fabricate all of his own brackets for the motor accessories like the A/C compressor, alternator, and power steering pump.
Bill then installed the T5 5-speed manual transmission in the truck out of an ’88 Chevy S10 using a bell housing and hydraulic clutch conversion from Wilco in California. He also had custom headers made by Wilson Header Manufacturing in Roswell, New Mexico.
The truck finally came together and was drivable in time for the 2017 Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, California, where he entered in the Suede Palace. That’s when the old rearend linkage came back to bite him. The geometry was off and it was shaking and rattling itself to pieces. “When one of the coil-overs fell off I knew I had to rebuild it fixing the geometry,” he explained. “Now it rides very well and with the independent front suspension the little trucks drives and handles really nice. It has become the regular driver I envisioned when I started the build.”
Bill reached out and told us about his awesome, All Out Custom truck. We’re serious, we want to see more, so if you’ve got a custom hotrod, ratrod, or cruiser that you’d like to show off, shoot us an email and we’ll talk. Do you have something more conventional? Send it in for consideration as a Street Feature!