The true art of customization is being able to take any base vehicle and turn it into a masterpiece. Chris Church, co-owner of Precision Fiber, Inc., didn’t need the latest popular truck model to compose his grand pickup that would later become 40 Shades of Grey. Originally, he bought the 1940 Ford pickup for his wife because it was her favorite body style when it came to classic trucks. “It came from a Portland swap meet for only $6,500,” he admits.

“But not much remained of the original truck.” It didn’t have an engine or transmission, but Chirs felt it was still in decent condition to be transformed into something great. “I could definitely see the potential.”

The plan was to build a top-quality truck that would tour the show circuit and still be able to “rip it up” on the highway. After seeing a classic Porsche 356 at a show in Bend, Oregon, in a similar grey paint scheme, Chris was inspired by the look and 40 Shades of Grey was born. Having been into design since he was a kid, he sketched the truck, starting with the hood vent badge on a cocktail napkin while enjoying “Taco Tuesday” at a local restaurant. From there it was time to map out the rest of the mods, including what brands were going to be used to bring his vision to reality. “This truck was a bucket list build for sure, with my previous trucks being mild in comparison.”

“We didn’t compromise on anything,” Chris details. “We only used top vendors for the best build around, and it all started with the motor from Wegner Motorsports.” Working closely with the team at Carolina Kustoms in Portland, Oregon, Chris was able to get enough support to complete it in only eight months, which is quite impressive given the amount of work that went into finishing a build of this magnitude.

The only challenging part of the build was the extensive amount of metal fabrication and modification. “We removed the drip rails and cowl vent then added a big back window and modified windows while also creating the grille,” he explains. “Then we joined the hood pieces, swapped the headlights opting for 1939 coupe headlights and added frenched-in taillights. But 1940 sheet metal has a mind of its own, so we had to source metal from various vehicles to get a perfect fit.” The only thing he wished he’d done differently was to give himself more time before its debut to really hone in on some ideas he didn’t get to incorporate the first time around.

“But it’s a show-stopper for sure,” he admits. “People always come back saying they find more details in it with every glance they take.” It was the first custom you saw as you entered the front doors in the SEMA booth, which was a huge honor for Chris. Despite being an already impressive truck, Chris mentions that there’s always more details to add. When it’s not hitting the shows and if local weather permits, Chris is more than willing to take it to be driven and enjoyed as a custom truck should be.

TECH SPECS – 1940 FORD PICKUP

WHEELS/TIRES

    • 19×8 front and 20×12 rear American Racing VF498 wheels
    • 245/30R19 front and 305/35R20 rear Toyo Proxes R888R tires

CHASSIS

    • Boxed original reproduction 1940 frame rails, narrowed and laser cut arches for rear end, extensive bracing, heavy-duty 4-link and Watts link for rear end geometry
    • Performance Mustang II front cross member
    • Narrowed Moser rear end, narrowed SPC Performance Mustang II front upper and lower control arms with QA1 ball joints
    • All air lines done with 3/8” stainless, brake lines done with 3/16” stainless, main fuel line done with Russell-10AN and return done in -8AN

SUSPENSION

    • Rear suspension Moser Fabricated 9, narrowed with 32 spline high horsepower axles, Spicer 1350 solid U-joints, billet yoke
    • Big Ford ends for Wilwood 6-piston discs and calipers Hotchkis anti-roll bar
    • Slam Specialties SS8 airbags
    • Ridetech Q Series Adjustable shocks
    • Front is a modified Mustang II suspension
    • Wilwood Dropped Pro Spindles
    • Ididit steering column, joints and rack and pinion with QA1 bump steer rod ends

PERFORMANCE

    • Wilwood big brake kit
    • All-aluminum fuel tank custom-built by Carolina Kustoms, estimated 15 gallons
    • 2018 Wegner Motorsports Performance LS3 engine
    • Whipple 2.9L Supercharger intake manifold
    • Custom Ultimate headers
    • Borla 3” stainless steel exhaust with XR-1 mufflers
    • GM 4L80E transmission by A-1 Performance
    • Alto Red Eagle clutch
    • Powertrain Control Solutions push button shifter

EXTERIOR

    • 2-piece hood welded, cowl vent removed
    • Drip rails and door handles removed
    • Big window from 1952 Ford F1 grafted
    • 1939 Ford Coupe headlight buckets customized with carbon fiber and aluminum, with Morimoto dual LED projectors
    • Daytime running lights and hand-fabricated LED halo built by Church Built Customs
    • Custom EVOD Industries billet badging pockets on hood and tailgate
    • Custom fuel filler through tailgate
    • Throwback Designs sand-casted custom 1960 Pontiac taillights frenched-in
    • Custom steel and aluminum mesh grille built by Carolina Kustoms
    • Modified motorcycle side mirrors
    • Custom steel grille by Carolina Kustoms
    • Porsche Sport Classic Grey PPG paint

INTERIOR

    • Custom-fabricated dash and inserts by Church Built Custom
    • Billet Specialties BC29409 steering wheel
    • Top grain Coach Leather upholstery in Orlando Orange
    • Dakota Digital HDX-2060-S gauges

AUDIO

    • Alpine Halo9 head unit
    • Rockford Fosgate T1000X5AD 5 channel 1,000W amplifier
    • Rockford Fosgate Power 6.5” T5 component speakers
    • Rockford Fosgate Punch P3S 10” subwoofers

SOURCES

Churchman40 churchman40 | Toyo Tires toyotires.com