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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For years now I've been meaning to replace the shell on my truck. Circa 1970 vintage it was a piece of junk and didn't offer much gear security, but up to now I've been pretty much just fixxing it as it came apart.

About a week ago I decide to take an evening off, rebuild the hatch on it (...again...something like the third time) this time with a better hinge system.

So I took the hatch off carefully removed the glass, carefully cleaned it, then set it aside. I started drawing out a new frame on some aluminum I had sitting around. When I got a call from an old girlfriend. Invited over for dinner and a few beers by an old girlfreind, there's offers you just can't refuse.

Let's just say I was out for a while.

When I got back to the shop I was in a great mood. Took a few measurements, put a few lines down on some tin then headed over to the tool box for a compass to mark the corners...


You guessed it... I walked straight into the hatch glass that was leaning against the toolroom doorway, which of coarse shattered into a few thousand peices.

After the required cussing I started thinking....well what your going to build now?

Since A never liked the old hatch design to begin with I decided to try something completely differen't.

Here's the truck with the old shell (keep in mind this a tow/work vehicle and it's not pretty)

So that's the starting point.

First off I decided to eliminate the hatch and tailgate and go to double doors. While working out the structure for that I realised the rear needed all new skin, so at that point I decided to re-skin the whole thing.

This is how it works in my shop I start with a small two hour project and turn it into a weeks worth of work :7

So here's what it looks like now:

The only thing that's original on the exterior is the trim strip at edge where t top meets tha back. It was origainally a double clamshell with a plastic strip that hid the screws. It's hard to explain but I cut the strip in half and used it as a half clam shell trim front and back. I just stuck with the original frame, though I did beef it up. The exterior skin is 20 guage the rear door and skin is 16 and twelve guage.

The new windows are 1/4 Ballistic acrylic backed with 16 guage perferated aluminum mesh.

You can see out of it just fine but it's hard to see into it in daylight unless your're right against it.

For a lock set I decided to go with a master Pro series shackless lock. They recomend you use a special bracket for it in automotive use:

Rather then stick one of those on I just built the lock into the door:]

Pretty secure: hard mounted (drill/tapped/ fastned) to the right door on the key side, inset on the connection side. If I ever loose the key I'll have to cut the door apart :7

It's pretty much done. I'm going to pull it back off, even out the finish (surface it) then clear coat it with PPG linear polyurethane clear.

I already like it security wise. It's nice not to have to worry about your gear in the truck.

I guess now I have to paint the truck ;-)

Oh well... it's always something :7


7,160 Posts
Very impressive Jim!

Noooooow . .
It's time to get up, the Sun is almost down.
I have some potential work for you.
Please call me.

Parker 2320 'FloMar'.
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