Over the years, Dave Cubitt has owned many street rods. On many of them he did extensive work to improve and personalize, but he had never built one from the frame up. He had always wanted to do so, something unique with a big engine and manual trans, but never had. Until now. Three years ago, he bought a ‘47 Dodge panel truck from fellow Roamin Angel, Patrick Carr. Patrick had put the front suspension from a Camaro under it, but had not done anything else after deciding it was just too big a project to undertake at that time. So Dave did. Directed by veteran rod-builder Lanny Netz, he and the crew at Lanmark Auto, that included Patrick, went to work. They reinforced the frame to take a heavy V-8 before dropping in a 502 Ramjet big-block Chevy crate engine with a Tremac OD 5-speed trans. Dave considered using a Mopar engine since it is a Dodge, but found a Viper V-10 was too long and the monster 426 Hemi was too wide for the engine compartment, so Chevy it is. A Dutchman Ford 9" rearend with a 3.56:1 ratio moves the heavy truck along quite well and four-wheel 13" Wildwood Hydroboost disc brakes stop it nicely. One of the trickest features of this rod is the hood which raises electrically on a custom-built track system. Even such details as the tail lights were carefully done. Peterbuilt furnished the teardrop units that blended very nicely with the overall look. Above the rear doors, “DODGE” flashes red from letters cut into the body. However this is not yet a finished project. The interior is yet to be upholstered, there is no glass in the windshield, the dash electronics are not installed and much other important work is still to be done. Still, this rod is now born and Dave hopes to have it done for the April car show in downtown Grass Valley. A lot of time and money has gone into this creation, but now Dave can say that he has built a rod from the frame up.
While no paint job is perfect, the Sunset Orange and Cinnamon on Dave’s Dodge is close. Note the matching fender welt. The pink below the hood is paper that prevents paint chipping until rubber bumpers are installed.
The original five-piece hood was welded into one and now stately rises and tilts slightly forward by electric power, thanks to innovative engineering and fine craftsmanship. The big-block engine dominates the compartment.
The classic Dodge Brothers winged emblem is beautifully painted on the side of the truck. Dave has told wife Brenda that the intertwined “DB” represents the two of them. Dave obviously has sales experience.
Story & photos by Ron C. ©2009