West Coast Classics are proud to present an absolutely exceptional Pro Street modified and boxed one off custom example of this 1957 Chevrolet Cameo 1/2 ton Pick Up Truck with a built 383 stroker blown engine with reportedly over 650HP which is obviously ridiculously powerful for this truck so beware! The truck is mated to a custom built Turbo 350 with AUX trans cooler automatic transmission with a B&M ratched floor shifter, Ford 9" rear end, 4 wheel power disc brakes, power steering, power windows, power locks, remote doors, power antenna, custom leather & tweed seats, 17" Custom Boyd Coddington Performer Billet chromed wheels on both sides with hidden valve stem inside of wheels, Vintage AC, Heat & defrost, custom radiator, custom air cleaner, solid Oak bed, arch leaf suspension with custom heavy duty Firestone air bags with remote fill by Allpro, 2 X 12V batteries, custom gauges & steering wheel; just a beautiful and unique and completely customized and painted by one of the most respected artists in the industry in Black with 'Indian Tribal' graphic flames and yet an instantly recognizable example of the legendary Cameo Pick Up with wraparound rear window and only very few miles since being restored and reportedly previously owned by a legend in the industry and in any case a very well known and high profile show truck!
According to 'Truck Builder' magazine, which profiled this truck in 2005, this truck had been rumored to have been owned by the legendary Boyd Coddington, but please note that we have not confirmed this ourselves. Regardless, the truck was later taken by it's then owner Gil Palmer, to his friend Terry Belzenye, a noted rod & custom builder for some 40+ years at 'Specialized Street Rods' of Huntington Beach, CA. Over the next 12 months the two friends completely rebuilt the truck and turned it into a show winner and the supreme head turner that it remains today!
The stock frame was modified by 'Specialized' to accommodate a Volare front clip to handle the power of a blown 383 Chevy engine. The Volare (out of a '67 wagon) was positioned to drop the truck 5" and came with 4 wheel power disc brakes and power rack-and-pinion steering. A custom remote power steering unit was used and the custom designed brake system features a vacuum brake tank. 'Specialized' added a set of 'Fatman' dropped spindles and then mounted 17" Coddington chrome billet wheels and Nitto 225/50/R17 tires. The rear end is a Ford 9" with 4.11 gears with positraction and a Detroit Locker Softlock connected to Alston ladder bars. Rear wheels are also 17" Coddington's (by the way they are chromed on both sides!) with 255/50/R17 Nitto tires.
The engine compartment was completely detailed before the powerplant was then dropped between the framerails, a 383 stroker Chevy engine with a big 'Mooneyham and Sharp' 6:71 blower supercharger, built by one of the most famous hot rod shops of all time, 'Blair's Speed Shop' in Pasadena, CA. To handle the estimated 650HP, Blair's used a steel Eagle stroker crank and H-Beam steel Eagle rods. Pistons are custom Ross units with Xtreme rings. Aluminum heads with a custom valve job contribute to the low 8:1 compression ratio that's needed for this big boost combination. A Comp Cams camshaft (0.515 lift with 248/257 duration) is driven by a gear drive. Two Holley 650 double pumpers supply the air/fuel mixture. 'Street & Performance's' serpentine belt system was used and it even drives the Vintage Air conditioning system. The truck also has a heater and defrost and a custom emergency brake. A premium sound system with AM/FM/CD is located under the passenger front seat with remote control, 2 side speakers, & 2 Boom Box speakers behind the rear seat.
A custom machined air cleaner and a set of built headers and Magna flow mufflers were used to help control the sound of this beautiful beast. The custom exhaust front to rear is completely jet coated. 3.5" Electric cutouts from Doug's Headers allow for uncorked cruising where applicable and are controlled from a switch on the dash. The transmission is a 700R4 with overdrive built by the 'Toy Shop' in Pomona, CA and 'Art Carr's California Performance Transmissions' custom built the B&M Mega Ratched floor shifter controlled and used a 3,000 stall speed convertor. A B&M transmission cooler keeps things at operating temperature. Gil also had a Gear Vendors under/overdrive installed so he could cruise, despite the 4.11 gears.
