“Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned…” That line from William Congreve’s 1697 poem The Mourning Bride actually should read: Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned / Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.
Unfortunately, most people only remember portions of the last line but most times that’s what husbands heed. Dan Troyer’s wife got upset with him when he sold his first cab-over (he needed some money to buy a new crane for his business) because she really liked that truck. So it was best Dan should find something to placate her. He did. Came up with not one, but TWO Chevy cab-overs, which most people simply call COE’s.
Dan found both of them in Columbus, Nebraska, not far from his North Platte, Nebraska home. Both were 1951’s and had been used as farm trucks for many years. He purchased the pair in 2012 and at the time neither had beds on them so he simply torched off the rear of the frames and loaded them on the trailer. He had a plan for one of them and knew his wife would approve. The other was a GMC COE but he regrets selling that one to help finance the Chevy.
“I should have kept the Jimmy,” he recalled. “It was definitely the nicer of the two.” But that didn’t put a damper on his plans. After building the first COE about 15 years ago, he remembered what he liked and didn’t like about that first one and set about to rectify those concerns with this build.
The first thing Dan did was scout out some damaged or wrecked late model Chevy trucks and crawled inside and under every Chevy to find a wide frame, but couldn’t. Chevy’s frames aren’t wide enough for what Dan wanted so he looked at Dodge frames.
His plan was to use a wider frame in order to install and remove the engine from underneath, instead of trying to install (and remove it if necessary) thru the doors. He purchased a Dodge motor home front stub and mated it to 3×5-inch rectangular tubing. He moved the engine rearward 18-inches while building motor mounts so it sets inside the cab and the seat will sit atop it. But by doing that, the oil pan sits so low Dan had to build a skid plate so it wouldn’t hit asphalt bumps while he motors down the highway.
Next Dan went looking for a donor car –well, OK, another truck! He found a perfectly good 2013 Chevy one ton with a 6.0 engine and 6-speed automatic in Abilene, Texas. It had been wrecked but had less than 10K miles on it so he purchased it. The dually rearend came out of that same truck to be installed on his COE frame, except, Dan narrowed it 14-inches to fit under the bed he planned to make later.
Once he had the frame squared up, he added a Chevy truck power steering box, built some body mounts and set the cab on the frame. Using a combination of Dodge and Chevy brakes, he added a Hydroboost master cylinder to help with stopping power.
With that accomplished, he ordered a Chevy truck radiator and added that under the short COE hood. Moving on to the interior, Dan built a “cage” for the 6.0 engine, hinged it to open and built the seat mounts and the console atop that. Both are removable, too.
When he was satisfied with how the seats out of a Chrysler LeBaron looked and felt, he went to work on the dash. Utilizing a ’55 Chevy dash, he took the stock column out of the Chevy donor truck and mounted it below the dash. He didn’t like the look of that, so he removed it and bought an Ididit tilt column. It certainly looked a bit slimmer than the massive stock Chevy unit.
For something just a bit different on the dash, Dan used ‘39 Chevy taillight housings for the A/C vents. The lower portion of dash is hand-built and Dan will use after-market gauges
After the cab work was accomplished, Dan finally got to work on the rear of the frame. The dually rearend was mounted as well as the springs and the original lower shock mounts. No sense letting a good rearend go to the crusher! Moving on to the huge bed, it’s all hand-built and the front of the box follows curve of cab.
Inside the box the hand-built aluminum fuel tank holds 42 gallons of fuel, enough for an all-day drive! Inside the bed is a fifth wheel plate for hauling a trailer. Below the bed on the driver’s side is a tool box and a like battery box built on the passenger’s side. The rear fenders are stock 1947 to 1954 Chevy pickup fenders. They’ll make the new bed look stock behind the COE. Three inch stainless exhaust will be hung under the truck.
Back around to the front of the COE, the front wheel wells have been modified so they don’t look so large for the smaller tires Dan chose to run up front. A stock pick-up front bumper will also be used below the newly chromed stock grille. Dan has plans to paint the truck silver with a red leather interior.
What do you think of Dan’s Cab-over Chevy? Let us know in the comments below, and if you have a project of your own that you’ve been slaving away at, share it with us! Send us an email and yours could be the next project featured in “What Are You Working On?”