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Concept Corner: Petty Pickup

23 April 2018



Bic Anderson has built some of the coolest cars in the country for customers, including this issue’s cover car. here’s what’s brewing in the back of his own mind

Having spent years working on the demanding IndyCar circuit in America, Mike ‘Bic’ Anderson from Sonic Race and Machine knows a thing or two about setting up cars for maximum performance. Of course, he’s also seen inside some of the coolest workshops in the land, including Nascar legend Richard Petty’s old workshop, dyno sheds, and parts-dumping ground, of which he was lucky to have a guided tour.

While clearly Bic couldn’t just help himself to everything he saw, it did get his mind spinning about the opportunities such a facility presented.

When we asked Bic what his concept would be, thoughts of his adventures ran through his mind, and he pulled one out of left field. And we love it as we do all the cars Bic builds.
The plan would be to take a 1944 Dodge pickup and drop it over a custom frame, complete with perfected suspension, braking, and steering, as is Bic’s speciality.

However, under the hood is where the real magic would begin, with nothing other than Mopar’s most powerful ever street engine — a 6.2-litre supercharged Hellcat V8. Despite the shop truck vibe, there’d of course be a paddle-shifted box backing up the 707hp engine, along with Hellcat independent rear suspension.

Visually, the body would be painted to look like an old Petty Enterprises shop hack — but not before the roof had been de-crowned an inch or two.
The finishing touch would be a set of 16×10-inch Aero wheels and some side pipes that tied in with the running boards and let that glorious sound of the Hellcat engine roar.
Would this be the ultimate shop truck? Sure sounds like it to us! 

Justin from the LVVTA says: 
“The limited production numbers of the war-era vehicles means they’re not only very rare, [but] they’re also quite different from the shapes we’re used to, giving them an even more unique and interesting flavour. Taking a slice out of the roof would help with achieving a less bulbous look, and, as with all panel modifications, best-practice panel-fabrication methods should be used. 

“Despite the vehicle pre-dating the 1955 seat-belt requirements, once the performance levels of an old vehicle have been raised significantly, there’s a requirement for belts to be fitted, as a means of improving occupant safety and recognizing the fact that the vehicle will now perform more like a modern vehicle. 

“The Hellcat running gear could certainly be done, but it could bring some challenges. The engine and driveline would be fairly straightforward, but there’s no structure in the inner guard area of an older-chassis vehicle, so, with the strut-leg coilover and upper A-arm set-up on the Hellcat, a suitable structure would need to be created to support the front of the vehicle. There are numerous options here: a custom chassis with integral structure or a structure that is added to the original chassis. If you wanted to keep the steering wheel on the left side of the truck, then you’d need to make sure that it continued to meet the definition of a modified production vehicle.

“This leaves a reasonably wide scope for what you could do, but keep in mind that a change to a space-frame chassis, or using a complete Hellcat floorpan, would almost certainly tip the vehicle into being a scratch-built, and therefore [necessitate] a change to right-hand drive. 

“Side-exiting pipes are a popular modification to a pro-touring style of vehicle. While they look the part, they make achieving the legal noise limits more difficult, due to there being less room to fit mufflers in such a short distance.

“Whichever way you choose to attack this concept, the end product will sure look the part, and, if the right planning takes place, it should be an impressive-looking and -performing vehicle — just make sure you tie those 426 Hemis down tight!”

Your thoughts on last month’s Anglia Management concept:
David Hulme: F**k, what a weapon that would be!
Richard Snow: Angleboxes rock
Liz Gracie: Way cool!