Custom Classic: 1939 Dodge Truck – Ram Tuff with Chevy Stuff (Part 1)


1939 was a significant year in Dodge truck history as it marked the beginning of the 1939-1947 generation that encompassed WWII.  This was the beginning of “Job Rated” trucks from Dodge.  The 1939 Dodge pickups were produced at a giant plant dedicated to truck production.  These trucks were streamlined and offered a full-line of variants: from the light duty half-ton and all the way to the three-ton heavy trucks.  Dodge was first of the big-three manufactures to offer a diesel engine in a pickup.  This was a power plant the company designed and produced in-house.  This generation also gave birth to the legendary “Power Wagon” four wheel drive trucks.


This custom project is based on a 1939 Dodge truck half-ton.  Owner, Bill Ebert, has a vision for the ultimate, clean, and smooth hot rod pickup.  The original 201 cu-inch (3.3L) L-head straight six motor is nowhere to be found.  That engine was rated at 70 horsepower from the factory.  In its place is a fully rebuilt and stroked GM 383 cu-inch V8, based on the ubiquitous “Chevy 350”.  This power plant is estimated to kick out close to 425 horsepower.

Every aspect of this truck has been considered and improved.  The frame has been boxed for added strength.  Chevy 700 R4 automatic transmission with overdrive sends the power to the back.  There is adjustable rear axle and suspension setup to allow the new horsepower to find its way to the pavement.  There is Mustang II independent front suspension, upgraded brakes, and the list goes on an on.


All of the body work was done by Troy Gonzales and his team at “No Coast Customz” out of Aztec, New Mexico.  Their job has been to smooth out and cleanup as much of the body as possible.  The front grille, fenders, firewall, and the bed have been modified for the ultimate clean look.  Troy and the guys will also lay down a proper custom paint job  on the truck.  Color choice is a Chevrolet “Atomic Orange”.

The power train and the color do make this “Ram Tuff with Chevy Stuff”.


Does this custom truck have an official name?  Not yet.

Enjoy this walk-around video of this custom 1939 Dodge Truck getting ever closer to its first jaunt down the open road.  TFLtruck cannot wait to do a follow-up to see the final product, hear the new motor, and go for a ride.  Stay tuned!

We will add lots more pictures very soon.


Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.