Classic Pickups Shine at Heartland Car Show


By Tim Esterdahl

Each year classic car shows crop up all over the country and while you can find row after row of Corvettes, Mustangs and Chargers at these events, classic pickup trucks are what grab our attention. Especially when you see custom creations like those we found at the 2017 Rock-n-Roll Father's Day Classic Car Show in Gering, Neb. Pulling from five nearby states, this show offered a surprising number of interesting and one-of-a-kind vehicles.

Here are the pickups that stood out to us. photos by Tim Esterdahl

1930 Ford Model A

IMG_3577This 1930 Ford Model A custom tow truck definitely falls in the unique category. It is the definition of a custom truck, sporting diamond-plated steel incorporated into the truck. Among its many features are an L82 350 Chevrolet Corvette motor, a 12-inch cab extension, rear-hinged doors, splash aprons and the melding of a tow-truck rear.

IMG_3580The paint work on this truck was simply stunning and turned heads.

IMG_3584Who doesn't love an old tow truck customized with new metal and a brilliant paint job? This truck looks like it just rolled off the assembly line and is ready for work.

Monster Pickup Truck

IMG_3678This monster "Frankenten" truck — a 1967 Kaiser Jeep M715 military truck riding on a 1996 Dodge three-quarter-ton 4x4 chassis with an 8.0-liter V-10 engine (see photo at top of page) — was a show highlight. Built for the Cheyenne Wheels for Charity, the truck was won on a $25 raffle ticket. It was a smorgasbord of goodies and unique build items kept our attention for a long time. A custom rear bumper, dual chrome exhausts and the chains on the tailgate along with the blending of orange and matte black paint perfect the look of a strong and powerful off-road truck. If only Jeep had built these back in the day, we would be talking about it rather than old Ram 2500 Power Wagons.

IMG_3665Blending old iron with new bumpers, wheels and suspension is always a fan favorite and this truck really showcased the best of blending these items.

IMG_3670The inside of the cabin wasn't neglected and its simplicity along with clean paint lines really stood out.

1950 Ford One Ton

This 1950 Ford one-ton pickup turned dump truck had more custom touches than we can list. Highlights included the hand-built dump box, hand-built running boards and an interior roof console with 12-volt and USB chargers. The dump box hydraulics were bought as a kit and then the owner fabricated the bed, including moving the whole bed outward to accommodate the nearly 90-degree tilt.

IMG_3695Owner Randy McDonald told us he bought the hydraulic bed kit and then built his own bed. One of the unique things is the bed moves out and then starts tilting to clear the rear bumper.

IMG_3700Wood running boards complement the bed and front bumper, completing the unique look. Painted in a unique two-tone color combination, the truck really looks sharp and McDonald's attention to detail shows.

1985 GMC/Chevrolet Pickup?

IMG_3718One of the more unique custom pickups at the show, this was a combination GMC and Chevrolet build. The owner bought the 1975 GMC truck from behind a barn in Wyoming and drove it home. Next, he put in a big-block Chevy 454 engine and swapped the rusting cab for a cab from a 1936 Chevy pickup. Then he built it to be a high-speed off-road racer. Reinforcing this plan are doors that are attached by simple threaded bolts. The owner did this because he doesn't use the doors when he drives it and it is easier to pop them off this way.

IMG_3726This pheasant hood ornament reflects the owner's love of hunting.


No door pins, no problem. These doors are rarely on.

IMG_3729Finishing off the look is a simple flatbed placed on top of the old bed from the 1975 GMC. Nothing fancy was needed when the truck was rebuilt to tear up the dirt and not haul hay.



@papa--Happy reading.

GM Extends Plant Shutdown to Rein In Supply
Jul 17, 2017

General Motors has extended a shutdown at the Michigan factory that builds the new Chevrolet Bolt electric car as part of a broader effort to get control of bulging inventories of unsold vehicles in the United States.

GM's vehicle inventory in the United States hit a 10-year high in June at 105 days supply.


GM is cutting production at other plants to work down what Automotive News calculated as a 126-day supply of passenger cars as of July 1.

GM has extended summer vacation shutdowns at three other North American assembly plants. The assembly plant at Lordstown, Ohio, that makes the Chevrolet Cruze and a plant near Kansas City, Miss., that produces the Malibu sedan both have three additional weeks of downtime. An assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario, will be idled for two extra weeks to reduce inventories of the Chevrolet Impala large sedan.
Source: Fortune via Google


No offense, Jeff, but I don't think this is your strong suit. The present stock market has low volatility, breathtaking momentum and the energy is there for additional expansion.

The auto industry cycles through these flush periods each year. The CEO at GM has been through this for decades. She's done it before.

The new guy at Ford? Not so much, he came from completely outside the auto industry. The last Ford CEO saw the stock's price go down 35 percent during his time at the helm. The good news for Ford is their share price is up nicely since the new guy joined back in May. The bad news? No experience in the auto industry.

@papa--Sorry papa. I mostly agree with you, but my crystal ball is not predicting any big gains in the stock market for GM. GM came up with some silly idea about increasing production to inventory levels that are the biggest in 10 years during a time when sales are down. Consumer confidence in GM right not is not so hot and GM is going to be hitting some stiff headwinds with this new inventory overload idea. Dealers want to load up their lots with 2018 Silverados like they want a hole in the head.

Dealers want to load up their lots with 2018 Silverados like they want a hole in the head. Posted by: Jeff | Jul 18, 2017


Can you cite a source for the above comment? I'm not sure I disagree but how about some specifics...

The comments to this entry are closed.