Building the Goodguys Giveaway ’85 Squarebody – Part 3
So far, the coverage of the Goodguys Grand Prize Giveaway Squarebody ’85 Chevy pickup has focused on this trick truck’s foundation and mechanicals. We’ve shown you the Roadster Shop Slammed SPEC frame, the potent LT1 crate engine from Pace Performance, the Gearstar 4L65E transmission, and the wide range of support components and other pieces coming together at Goolsby Customs in Alabama.
This month we’re going to focus on one of the things the Goolsby Customs team does best: custom metalwork. While the Eric Brockmeyer rendering of the truck doesn’t incorporate major mods, the truck will have a number of subtle updates to make it a distinctive custom cruiser. Couple that with some needed repair and alterations to accommodate other custom parts – like slicing the bed floor to fit the Slammed SPEC chassis – and there were plenty of metal modifications to be made.
Fortunately, Goodguys has LMC Truck on board as one of the truck’s sponsors. The company’s expansive range of truck parts includes a full selection of replacement sheet metal for 1973-87 Chevy and GMC trucks – and full advantage was taken from those offerings. A literal truckload of truck sheet metal was delivered to Goolsby Customs – everything from a replacement hood to the complete bed assembly (side panels, floor, etc.) so the Goolsby team could construct a new short bed to replace the original long bed assembly.
Most enthusiasts realize that even seemingly simple procedures like replacing a hood require a certain level of skill, especially when the goal is to have precise, show-quality gaps and fitment. In other words, the Goolsby team still invested a lot of time and care when assembling and fitting both the stock and replacement parts onto the body. The custom fun came in the form of small touches like a filled fuel filler door, custom firewall panel, filled top seam, custom transmission tunnel, narrowed bumpers, and custom inner fenders – construction of which was shown last week HERE.
Some of the more substantial body modifications were to the bed floor and wheel tubs. With the large step on the rear of the chassis tucking the rear axle up high, the bed floor needed to be either raised completely or stepped to match. The Goolsby team opted for a step. This involved cutting a large section out of the middle of the floor, splitting that section into thirds (two inclines and a flat top) and welding it all back together in precise alignment. The wheel tubs then had to be raised, extended, and modified to fit. It was a lot of work, but the Goolsby crew made it look easy.
Additional body mods included filling the original door handle holes to prepare for the billet aluminum Pro Edge door handles from BBT Fabrications, which included upgrading to new late-model electric door latches, too. While the different body modifications were being completed, the team also got busy with panel alignment and the hours of fine tuning required to get everything fitting as it should. As different portions of the metalwork and prep processes were completed, the various body panels and sections could be rolled into the paint booth so high-build primer could be applied, setting the stage for the hours of block sanding required for a flat, smooth finish. We’ll dig into that more next month.
Photos by Goolsby Customs