In my eyes everything needs to be chopped, but being that Justin is 6-foot, 4 inches, and plans to log hours behind the wheel, he was reluctant to chop and sacrifice driveability. What we settled on was a chop to suit both of us. I began by removing the cap from the truck and eliminating the driprail. Then, I cut 1 1/2 inches from the front of the A-pillars to bring the windshield’s top line even with the top edge of the side glass. From there 3/4 inch was sliced from the rear of the cap. Next, the top’s windshield overhang was removed from the front of the cap so it could be pulled down to match the cut A-pillars, which created a smooth transition from glass to metal. When it was all said and done an inch was shaved out of the rear, 3 1/2 inches from the front, the contour and glass lines of the roof now reside on an even keel, and the doors, B-pillars, and structure of the A-pillars were never touched!

Although the outside of the truck screams ’50s custom, what lies beneath is all 21st century. The freshly painted semigloss metallic gray chassis was outfitted with a Total Cost Involved Mustang II crossmember—complete with rack-and-pinion and disc brakes. The newly positioned GM 10-bolt, also equipped with disc brakes, received a TCI Engineering four-link. Sway bars roost at both ends of the chassis, and a RideTech air ride system ensures the truck sits right for whatever duty calls. Power is supplied via a GM LT1 engine situated inside a one-off custom engine compartment fabricated from sheetmetal. Camouflaging the telltale signs of the LT1 is a custom engine cover featuring a Mooneyes’ valve cover with a custom inlay. Power is channeled through a GM 4L60E.

The last major hurdle to overcome was paint. From the beginning Justin was set on blue, so blue it was, yet we couldn’t find a blue that either of us liked, which meant if you want something done right you have to do it yourself. What we settled on is a custom mixed House of Kolor Kandy Oriental Blue I concocted from hours of trial and error! In the end I wound up laying the blue down over a white basecoat, and then sprinkling some diamond dust in the clear. Complementing the brilliant blue is a set of Coker whitewalls and ’57 Cadillac hubcaps. Advanced Plating in Nashville, Tennessee, plated the rest of the chrome adornments.

Growing up admiring the lavish show rod interiors, I had always envisioned something cut from the same cloth. Blue Kandy ground metal inserts covered in Plexiglas is what I kept coming back to. However, Justin stumbled across this killer blue drum set wrap, which went perfect with the truck. Therefore, various interior components, including the dash, door panels, pedals, console—as well as other exterior features—received the wrap/Plexiglass touch. The custom inserts are held in place via blue-jeweled CB radio screws, which Justin found at a truck stop! A ’59 Impala steering wheel mounted atop an ididit column was next. At that point the truck was taken to Mulvane, Kansas, where Walt’s Upholstery covered the entire truck in pearl white naugahyde. Walt kept a simple ratio of vertical to horizontal lines consistent with the upholstery. Along with that a custom insert is present in all panels, including the tonneau cover, headliner, door panels, and more. Lastly, a custom center console designed to mimic the engine cover was installed between the seats. With things wrapped up, all that was in order was to christen the vessel, “Stardust”, and set sail.

Justin Hartman

1955 Chevy Truck

“Stardust” by Star Kustom Shop

Rod & Custom Feature Car

Star Kustom Shop
OH  74331