With matching personalities and more modern powertrains than a first glance would suggest, these vehicles are two nightmares of a feather. One, a 1938 Dodge pickup that has been stretched, slammed, and brought back from the dead. The other is an abomination of its former life and role as a touring motorcycle. On a gloomy afternoon these two finally met in an industrial area in southern Connecticut.
The shoot locations are now ghost towns of what used to be thriving centers of innovation. The 50 building backdrop was once the manufacture location of the Sikorsky Kingfisher and Vought F4U Corsair fighter-bomber. The dilapidated hanger backs up to the airfield where these iconic aircrafts used to be test flown and stored.
On our way from the Chicken Fried Choppers HQ to the airfield, the antique Dodge did its best to avoid even the smallest of potholes. The pickup’s front grill is just over 3” off the ground and shows many scars from doing battle with the asphalt that lives under it. Powered by an unrestricted 350 Chevy running dual Vintage Speed carbs, velocity stacks, and lakester-style headers, the Dodge sounds exactly how you would expect it to: deep, loud, and raw. Packing 13” of useable rubber on each side out back, keeping traction is less of an issue than keeping your body on the correct side of the massive steel transmission tunnel. Everything about the pickup is uncomfortable. Getting in, getting out, vibration, volume, and trying to wrangle it down the flattest of roads, let alone the interstate. But until you hear it fire up and watch this monster lurk menacingly down the road do you really get the full visual of how truly badass this hot rod is.
Leading the Dodge to the hanger location is our vision of what a new school chopper should look like. Gone are the days of wide rear tires and raked front ends, this 96ci Harley Davidson Softail Heritage has even less frills than the pickup. Turn signal indicators, tachometer, speedometer, warning lights, gas gauge, front brakes… all of which are absent. Six over stock in the front, down an inch in the back, apes up high and narrow is the name of the game. The U.S. Army issue ammo box storage compartment was a necessary evil. When we fabricated the brackets up and mounted it, consideration was taken to make sure that it wouldn’t stick out past the primary (to keep things slim). Centered on the gas tank is a Rosemary’s Baby-inspired vignette with the well earned title of “Neighborhood Nightmare”, just in case you were wondering how suburbia takes to our creations.
We will have to wait and see exactly what the future holds for these two machines but here are a few possibilities. The Dodge is currently expecting pie cut and twisted velocity stacks that stretch up higher than the roofline. These will be accompanied by P52 Mustang-esque stainless steel race headers that will lie flush with the body line. The HD Softail chopper will become a rigid as soon as the snow starts falling and a king and queen style seat will be grafted onto it. Make sure to follow our instagram pages below to see what we have in store for the Dodge and Harley Davidson over the winter months!
1938 Dodge Pickup: @Jonxdub
2002 Softail Chopper: @Chicken_Fried_Choppers
Photography by: @Joehadams