Premier Street Rod Shop Tour

Road Trip for Chevy Task Force Truck Parts

By “Rotten” Rodney Bauman   –   Photography by the Author

Coming from an era when auto parts, truck parts, and even hot rod parts changed hands eye-to-eye across a knowledgeable storekeeper’s counter, I can’t help wanting to continue doing business that way. Old-fashioned as it may be, that type of personalized service does still exist for those of us who are willing to drive somewhere for it.

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Read More: How To Square A ‘52 Chevy Truck Frame

01 a 67 72 and a 47 53 available in the parts department at Premier Street Rod
As their specialty, Premier Street Rod manufactures GM-licensed ’47-53, ’55-59, and ’67-72 Chevy truck cabs, as well as ’69-72 Blazer bodies. Here in the parts department we see a pair of finished cabs available (a ’67-72 and a ’47-53) as our shop tour is about to begin.

At our shop in Montana, our only customer job (the same ’55 Chevy Task Force) is for the most part in the paint department. At the time of this typewriting, however, we’re experiencing a particularly bitter winter. Since our paint booth draws in outside air, it’s not the best time for us to be painting. To keep the build moving through our Montana cold snap, there’s something else we ought to think about.

02 57 Chevy build on a lift at Premier Street Rod a company known for its award winning construction service
Routinely winning big awards for doing so, Premier Street Rod provides complete turnkey construction service plus they’re available to assist with any phase of your build. Up on this lift, a ’57 Chevy build deserves a closer look.

To this point there’s been little attention paid to the project truck’s rearward sheet metal. Providing you’ve been with us, you may have noticed that we tend to spend way too much doggone time repairing original body panels. This time, that won’t happen, as the original bed and rear fenders are beaten up to the point where we wouldn’t even consider salvaging them.

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03 uniform gaps on a Premier Street Rod cab demonstrating the company s dedication to precision and quality
Although the Premier Street Rod cab and its surrounding body panels are all new reproduction components, uniform gaps must still be worked for. In this instance “good as new” won’t be good enough. Does anyone clearly recall the gaps of an Oakland-assembled Task Force Chevy? This’ll be an understatement, but those never did fit.

Since it’s too cold here for paintwork anyway, it might be a good time to get serious about rounding up the reproduction parts we’ll need to continue our build. By doing so now, we’ll gain the ability to continue without future delays.

Read More: Distinct Duo: Aguilar Brothers’ Project Trucks

04 a Chevy Task Force hood with tapered gaps modified at Premier Street Rod for a better fit
From the Oakland plant, Chevy Task Force hood gaps tapered down toward the front. Left alone, those gaps don’t look right, but this hood has been narrowed at its forward edges to compensate.

We know we’ll need an entire new short bed assembly, complete with the wood bed kit and rear fenders. We’ll also need new bumpers and brackets. In addition, the project truck’s owner is stepping up for a number of smaller bits; like a stock-type rear license bracket/light assembly, a new steering wheel with its horn button and contact plate, a left outside mirror arm, and an interior sun visor board to boot.

05 showcasing the rounded corners and uniform panel gaps on a truck s cowl and doors at Premier Street Rod
Rounded corners are nice touches for this truck’s cowl and doors. According to Chevy Task Force shop manuals, 3/16-average panel gaps were once acceptable. Today at Premier Street Rod, gaps end up uniform and tolerances run tighter.

Now, we’ve already talked about driving somewhere for that old-fashioned eye-to-eye type of personalized service that was once considered the norm, for me there’s even more to it. I’d like to save my patient customer (turned-friend) the shipping expense.

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06 a 47 53 Chevy cab being assembled at Premier Street Rod featuring 18 gauge steel panels
Here on its fixture we get to watch as a ’47-53 Chevy cab comes together. Like all Premier Street Rod cabs, this one’s panels are proper 18-gauge steel; in the end it’ll have more spot welds than the OE version from GM.

For reproduction Task Force sheet metal we don’t have a source within easy driving distance of our shop in still-chilly Montana. Meanwhile, out in Arizona, Lake Havasu is nice this time of year. Since we’re also quite curious to see how brand-new Chevy truck cabs are made, we’ve placed our entire parts order with Premier Street Rod.

