That’s why a Chevrolet Performance Ram Jet 350 sits under the hood of the blue 1942 Chevy pickup his shop brought to the 2018 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Clearly, he was onto something, as General Motors honored the custom vehicle with a Chevy SEMA Design Award for Classic of the Year as the vehicle sat in the Axalta booth. In Posey’s own words, he was “pretty stoked.”
“The biggest thing that they really liked about it was the attention to detail and the fit and finish of the truck,” Posey said. "It’s a ’42, it’s not a body style that’s built very often. They really complimented us all in taking what was a less desirable Chevy truck and making it appear to be a really desirable one. Everything flows and everything fits.”
His favorite part of the build is a trim piece around the grill that didn’t come from the factory, but that he believes finished off the vehicle properly.
The truck isn’t all about looks though, as Posey wanted to give the truck the hot rod treatment in the engine compartment as well.
“We were wanting to go down more of a traditional hot rod path with this truck and so there’s nothing more traditional hot rod than a 350 Chevrolet,” he said about the Ram Jet crate engine that powers the vehicle.
The Ram Jet is rated at 345 horsepower and makes 396 lb/ft of torque according to Chevrolet Performance. Many of the vehicles that pass through Posey’s shop are equipped with crate engines.
“One of the reasons we use Chevrolet Performance crate motors is you get a warranty with them, and they’re always right,” Posey said. “We’ve never had one that’s come in that we’ve had problems with and there are so many options to get the power range that you’re wanting, whether it’s an LS motor, a 350, a 572, there’s just so many options you can pretty well pick whatever you want for your specific project.”
For this project Posey swapped out the Ram Jet portion for three throttle bodies from AutoTrend EFI, but which are designed to look like a traditional three-deuce carbureted setup.
“It still looks like a ‘42 Chevy truck but it’s just been extremely highly modified,” Posey said. “We really refined the body lines, made the body flow, we custom made the rear fenders with the same highlight lines to match the front fenders. It’s sitting on an Art Morrison chassis and it just rides and drives unbelievably.”
The truck has been in the vehicle owner’s family for decades, who wanted the model year to match the year he was born. It has been a finished street rod truck in a prior life, but it wasn’t until Big Oak Garage got involved that the owner truly found what he was looking for.
Next up, Posey and Big Oak Garage are building a ‘57 Chevy featuring a 572 crate engine featuring EFI and a Magnuson supercharger.
It’s apparent that the shop’s builds often feature classic style and modern power. Based on this year’s SEMA Show, that’s a winning combination.