Chris Pates’ 1956 Chevy Truck
Anyone who’s worked on multiple cars of a certain era – 1955-57 Chevys, for example – quickly develops a sense of what pieces are interchangeable between years and even corporate relatives. Tri-Five Chevy people know that many parts are the same for all three years. And Tri-Five Pontiac enthusiasts know their Pontiacs share many parts with same-year Chevys.
So, when Chris Pate set out to build his 1956 Chevy truck, he knew that he wasn’t limited to ’56-only pieces. The cab is from a ’59 Chevy (’55-’59 cabs are the same), fenders and hood are ’56 pieces, and the flipped-and-tucked front bumper is from a ’55 pickup. Add a grille bar from a ’53 Chevy sedan and you can see how Chevy siblings aided this build.
Chris is the owner of Mobile Toys Inc. and his journey with this truck began when one of his customers ran out of money. Along with a couple of friends Chris decided to take over the project. The finished product is the result of teamwork that involved Chris’s team, Alamo Customs of Alvin, Texas, Drops R Us, and various suppliers.
The Alamo Customs team performed the 200-plus body modifications, including installing the grille insert, dropping the body over the No Limit Engineering chassis, installing the Cadillac taillights in the Apache bed sides, adapting a ’56 Chevy car bumper to the rear of the truck, creating the stunning bed floor, and forming the custom engine compartment panels. They also applied the custom-mixed candy and Champagne PPG paint.
Hidden under those custom engine panels is an LT4 crate motor nestled in the No Limit Engineering Big Ten chassis, which incorporates Ridetech front and rear suspension components. A Magnaflow exhaust system guides the waste gasses. Wilwood brakes handle the stopping chores and are mounted behind 22×9- and 24×14-inch Savinni wheels wrapped in Nitto tires.
The interior received the same full-custom treatment as the body. A custom sheet metal dash houses an iPad that controls all the necessary monitoring and control tasks. A Painless Wiring system connects the electrical components. A Billet Specialties steering wheel sits on an ididit column.
Chris’s MTI shop designed and constructed the custom seats and handled all of the upholstery needs utilizing Relicate leather. A Vintage Air system keeps the truck cool in the summer. MTI also installed the audio system.
Trucks and Texas have had a strong relationship for generations, and this Chevy certainly helps to maintain that connection with a one-of-a-kind custom twist.
Photos by John Jackson