Truck of the Month
A '52 CHEVY THAT CAN HAUL— AND THEN HAUL ASS, TOO!
John Wempe's '52 Chevy 3100
Like many, John Wempe developed a love for classic cars at a young age. He was mesmerized by the style, intrigued by the body lines, and when his father gifted him a '68 Bug to use as transportation to and from school, his passion grew even more, which led to the itch for customization. With big dreams and a small paycheck, John remained committed to fixing up his newly acquired Bug, so he applied what he had learned from his grandfather and began teaching himself and within a month the Bug had a new suspension and an upgraded motor.
Unfortunately, his older brother borrowed the Bug one night and totaled it. In need of another vehicle, he was borrowing the family wagon for quite some time when he found a Chevy truck at the dealership. At the time he had no interest in trucks but after picking it up, his passion for classic cars—and now trucks—began to grow and he realized he wanted to build something out of the box.
Along with his best friend, Danny Diaz, the pair set out on a mission to locate a classic truck. They tracked down a '52 Chevy 3100 truck in Kansas City for $1,500. The truck had no motor or transmission but the body was in great condition; whereas the owner of
the truck saw trash, John saw a treasure. After purchasing it, the truck sat for six months while John began saving money to the start build. With his first little chunk, John purchased a Chevy S-10 frame, transplanted it onto the '52, giving him a much stronger support system that was ready to be bolted up to a host of aftermarket parts.
As for the exterior, he wanted to chop the top to give his truck a more streamlined look. Hesitant about cutting the truck, his faith in good friend (and shop owner) Yaril Quintana eased his nerves, so he dropped it off to Yaril Customs where a 3-inch chop was performed. After surgery they decided to add a few more details, including a pair of '37 Ford taillights out back and
'53 Buick headlights up front. Additional bodywork includes widened rear fenders, custom skirts, and extended running boards. After several passes at blocking and straightening the body, Yaril coated the entire truck in a classic '56 Porsche Turkish Red, a color scheme that pops and highlights the exquisite bodywork and custom mods.
Frustrated with the bad gas mileage and fumes emanating from the old Chevy 350, he pulled the motor and had it replaced with an LS motor sourced from a Chevy Silverado. Since his
truck had an S-10 frame, all that was needed to drop in the motor were some custom motor mounts, as well as a new wiring harness, fuel tank, and fuel pump to help support the LS.
Inside, the cockpit was in shambles, and since the roof was chopped it needed to be refined and redone. To begin, Yaril built new seats and panels and then shipped them off to Flipps (Tampa) to be upholstered in distressed dark brown synthetic leather. To complete the interior, a suede headliner was installed along with a '52 Buick dashboard that had to be cut and molded for a perfect fit. To level things out, John decided to go with a newer AccuAir e-Level system with computer-controlled preset levels.
Not used to being flashy or bold, John was left speechless by all the attention the truck received. Deserving, to say the least, the truck is a work of art and a testament to his commitment to follow through, but he also knows that much of this would not have been possible without the support of friends and family, so he’d like to thank his good friends Danny Diaz and Yaril Quintana for everything they were able to help him with. In addition, he’d also like to thank AccuAir, Slam Specialties, Mark-K, and his friends, Leo and Robert.
Chopped and dropped in Porsche Turkish Red.
This floored in Florida 3100 truck carries a 5.3 LS engine.
TRUCK MODEL 1952 3100 BY CHEVROLET