This engine and drivetrain combination was built to be both supremely powerful yet manageable on the street. There's no overheating worries and maybe the custom made aluminum radiator from 'Mattsons' in Stanton, CA is part of the reason! Nothing too wild was done with the body, but a few nice touches by 'Specialized' enhanced it immensely. First the driprails were removed, and that's no easy task! Then the doors were radiused, the reverse-opening hood was bolted on, a billet grille was installed and a custom core support was fabricated. The body was filled with no trim, a built smooth filled firewall & inner fender wells and bumpers and a third brake light were added. Jag style headlights were mounted inside the '55 front end buckets. The paint was completed at the renown 'Autocrafters' in Torrance, CA with a base Black with master painter Rick Leos and Eduardo 'Lalo' Hernandezcompleting the wild custom 'Indian Tribal' flames. The custom hood opens in reverse and was engineered by 'No Limit Engineering'. A custom 16 gallon gas tank has been installed under the bed with a fill through floor mechanism. The fiberglass bed of the truck with a custom tailgate has a solid oak wood floor that was left over from the 1906 San Francisco Fire which is coated with high gloss polyurethane. A custom bed cover with locking mechanism is by 'Gaylord' protects it and is painted to match.
For the interior 'Fiber Tech' in Huntington Beach were hired and they opted for BMW ultra soft leather in Black with Tweed upholstery by 'Touch of Class' for the seats and a custom made headliner and all interior wells were filled ground smoothed. A Flaming River steering column to give the driver a lot of adjustability was topped with a Flaming River steering wheel wrapped in leather. The dash was customized by 'Specialized' with a bevy of Auto Meter gauges installed. The wiring was completely redone with 'Quickwire' products with all connections soldered for ultimate reliability and labeled and with the fuse panel relocated behind the rear seat for easy access. The glovebox remained functional and the entire floor was covered with a heatshield to keep the cab cool. The windows and antenna are power and the doors handles have been shaved and are electrically opened by remote control as are the power locks and the custom light system under the hood. The truck has 2 x 12 volt batteries. The main battery powers the ignition system. The housing was custom built and is located under the floor of the passenger seat. The auxillary battery powers all other electrical units and is custom mounted under the undercarriage on the passenger side. Both batteries are charged automatically by an isolator and a CTek charger that automatically keeps both batteries fully charged. There is also a custom hidden hitch behind the rear license plate and there are two hidden kill switches.
By the year 1955 Chevrolet was at the pinnacle of designs for all American pick ups. Their models had beautiful sculpted fenders and door panels with low hoods and stylish egg crate grilles. They also boasted wraparound windshields and were loved for being both practical and stylish at the same time. The '55 Cameo set a new level of glamour and was designed to attract attention whilst still being a practical and rugged pick up. The Chevrolet Cameo carrier and it's cousin the GMC Suburban carrier were built from 1955-59. The unique styling came from flat fiberglass panels and this sleek look is still a pattern for today's pickups. The Cameo had a sculpted fender and a front end that was similar to the Chevy cars built at that time. To many the 1957 models represent the pinnacle of the Cameo design before the introduction of the quad headlamp model in 1958. Only 2,240 Cameos were produced in 1957 and by '57 Chevy now offered the combination of the widest color selection (in 1955 they were only available in 'Bombay Ivory' with a commercial Red stripe). These rare '57 Cameos are now some of the most sought after and collected of all 1950's pick ups.
This '57 Cameo Pick Up truck is a true one off and a super striking and unique custom built Pick Up with a no expense spared investment from the titans in the industry and a truck that would not be out of place in the very finest of collections. The truck was featured in 'Truck Builder' magazine in December 2005 and was also selected to be in the 'Grand National Roadster Show' in January 2006 where it won 'Best of Show' for 'Best Custom Truck'. Since then it has been reportedly garage kept in climate controlled facilities with only very few carefully driven miles and shows exactly as good as it did back then.