Doug Cerri has long loved the body style on the ’57 Chevy pickups and has wanted a custom ride of his own to take to shows and enjoy with his friends for ages. Being that he’s patient and this was his first project he also knew that he wanted it built correctly and right the first time around. Doug was fortunate to have a good neighbor when he was growing up who owned a 1964 Chevy C-10, which was the first introduction he had into the custom car culture. This soon afforded Doug the opportunity to begin envisioning a custom project of his own. Here at Slam’d we call it the “gateway drug” into the custom car scene and culture.
As with many projects this 1957 3100 Chevy pickup started out life as a solid driver. The motor had been installed for reliability and tuned up for long cruises to and from car shows, but living in Southern California Doug saw his fair share of custom rides cruising the streets and had to have more. This is when he decided to take his pickup over to his friend Eric and crew at SoCal Suspension for the full custom suspension treatment to get the stance dialed in a bit closer to the pavement. The plan was to just ‘bag the truck and enjoy it in the year-round Cali summers, but shortly after SoCal wrapped up the suspension work Doug was rear ended. Luckily for Doug, there was only damage to the rear of the bed. This got the wheels spinning and soon a plan for a full custom rebuild began to take shape.
Photos: David Moore | Words: Jason Ballard & Mike Alexander
With the insurance check in-hand Doug contacted Absolute Perfection Auto Services to perform the needed repairs and take it a step further with some custom body work and gorgeous black paint. The work began with pulling the body off the frame, which allowed for a fresh undercoating to be applied to the classic Chevy chassis. Moving right along, AP Auto Services laid down the Matrix Jet Black paint, which really highlighted the undeniable classic lines of the ’57 truck. After the base coat was completed, he turned to Robert Gagnon for silver leafing and pinstriping. Upon further inspection of the truck you will see the stellar work that Robert laid down on the truck’s period correct visor. The silver leafing is so subtle it could easily be missed by a show goer and those are exactly the mods we seek out when looking for a Slam’d Mag approved ride.
Due to the high-caliber outcome of the fabrication and paint Doug decided to re-work some of the earlier “quicky” suspension mods to maintain the level of quality throughout the build. For the front end SoCal Suspension added a Full Tilt Mustang II setup coupled with Bilstien shocks. They also opted to swap out the drum brakes in favor of a more modern disc setup. In the rear, a c-notch was performed to provide additional clearance for the axle travel along with a custom 4-link setup and once again used the Bilstien shocks for added ride quality. To keep with the classic theme a custom wood bed floor was added along with the polished stainless steel hardware. The bed was topped off with a clear clear coat on the wood floor and the polished classic pinstriped cooler. The final touch for this gorgeous build came in the way of the 15×8 Wheel Vintiques Smoothie series wheels and Diamond Back III whitewalls finishing off the look perfectly. Yes, we now have a new screen saver or wallpaper for your computer or phone (right-click save as) – done deal!
With a colossal build coming together Doug decided he couldn’t leave the motor neglected. Opening up the nearly 60 year-old engine allowed for the crank and cam to be swapped out. The gear drive was replaced along with hydraulic lifters, Edlebrock intake, 650 Edlebrock street and strip carb and Hooker Headers and exhaust. All of these enhancements to the classic Detroit block added the exact pep and rumble that Doug was looking for out of the ’57. Minor doses of chrome tied in with the steady hand of Robert Gagnon resulted in an ultra clean engine bay. Topping off the drivetrain was the addition of the 700r4 transmission, which was tweaked a bit with race internals. Keep in mind this isn’t your Grandfather’s ’57 pickup, although you know damn well that he would have loved to cruise it up the coast any day of the week!
Moving to the interior Doug knew he had a blank canvas for his creative mind to begin formulating the end result. A Custom Auto Sound headunit was installed to drive the sound he was looking for in the system, while keeping the classic appearance maintained. Rockford Fosgate mids and highs, along with Fosgate subs and amps were used to pump out the chest pounding quality sound and bass that fills the single-cab cabin with perfection. The stereo install was also performed by Absolute Perfection Auto Services. The interior itself was topped off by Lindy’s Upholstery. Lindy’s added pendleton fabric inserts in the seats, which give a bit of color injection to the already bitchin’ vibe of the interior. The black dash tied in with silver leafing and blue accents doesn’t go unnoticed and the floor mounted shifter adds yet another therapeutic dose to the mind, body, and soul of the driver or lucky passenger of this American classic.
Doug would like to thank everyone who supported this build including Eric and crew from SoCal Suspension for fabricating and installing the air ride setup, Mario from Absolute Perfection Auto Services for the work they performed on the body, chassis, engine and bed of the pickup. Also Robert Gagnon for the silver leafing and stripping skills and Lindy’s for putting the icing on the cake. When asked what he enjoyed most about the build Doug’s response was “The creative aspect of the build was definitely my favorite, but then seeing it all come together was a dream come true.” Doug shared with us that through this build he has gained many life-long friends, which are much more important to him than the badass truck before you – we definitely need more Doug’s in this world!
Owner: Doug Cerri
Vehicle: 1957 Chevy 3100
Hometown: San Diego, CA
350 w/ 700r4 trans
Edelbrock Performance cam and lifters
Edelbrock 650 carb
Edelbrock Performance intake
Hooker Headers and exhaust
1979 Chevy Camaro rear
Performed By: Absolute Perfection Auto Services