FROM ALL WORK TO ALL PLAY: The rise of custom pickups

Written by Chris Griggs


1958 Chevrolet 3100

Among the custom pickups set to cross the block at the 47th Annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction is Lot #1358, a 1958 Chevrolet 3100 designed by Ralph Holguin and built by the team at RMD Garage. It will be auctioned on Saturday, January 20.


The American pickup: starting from humble origins as a no-nonsense workhorse with a very practical purpose. The only people that had one were those with a genuine need, like delivering goods for their business or hauling hay on the farm – but as the years went on, perceptions changed. Now, with pickups from Detroit’s Big Three topping America’s best-seller list year after year, it’s safe to say the pickup is more than just a tool to move something big from point A to B.

1956 Ford F-100 Custom Pickup

Also crossing the block on Saturday, January 20, is this 1956 Ford F-100 custom pickup (Lot #1346).

Naturally, as the popularity rose, the custom and hot rod world took notice – and there’s no better example of this than the Barrett-Jackson auction block. For years, highly modified classics like Tri-Five Chevys and muscle cars like Mustangs, Camaros and ’Cudas have been a common sight at auction, rolling across the block touting big-horsepower engines, beefed-up suspensions, custom paint, interiors that would rival a brand-new BMW and hammer prices well into the six figures. However, within the last few years, the pickup has started to bring itself into the same territory, and the 2018 Scottsdale Auction will continue that trend with an offering of some of the best custom pickups around.

1952 Chevrolet 3100 Custom Pickup

This 1952 Chevrolet 3100 Custom Pickup (Lot #1102) will be motoring across the auction block on Friday, January 19.

Let’s start with Lot #1358, a 1958 Chevrolet Apache pickup that embodies the meaning of a custom truck. Designed by Ralph Holguin and built by his crew at RMD Garage, this truck boasts a level of design and execution found in only the best builds. The smooth, streamline look is achieved through body modifications like shaved door handles and trim, tucked-in bumper and flush roll pan, all capped off with a two-tone platinum silver and Shadow Gray paint job. The full custom leather interior features bucket seats, a center console and amenities like power windows, power locks and air conditioning. Powering it is an LS3 with 6-speed manual transmission, mounted in a TCI chassis with coilover suspension. The wood bed has is long gone, replaced with translucent acrylic to show off the custom frame and 4-link suspension.

The Resto-Mod world is about blending new technology with classic style, and Lot #1346 is a perfect example of that. Starting with a lifelong California truck, this 1956 Ford has been transformed in almost every way imaginable. Riding on a custom chassis with Corvette Z06 suspension, its powered by a 5.0 Coyote engine paired with a 6R80 automatic transmission. The exterior is finished in a sleek, gloss gray with black accents on the grille, custom door handles and wheels. On the inside, you’ll find Mustang-style bucket seats with a custom center console in between, and modern-day features like a push-button start.

This 1961 Ford F-100 Custom Pickup

This 1961 Ford F-100 Custom Pickup (Lot #1308.1) will be crossing the block on Saturday, January 20.

Lot #1102 is a 1952 Chevrolet 3100 that’s a perfect blend of old-school and new-school hot rodding. It keeps that classic style with modifications like smoothed and extended running boards, 1932 Oldsmobile taillights, a custom roll pan in the rear and a set of Bonneville-style replica wheels. The new technology is showcased underneath the hood with a 5.3-liter LS engine and 4L60E automatic transmission, while the truck rides on an independent front suspension with air ride all the way around. The inside features a full custom red leather interior, giving great contrast to the sleek black paint.

Ford fans may find Lot #1308.1, a stunning unibody F-100 that was the 2016 Goodguys Truck of the Year, more suited to their tastes. Featured on the August 2017 cover of Street Trucks magazine, the truck’s stock frame was customized using Level 3 front and rear Dropmembers to allow it to lay body using a complete AccuAir E-Level suspension system with a touchpad and WiFi receiver. Powering it is a new custom-painted Ford Racing 5.0-liter Coyote crate engine with a Gearstar 4R70W automatic transmission. A ceramic-coated MagnaFlow exhaust, custom-built stainless-steel fuel tanks and a 9″ Ford rear complete the rolling chassis. Inside the Relicate leather stainless-steel-trimmed cab is a custom center console, dash and headliner – which earned it a Best Truck Interior award at the Detroit Autorama.

With so many great custom trucks on the docket, there’s sure to be one to add to your collection. See the full lineup of incredible No Reserve trucks and other vehicles online HERE.



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