As musclecar enthusiasts, we already have a built-in penchant for old iron. It's the styling, drivelines, mystique, and history that combine to form an emotional magnet with an irresistible tug. That pull is even stronger the older and more unique the vehicle. Ron and Carol Green's '33 pickup is a prime example. In the modern rodder's world-filled with Ford bodies and Chevrolet muscle-a stem-to-stern pre-war Dodge like the Green's is more than a breath of fresh air-it's a veritable hurricane. Of course, not only is the Dodge-powered-Dodge thing downright appealing, the quality workmanship and svelte presentation are, themselves, first-rate assets.
Ron and Carol found the ideal platform from which to build their pure-Dodge rod. The '33 model year represented the first significant makeover of the Chrysler-owned Dodge Brothers light-duty trucks, notably marked by the more graceful fender treatment and sloped grille. When the Greens acquired this truck, it was already heading towards "rodification." Unfortunately (or, perhaps fortunately), the quality of workmanship was way off the mark. With a '40 Ford coupe and two '34 Plymouth rods already in the garage, Ron knew exactly where he wanted to take this truck.
Enlisting the talent of Custom Auto Restoration Services (CARS) in Baraboo, Wisconsin, Ron mapped out the modifications and handed the plans to Tony Bumbar and the crew of CARS (the previous owner had already boxed the frame and dropped in the always-desirable Mustang II IFS and 8-inch rear-axle assembly). Additional suspension and handling work included ECI front disc brakes pumped by a Corvette master cylinder, original-style rear leafs, a Flaming River rack and pinion steering system, and an Ididit steering column. For rolling stock, Ron selected Stockton wheels (15x6 front and 15x8 rear) wrapped in Daytona whitewalls for that true nostalgic touch.
Turning to the body, Ron decided to take a somewhat conservative approach in order to maintain the truck's uncommon profile. Major modifications included filling the top; adding fiberglass fenders and running boards manufactured by Coach & Chassis Works; and installing a custom tailgate, header panel, and bedcover. Coach & Chassis Works was also tapped for the grille and bumpers. Ron again veered from the stock path by adding Snake Eyes headlights and Model A Ford taillights. Wrapping up the exterior is a Dupont Vanilla Shake topcoat accented with subtle pinstriping.
Inside, the Green's '33 pickup continues the conservative modified tack. Custom UltraLeather seats with tan and navy seat inserts and door panels combine with the navy carpet and ivory with gold trim Autometer gauges to deliver a clean and classic look. Ron topped it all off with a Mullins steering wheel and Vintage Air A/C system.
Although the truck is a heart-stealer from any angle, what really tripped our trigger is the fire under the hood. Here Ron opted for a '58 Hemi. The unusual V8 was rated at 315 ci, but Ron wanted a little more "go" built into the mill, so he sent the heads to Performance Heads of Madison, Wisconsin, where they were opened to work with DeSoto pistons. Now the Hemi boasts 341 ci, which is fully taken advantage of thanks to a reground cam, Street Demon carb, Mallory Unilite ignition, Sanderson headers, and 2.5-inch Flowmaster mufflers. Backing it all is a column-shifted GM 700-R4 slush box.
In a hobby full of automotive inbreeding, it's tough to find a street rod that holds close to its origins. It's even tougher to find Dodge rods that fall into this category. Throw an early Hemi into this mix, and you see why Ron and Carol Green's '33 pickup spurs so much excitement. Like we said, it's the real deal.