Read More: C10 Nationals Texas 2023

07 a 55 59 cab s panels in the early stages of assembly at Premier Street Rod
In another section of the facility we see a ’55-59 cab in its earliest beginnings. These panels will be assembled on another fixture built specifically for this type of cab.

Owned and operated by Rob, Kerry, and Ross Logsdon, Premier Street Rod is a family business. With a talented team of craftsmen onboard, it’s a busy shop in all departments. For our own rather large parts order we dealt with front man Butch via telephone as well as onsite in-person. It’s always nice when things go according to plan. As a bonus, even though our business concluded late on a Friday afternoon, we do have the following shop tour to share.

08 a 67 72 Chevy cab being assembled on a specific purpose fixture at Premier Street Rod
In this corner yet another specific-purpose fixture is employed to locate and secure these panels, which will become a ’67-72 Chevy cab.
09 a 69 72 Blazer body being constructed on a large fixture at Premier Street Rod a favorite among off road enthusiasts and classic Chevy Blazer restorers
Here on a considerably larger fixture a ’69-72 Blazer body is born. Premier Street Rod Blazer bodies have quickly caught on with off-road enthusiasts as well as restorers of classic Chevy Blazers.
10 a 69 72 Blazer body being constructed on a large fixture at Premier Street Rod a favorite among off road enthusiasts and classic Chevy Blazer restorers
In the paint booth another Blazer body’s prepped steel panels have just received an application of primer. In another section of the facility an identical body is being crated for shipment.
11 a Blazer body being shimmed to fit a customer s OE chassis at Premier Street Rod
On this lift yet another Blazer body gets shimmed to fit a customer’s OE chassis. This can be frustrating work for the novice do-it-yourselfer. For the fitment experts at Premier Street Rod it’s a pretty routine procedure.
12 a 47 53 cab receiving detailed finish bodywork in a separate section of the Premier Street Rod facility
For sanding dust management, finish bodywork takes place in a separate section of the main building. Here a ’47-53 cab receives TLC as its seams are massaged to uniform fairness. Beginning with fiber-reinforced polyester, these panel transitions will be far smoother than the lumpy leaded seams of yore.
13 heavily modified 58 59 short fleetside bed in finish primer surfacer at Premier Street Rod
Over here in finish primer-surfacer, a ’58-59 short fleetside bed is heavily modified. It’s tubbed to accommodate Premier Street Rod meat and it’s slated to bring up the rear of a rather radical ’57 Chevy build.
14 full custom 67 big window C10 build with a Chevrolet Performance LS3 engine at Premier Street Rod
Although we’ve come to Premier to pick up our parts order, and of course snag this little shop tour story, this full-custom ’67 big-window C10 build deserves some mention. With a Chevrolet Performance LS3 engine lurking beneath its pancaked hood, it’s already a stunner just mocked up here in primer.
15 custom front bumper assembly on a vehicle at Premier Street Rod
Check out the custom front bumper assembly. Trimmed and tucked in tightly, it no longer resists surrounding bodylines.
16 rear bumper assembly on a vehicle at Premier Street Rod demonstrating the company s attention to detail
Out back, the rear bumper assembly has received similar attention. Would anyone prefer a diamond-plate step bumper? We really didn’t think so.
17 loaded pickup truck at Premier Street Rod with reproduction sheet metal left in stock for customers
This late in the day, it’s getting close to quitting time—and we’re also low on film. Our borrowed pickup truck is loaded, but we’ve left some reproduction sheet metal in stock for you.
18 cherry OE cabs known as cadaver cabs at Premier Street Rod used as models for their reproduction cabs
On the way out the door we had to ask about these cherry OE cabs. According to Premier Street Rod’s Kerry Logsdon, they’re “cadaver cabs.” Some were used as models for their reproduction cabs. So, what about the ’73-and-up Squarebody cadavers? Stay tuned!

Source
Premier Street Rod
(800) 447-5000
info@premierstreetrod.com

Click on this issue’s cover to see the enhanced digital version of Premier Street Rod Shop Tour.

ctp september 2023

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