1940 Dodge Cab Over Engine Truck on Air Ride Suspension
As Josh D. Krager, Creation Scientist /Eye Spy Designs Owner would say,
“You look, you see. You look again, you see more!”
Jim Muncy’s day of EBay browsing resulted in the purchase of a rough 1940 Cab Over Truck. It had a natural patina and there wasn’t anything fancy about it to call it special. As a matter of fact, you could call it a dead semi-truck that rested in the same spot behind a barn since 1965.
It came with a locked-up engine, authentic bullet holes and a patina that only 50 years can create. The vehicle was shipped from Minnesota to the Eye Spy Designs headquarters located in Leroy Ohio.
Shortly after arrival, the cab was removed from the chassis and the transformation began. The truck’s frame was replaced with a custom-built chassis using components from a 1984 Dodge 1-Ton truck. Along with the components from the 1-Ton truck, came a Cummins Twin Turbo, 600 hp Diesel Engine and a 47 RH transmission. The side panels and barn wood deck were salvaged from an 1800’s era barn located in Canada. The air intake is quite the spectacle. It was designed and fabricated utilizing two 1944-1946 Chevy truck headlamp housings.
If you have experienced a ride in a vintage truck, then you know how rough the ride can be. Thus, the need for an air ride suspension powered by a 1923 Briggs & Stratton Motor that drives the 1930’s Champion Air Compressor.
The ‘picking’ challenge commenced! One evening during a boys’ night of wings and beer, a deal was made for a set of original 1940 Dodge rear fenders. These fenders were the impetus of the design and shape of the new creation. 1936 Dodge Coupe horn covers were fitted for tail light housings. To finish the rear end, the rear bumper was designed using a large pitch roller chain
from a Great Lakes Iron/Ore Freighter’s steering mechanism. Add a corrugated steel trunk cover and antique brass fire extinguishers that conceal the nitrous oxide bottles, and you have yourself one hell of a unique rear end!
Jim, owner and hands on builder, was a master at locating the numerous vintage pieces-parts
for his COE creation. The front end is proof of his picking successes. You will find a Danger sign
strategically placed above the front bumper. And rightfully so! Two large 3 ½” open end
wrenches were used as front end frame extensions and two large bolts were incorporated as
bumperettes. The bumper’s center section was finished off with a sickle bar mower. To add
some pizazz to the COE; green power pole insulators were fitted with led lights and are now
used as the marker lights on the top of the cab.
The COE owner, Jim, who has made his living selling Chevron Lubricants for the past 30 years;
asked Josh to incorporate nostalgic Chevron/RPM Delo items into alternative functions on the
new creation. They are: Headlight visors, tachometer holder, dome light, glasses holder, cup
holder, radiator overflow tank, cab ceiling headliner, Chevron starting fluid pellet dispenser for
engine start control and floor patches.
Beyond the above and to add to Josh’s saying…Here’s a run-down of the “more you will see”:
• Vintage movie theatre seats • Baby buggy wheel- steering wheel • Tin ceiling door panels • Semi-truck wheels milled down to accept 22” tires…Front: P235/30R22
Rear: P335/25R22 • Brass bed headache rack
• Barbed wire pin striping • Locomotive horn • Coal furnace damper exhaust stack • Bullet casing rivet heads • Military ammo box shifter riser • Vintage tool box gauge cover • Cast iron star décor • Rare bronze Cummins diesel badges • Mason jar trim rings for marker lamps • Manure spreader chain/spring binder trunk lashing • Sprocket mounts for rear chain bumper
We are often asked how long this build took. And many times, the person asking tries to guess.
And their guess is always wrong….Years?
NO. 90% of the build was completed in 5 months!
This unique and captivating work of automotive art draws a crowd of curious admirers
wherever it stops, and an endless parade of smiles and “thumbs up” when rolling down the highway.
March 2017 1st in Class IX Piston Powered Autorama Cleveland, OH
*Over 600 Show Cars/Trucks
July 2017 Wildcard Award Goodguys Nationals Columbus, OH
*7,500 Show Cars/Trucks with less than 100 Award Winners