The Brass Monkey: 1939 Chevrolet C1500 Custom Truck

Known as “The Brass Monkey,” the 1939 Chevrolet C1500 Custom Truck defines elegant craftsmanship and creative design. The newest addition to the collection(s), this truck began as a “personal project” of Doug Eldred, the owner of Eldred Hotrod Shop in Edinboro, PA. Eldred is the ultimate car guy. When he’s not working at his shop, he fills his spare time with his favorite hobby, building custom vehicles. Eldred purchased the beat-up, standalone Chevy cab for just $600, slowly turning it into a world famous and highly sought after custom build.

While Eldred started this project with a rat rod in mind, it started taking on a life of its own as the pieces started falling into place. Using parts from other vehicles, the truck features the grille shell from a 1935 Chevy truck, the headlights of a 1934 Ford and a modified dashboard from a 1936 Plymouth. Eldred told, “I felt at that point it deserved more than just a rat rod look. Being a painter, I decided to take it to the next level and finish it as somewhat of a show vehicle.”

Its 1940 Ford 4-inch drop axle perfectly compliments the custom-built 2×3-inch chassis. Quarter Elliptical springs and rear coil-over shocks make for smooth handling, while 18-inch front/20-inch rear Rallye American wire wheels pave the way. The truck is powered by a 355ci small block Chevy engine topped with an aluminum head and Stromberg carburation. A GM 700R4 automatic overdrive transmission drives the 4:10 ratio rear end, which is protected by custom Currie housing.

The truck’s unique Brass Monkey Bronze base and clear coat solidified its status as a show vehicle, attracting praise and interest from buyers all over the world. Barrett-Jackson brought the car to auction in 2017, where onlookers and buyers awed at its breathtaking design and visual appearance. Eldred certainly proved that a passionate hobby could turn into profit, leaving the world eagerly waiting for his next project. Keep an eye out for this automobile in upcoming exhibits, as it definitely something you don’t want to miss.


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