Kustom Kulture – Scott’s 1940 Chevy Pickup
For Scott Crothers of Marina Del Rey, California, Kustom Kulture has been a huge part of his life. “I was first introduced to classic cars by my Dad,” Scott told us. “He brought home a 1962 Thunderbird convertible when I was about 15 years old and I started going to car shows with him around that time. I found that the coolest cars were always the Kustoms. In my opinion, stock is boring and shows no personality.”
Being immersed in Kustom Kulture for so many years, Scott decided he wanted to build a Kustom of his own. He and his wife, Heather came across a 1940 Chevy Pickup while scrolling through a classic car website and fell in love with the body style. “It looked to be in good condition, or so I thought until we started working on it,” Scott explains.
The entire build took about three years to complete. Originally, the truck came with a standard 305ci small block Chevy and TH350 transmission. As well, the previous owner had installed 1953 rear fenders. Scott replaced the old engine with a 1968 327ci small block Chevy bored 0.030 inches over and bolted in a 700R4 transmission behind.
For the exhaust, he went with 2.5-inch Flowmasters with turndowns behind the rear axle. He also installed a Ford 9-inch rear end for its added strength and extensive selection of gear-ratio options.
“A lot of the Kustom work was done by Brad Masterson at Masterson Kustoms in Lynwood, California,” Scott says. “Brad was trained under George Barris and Bill Hines.” The truck was later completed at Craftmaster Customs by builder, Mitsuru Sakashita, who now owns Barris’ old shop location.
There are a number of modifications that constitute a Kustom car. Chopped tops, shaved door handles, and lowered suspension are the most common features. Scott had the truck channeled four inches over the frame to allow the body to sit much lower to the ground, and the suspension has been upgraded to coilovers (no air bags here!).
The fenders, running boards and dash have been painted in a glossy black while the rest of the truck has been finished in a hot rod flat black. Other Kustom components include suicide doors, new sheet metal floors, a custom rear bumper off of 1940 Mercury, and custom taillights.
“My wife and I drive the truck to local spots in Venice, California to meet with friends three or four times a week,” Scott says. He has been a member of the Odd Squad, an ever-growing classic car club in Southern California, for a few months now. “We met the Odd Squad at the Dog Town Rumble car show in Venice, two years before the truck was finished. Once it was completed, we were invited to one of the weekly club gatherings where we knew most of the members and were later asked to join.”
Scott drives the 1940 Chevy as often as he can and isn’t afraid to put some miles on it. He participates in a variety of car shows throughout the Southern California region and regularly attends the Odd Squad’s weekly car meets.
No matter what automotive sub-culture you are into, the most important thing is to get out there and drive, and Scott does just that!