T. John Jerger Jr.'s 1950 Chevy Pickup
(from Volume 23, Issue 271)

story by owner T. John Jerger, Jr., photos by Michael B. Kelly


My love for old cars and trucks began at a young age. My father restored a 1955 T-Bird back in the early 80’s, and from that point forward I had the bug. We would go to local car shows and talk with like-minded individuals about the cars and trucks, their individuality, and the unique touches to each car. It was these very experiences that led me to build my own hot rod.

In 2012 I decided to look for a 1950-1957 Chevy truck. After many months of searching I located a 1950 Chevy 3100 in Lexington, Kentucky. The truck was in a mocked up state, but still had a long way to go. Had I known just how long the build would take I might have thought twice! Kidding aside, the project began with a builder in Kentucky. Some of the body modifications had been performed, while others were done as we progressed with the build.

The body modifications were extensive, but worth the effort. Removing the drip rails was a must, and reworking the hood to add a cowl including 3 cutouts to each side for an extra design element while allowing for more airflow worked out perfectly. The truck also boasts ‘59 Cadillac taillights and standard headlights that were all frenched in for a clean look. In an effort to take the build a bit further the roof was chopped 3-inches, and the bed/frame were modified to tub the truck for more meat under the rear end. Of course, why not go with shaved suicide doors while we were at it! Some of the more subtle changes include; boxing the rear end, deleting the bumpers, shaving the vents/gas cap, and trimming the fenders to allow for a lower stance. We finished off the body work with several coats of 2012 Camaro Orange paint. Before we laid down the clear I decided a few ghost flames on the hood and a ghost chevy emblem on the rear tailgate would be nice touches.

I then had the truck brought down to me in St. Pete Beach, Florida. It was time to turn my sites on the engine. After some back and forth we decided a 383 Stroker was the right power for this beast. We also used a Turbo 400 transmission and a 9-inch Ford rear end. After some failures we settled on the right combination of engine parts. I wanted some bling under the hood so we used all polished parts, including a Vintage Air serpentine system, an electronic fuel injected XFI Eight Stack Inglese System, high output alternator, stainless headers, and custom built x-pipe exhaust system with Borla mufflers.

Now that the engine was complete I decided to revisit the suspension. We started with coil overs, but the ride just wasn’t right. After long discussions with other car enthusiasts I concluded that an air ride system by RideTech would give me the much needed control over ride height, quality, and performance, as well as being able to “drop it like it’s hot” for shows. The suspension wouldn’t be complete without a nice pair of shoes, so Foose Knuckles seemed like the right fit. The front wheels are 18x8 sitting on 26x8.00 R 18 LT Mickey Thompsons and the rear wheels are a staggering 20x14 sitting on 31x18.00 R 20 LT Mickey Thompsons.

Last, but certainly not least, was the interior. I enlisted the help of a local audio shop to complete this task. We started with the middle seat out of a wrecked Astro Van. Then we had to make a decision on the competition sound system, so we decided on Audison components and speakers. There are two 6” mids, two tweeters, and two 10” subs in a custom rear firing enclosure all run by two amps producing 2,000 watts, which is driven by a Samsung tablet. Now that our system was settled it was time to finish the interior. The team custom carved each piece of the interior out of MDF and fiberglass for a custom finish unlike any 1950 Chevy truck I have ever seem. While there were many discussions and creative differences about the design, I think the interior and sound system is spot on.

Although one is never truly done with a hot rod, for now I will just enjoy driving it and showing it. CN