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Corvette 1500

Corvette 1500 Pick-Up Build Feature

By Phil Cooley, Front Range Auto Modelers (FRAM)

Date of Review November 2005 Manufacturer Custom
Subject Corvette 1500 Pickup Scale 1/25
Primary Media Styrene

The Project

The idea for this custom Chevy pickup began when I saw a 50’s lead sled with late 90s Mercedes headlamps. I began searching for a similar look and came up with the headlamps from the 53-55 Corvette. I modified the stock fenders from the AMT 50 Chevy pickup to accept those headlamps. I also extensively modified the truck bed fenders--the front was from the pickup and the rear was from the Corvette.

I was working on this truck primarily during club meetings, which were either at my church or at a friend’s home. Well, in loading up my minivan one night, I placed one of my model boxes on top of the car and promptly forgot it. The consequence—I lost about a year’s worth of work and had to basically start over.

I still had the cab, but lost all of the 53-55 Corvette parts and the truck interior and windshield. After some encouragement from my fellow club-members, I decided to press on, but to use a 57 Corvette instead of the 53. I had a couple of the MPC flip-front 57 Corvettes on hand and decided to utilize them. I also decided to go with a fleetside look.

I cut the fenders off the truck cab and mocked up the front clip from the 57. I also cut the doors off the Corvette body and glued and molded them to the truck cab. At this point, I basically had the shape I wanted, so I made the truck hood fit the Corvette fenders by widening and pancaking it. After a lot of trial and error, the hood fit well, except for at the front. I solved that by adding a small fillet just below the front of the hood. I also fashioned my own hinges out of aluminum tubing and a paperclip. To open the hood, you slide it forward about an 1/8 of an inch and then it opens normally. The grille is from the Monogram 57 Corvette; I used it because the grille teeth were separate from the grille surround.

To make the fleetside fenders, I cut the rear fenders and doors from the second Corvette body and widened them approximately 1/8” using sheet plastic. I filled in the door coves with polyester putty, which I also used to fill in the seams on the truck cab. The taillights are stock Corvette, though the taillight surrounds are black instead of chrome. Paint is Tamiya black over Duplicolor red oxide primer.

As I had lost the interior, I had to make one from scratch. I used custom seats from a 40 Ford and the dash and steering wheel from the 57 Corvette. I fashioned the interior shell from sheet styrene and incorporated a Chevy emblem into the top of the dashpad. I covered the door panels and dashpad with half round to simulate tuck and roll. And, as the front windshield was also in the box of lost parts, I made my own windshield from acetate.

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With the body done, I modified the chassis, using the back half of the truck chassis and the front half of the Corvette chassis. I cut the front cross-member from the Corvette chassis, so I could easily adjust the wheelbase—to center the wheels in the wheelwells.

I used the Corvette’s V8 as the powerplant—but made my own firewall, as the engine sat back a lot further in the Corvette chassis than in the pickup chassis. I scratchbuilt the exhaust using solder and partsbox mufflers. Likewise, I used partsbox wheels and tires.


All told, it took about 3 years to complete this project, working only a couple evenings a month. I am pleased with the result--it took “Best Custom” at the Fall 2004 Good Guys model show at Pike’s Peak International Raceway, near Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Ed Note: Phil was a member of Front Range Auto Modelers.