CC Outtake: 1939 Chevrolet Truck With Twin Toronado V8 Drivetrains – Thank You Stephanie

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Friday 7:15 PM.  Temp: 102° F.  30th Ave Exit of I-5. Headed to the river, for our nightly hike along its cool shady banks to our little (semi)secret swimming hole.

Stephanie: Oooh; look at that cute old truck at the gas station over there. You need to shoot it. 

Paul: I can’t be bothered; I’ve shot a few of those already, and I can already tell it’s anything but original. There’s so many of these old resto-mod trucks sitting on a modern pickup truck chassis. 

Stephanie: Oh, but look at the cute little tiny canoe on the trailer.

Paul: Whatever; I want to get to to the water.

And so I drove on, and made the turn toward Mt. Pisgah. But after a 100 yards or so, something about that truck, which I only saw for a moment from some distance, called to me. Or maybe I felt guilty about the cute little canoe. I made a U-turn, and pulled into the gas station. Good call. 

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I peeled off two shots quickly from far enough away to get the whole rig in, as I could tell they were just about to pull out. As is so often the case when shooting, I was only focusing on getting the shots, not taking the time to really examine the details of the vehicle. As I walked up to it, I did notice that the wheels were a bit different from the usual offset truck wheels, but didn’t look closer. I heard him start the engine, and from the sound emitting from under the hood, I could tell it was a healthy V8. Quite predictable.

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As I stood there, listening to the grumbling engine, I heard another starter motor and another V8 spring to life, but from under the back of the bed. What the? I walked back a few steps, and there under the flatbed was a complete Toronado V8 drivetrain.

Holy shit! That’s totally crazy! Twin Olds V8 engines; all that power for a little truck!

I walked to the cab, looked at the front wheel again, and said:

Twin Toros?

Yup. Take a look through the front grille.

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I quickly jabbed my phone up to the grille, and tried to position the lens to peel off a shot, which I couldn’t tell if it was any good until later. But there it is, the front of another Olds V8. But no radiator in front of it? Hmm. The driver pulled out, with a grin on his face, the two V8s burbling gently, as he revved them barely past idle and glided out and then up another notch or two to get up the hill to back to I-5. A twin-engine vehicle makes a fascinating sound, in stereo. It all happened so fast, in a matter of a few seconds. I should have gotten a video of him pulling out.

This is obviously a very seriously engineered rig, and I’m guessing the radiators for both engines are…somewhere, just not readily visible from the front or side where I stood. Maybe hidden behind that big black cover just behind the cab? If I’d arrived a couple minutes earlier, I would have loved to check it out in more detail.

I’m guessing his gas bill was pretty stiff. Takes some doing, to feed twin Toronado V8s. If they’re 455s, we’re talking over 900 cubic inches (14.8 L). I assume he can’t just run on one engine, as the non-running automatic probably wouldn’t like that.

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I got back to the car and Stephanie asked:

So, are you glad you stopped after all?

Yes!

Did you get a close up of the little canoe?

Sorry, no. I got a bit distracted. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting.

 

(Update: thanks to a link left at a comment, we now know this is a local car (Coburg, OR), and that it was a 25 year-long project. It does have twin 455s, and NO injection, as if that was really needed. And the truck just completed a 3200 mile road trip via old Route 66.  lebanon-express.com