Big Oak Garage, 1942 Chevy pickup, goodguys, Axalta

Wayne Matthews’ 1942 Chevy Pickup by Big Oak Garage

Wayne Matthews started building this ’42 Chevy pickup with a simple desire: to have a head-turning truck from the year he was born. He got much more than that when he walked into Big Oak Garage unannounced and sealed a deal with shop owner Will Posey. After Posey and his crew were done with the ’42, it was a show-stopping hauler worthy of a 2018 Truck of the Year Early finalist nod.

Big Oak Garage, 1942 Chevy pickup, goodguys, Axalta



The first step was to solidify a smooth ride with modern handling abilities. In came an Art Morrison chassis equipped with RideTech coil-overs to dampen the independent front suspension and four-link-suspended 9-inch rearend. Schott Magnitude wheels were added to each corner – 18×7 up front and 19×12 in the rear – and finished with custom knock-off center caps and Pirelli tires.

Big Oak Garage, 1942 Chevy pickup, goodguys, truck of the year, Baer brakes

Wayne had already acquired a 350c.i. small-block Chevy engine, which the Big Oak team detailed with Axalta paint and topped with an Autotrend Tri-Power EFI using Holley engine management. Other accessories included a Vintage Air Front Runner setup, stainless ram’s horn exhaust manifolds, and Borla mufflers. Power is delivered through a McLeod clutch and a Tremec TKO 600 transmission from Bowler.

Big Oak Garage, 1942 Chevy pickup, goodguys, truck of the year

Big Oak Garage always takes things to the next level with fit, finish, and fabrication. The goal on this build was to refine the stock lines with subtle modifications, such as building custom rear fenders that match the fronts, reshaping and installing ’40 Chevy car bumpers, fabricating new hood sides to get the hood and cab to flow together, and building custom running boards. Other sheet metal work included new door skins, a widened cowl, custom steel bed floor painted to look like wood, refined grille, and hand-formed under-hood panels. Axalta Blue Ribbon and Black paint coats the body.

Big Oak Garage, 1942 Chevy pickup, goodguys, Axalta

Custom-machined parts include front turn signals, rear window trim, shifter, taillight lenses, running board and bed trim, and interior dash knobs. Advanced Plating did the finish work on all the plated pieces.

Big Oak Garage, 1942 Chevy pickup, goodguys, truck of the year

Steve Holcomb’s Pro Auto Custom Interiors designed and stitched the upholstery using brown leather with suede and cloth inserts. The custom dash was fitted with Dakota Digital instruments and a Billet Specialties wheel topping the tilt column. Big Oak Garage delivered a sentimental surprise to Wayne with the custom shifter built using a Winchester 12-gauge shotgun cap and primer built in to the knob. Wayne is an avid sport and clay shooter who has weekly gatherings at his private range and was moved by this custom touch.

Big Oak Garage, 1942 Chevy pickup, goodguys, truck of the year

Wayne made the right call when he decided to stop by and see what Big Oak Garage was all about. Will Posey and his guys perfected Wayne’s ideas with a truck that has a just-right stance, over-the-top fit and finish, and is indeed a head turner wherever it rolls up!

Big Oak Garage, 1942 Chevy pickup, goodguys, Axalta

Associate Editor

Steven is the youngest member of our team and grandson to the legendary Bob Bunker who piloted the green "Folsom Flash" '55 Chevy. As a dragstrip kid, Steven started his automotive journalism path by photographing drag racing events. Since joining our team, Steven has grown leaps and bound journalistically. He is now artfully crafting stories around the awesome machines at the shows, as well as the men and women behind them. When Steven is not on the road covering events, he spends his downtime on the water fishing, building his '62 Chevy Nova or cruising his 1987 GMC Suburban.

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