1950 Chevrolet 3100: Give & Take

This 1950 Chevy pickup was destined for perfection until unfortunate events took the dream away from one man, but the persistence of building a legend gave it back to another.

Story: Michael Crenshaw

Photography: Will Stern

If your goal was to one day build a custom vehicle—a goal that was, really, your dream—you would spend countless hours researching, shopping, building and fabricating until you got the perfect mixture of everything you lusted after. Sometimes, though, the tables turn and you’re left with half a project completed that can’t be finished due to life’s circumstances. However, if the final project does meet your expectations, and if you can live with the fact that your name will go on even though your dream might not, it’s all worth it down the line. This 1950 Chevy pickup is that realization.

When Jorge Ledon took the reigns on his dream build, he knew it would be perfect, but when unexpected events diminished the possibility of completing it, he made sure it went into the right hands. “I was building the car for myself, business went kind of crazy and the economy threw me in the gutter,” Jorge reminisces. Before that fateful day, however, Jorge made sure the underpinnings of the car were pure perfection. “Everything was made from love.” A resto-mod love child came to life in the form of a C4 Corvette independent suspension, a 2006 Pontiac GTO’s LS2 motor and a custom frame Jorge built from scratch. The frame and chassis are meticulous, with a peek underneath showcasing the beautiful but subtle dark titanium pearl paint that would reveal the level of detail on this ’50s beauty. The attention to detail is at a compulsive level, with Jorge saying he has in the neighborhood of 700 to 800 photos of the frame and body alone. The Sapele wood (which was shipped from South Africa and cost roughly $1,800) and even the paint are done for a reason. “I really didn’t want to go with a flashy shade, because I wanted everyone to look at the truck, not the color,” Jorge confesses. “You paint that truck yellow and it’s over—everyone looks at the [bright color], and it overwhelms the detail of the car. As for the Sapele wood, it’s supposed to have no imperfections or knots, and it didn’t. It was perfect.”

As the time came to sell the clean Chevy, Jorge had been working on it for roughly two years nonstop, adding six-piston Baer brakes and massive wheels, and altering the body to include five windows as opposed to the original three. With body, frame and chassis completed to the highest standards, it was now time to replicate the same for the interior of the car. Luckily, Miami Chassis and Alignment is known for some of the highest-quality work below the Bible Belt.

“Our customer who received the truck from Jorge came to us with no price limit and said when it’s done, it’s done,” admits Jhulio Tadeo of MC Customs. Building on the immaculacy of the underbody, MC Customs installed an assortment of trick components to set off the interior: a remote push start, a custom steering wheel, kick panels concealing two 6.5-inch speakers each and a custom sub box behind the GTO seats, revealing three ported eight-inch Arc Audio subs. It’s all about the minor details with this ’50s phenomenon.

With more than $150,000 put into this pristine ride, the craftsmanship will live on to tell the story of the men who built it into the opulence you see before you, and even though one man’s dream wasn’t fulfilled, the final vision clearly was.

Spec The Technique:

Year/Make/Model: 1950 Chevrolet 3100

Performance: 2006 Pontiac
GTO LS2; LS front runner; Vintage
Air A/C; Be Cool radiator; TREMEC T-56 6-speed manual tranny; custom-built frame to fit a C4 suspension front and rear; C4 rack and pinion with Flaming River steering column; Baer 6-piston front/rear brakes; MagnaFlow dual exhaust

Exterior: Dark titanium pearl paint; custom front bumper; French front headlamps, shaved door handles; smooth running boards; one-piece front windshield, door glass; custom rear roll pan, exhaust tips; mini tub; African Sapele wood bed

Interior: Full custom leather interior; 2006 Pontiac GTO seats

Ice: Arc Audio KS 300.4, KS 300.2 and four 8-inch subs; custom kick panels; radio delete with iPod cable and volume knob

Wheels/Tires: 20-inch Axiom AX-504 wheels, 20×12 rear, 20×8.5 front; Michelin Pilot Sport tires, 245/50/20