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Projects Correctly Proportioned Extended Cab?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Gasser 57, Feb 5, 2020.

  1. Like the title says, has anybody here got any experience building a later model extended cab pickup? I'm talking about specifically 48-52 Ford F-1, 53-56 Ford F-100, or 60-66 Chevy 10 series. How did you go about it? Maybe some decent images a search hasn't provided? Would you start with a clapped out panel truck and graft the back of a pickup cab on along with pickup window opening or just use a stretched pickup cab with cut down extra doors?

    Let me say upfront I know some attempts look like ass and I'm not asking for a thread full of why you don't like them. I'm 6"2" and have no desire to sit in a fetal position in a standard cab truck if you know what I mean.

    Here's a couple where I think the body was done well if you can look past the paint, stance, and wheel tire combo. I'm thinking more of a build that looks like something period correct that could've rolled out the factory doors. Like a better proportioned Armbruster truck.

    View attachment 4568314

    View attachment 4568318
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2020
  2. Mine. Extended 12" Used 2 extra cabs and a couple doors...

  3. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,159

    from Berry, AL

    Although rare and hard to find, there were some 4 door double cabs made for big outfits like the Railroads. I don't know if they were done by coach builders or if they were factory. I know you asked about extended cabs, but thought I'd throw that out there in case you didn't know they existed.
  4. RMR&C, yours definitely looks right and BamaMav yes I've seen some of the old railroad trucks. I know there were several companies back then putting together 3 & 4 door crew cabs but since they were strictly for industry the styling was for the most part kind of rough. It seems like they just started with a long bed pickup and force-fed an extension into the area between the cab and the bed with not very good aesthetic results.

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  5. Three Widow's Garage
    Joined: Jan 18, 2010
    Posts: 206

    Three Widow's Garage

    This looks awesome!!
    Outback and RMR&C like this.
  6. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,406


    I'll say RMR&C's example above is one of the best I've ever seen, proportionally. I generally dislike the ones that were extended enough to have a back seat in them, although I can understand the desire to do that.

    I think the hugeness of the half-cabover body style helps too. Proportions on a regular pickup get wonky real quick but a big truck can carry that extra size more easily.
    Chili Phil and RMR&C like this.
  7. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,104


    This one came out ok, I think. Not the year/make you're looking for, though. It was built using 24" of Suburban quarter panel, stuck in between the cab and cab back. Didn't take long to build it, either.

  8. That 58/59 Chevy is sharp! I agree about the crew cabs. I don't think you can get away with stretching these old trucks long enough to build a crew cab without ruining the proportions.
  9. The build thread on that 59 Chevy is a perfect example of why I was thinking of maybe a panel truck donor. I think any early Suburban today is going to be to much $$$ to cut up unless you could find something that was hit hard in the rear. Thanks for posting the link.
  10. In a word no I have never seen one that looks right proportionally. The Fords you are considering I don't think there is a way to do it if the thought process is just sticking a chunk on the back. IMO the whole cab would need to be resized and subtly. The '58/'59 above works better because there is a continous body line from front to back so the added length of the cab is not as pronounced as with a step side truck.
  11. Clik
    Joined: Jul 1, 2009
    Posts: 1,841


    Sometimes the rear tire size and width makes the difference for me. A longer cab needs either extra wheel size in the back or duals.
    Just Gary likes this.
  12. Phil P
    Joined: Jan 1, 2018
    Posts: 268

    Phil P

    It doesn't matter what year of pickup it is an extended cab just doesn't look right with a step side bed IMHO.

    alanp561, Chavezk21 and belair like this.
  13. BLAKE
    Joined: Aug 10, 2002
    Posts: 2,770


    If the problem you're solving is making one of these trucks comfortable for a 6'2" person, couldn't that be done with a smart seat design and maybe some floor/firewall mods? Seems like 6'2" ain't unreasonable in these cabs... not like custom building a Benz for Shaq which has him sitting where the backseat used to be. ;)
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  14. i.rant
    Joined: Nov 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,864

    from Illinois
    1. 1940 Ford

    Sorry no pics but a friend of mine added 5” to the doors and roof after splitting the cab of his 50 Chevy. Comfortable seating and great proportions were the result.
  15. rusty rocket
    Joined: Oct 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,826

    rusty rocket

    I think adding thru the doors is the way to go also. Adding to the back of the cab just doesn't look right.
  16. KevKo
    Joined: Jun 25, 2009
    Posts: 414

    from Motown

    I get where you are coming from. I'm 6'4" and have a '54 F-100. I fit "ok", but it gets uncomfortable after a couple hours behind the wheel. It might depend on how much room you want to add. If you only want an inch or two, you might be able to add it just behind the door without looking awful. Here's an idea; build a model. AMT makes a '53 F-100. Revell/Monogram make a '50 F-1 and a '56 F-100. Cut one up, put it back together.
  17. 40FORDPU
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 2,800

    from Yelm, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    RMR&C your truck looks factory, which for me is a huge compliment, as I'm typically not a fan of extended cabs.
    At 6' 6" tall and a owner of multiple '40/'41 Fords I can relate to the practical side of extended cabs though.
    RMR&C likes this.
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,424


    This is a friend of mines 48 Chevy extended cab pickup. I don’t have any construction pictures, but he used 4 doors to make the extension, cut them to the size he wanted and welded them together, then welded then onto the body. D0E46923-D1D6-436C-A969-437290E5A23C.jpeg
    tb33anda3rd and Jalopy Joker like this.
  19. Getting the proportions well balanced is the key and dang tough to do for sure. I've been a 53-55 F-100 guy most of my life. The two photos you opened with are good examples of good and not so good. The 55 has it so right you don't even hardly notice it's also chopped. My guess is that was done to get balance and done with a very Good eye. The Big Window 56 has so much glass it looks like a Fish Bowl. Some people like that effect but it don't work for me. In 1976 I took a 53 F-100 and extended the doors 2.5" for a Customer and a lot of people thought it was Chopped just a little. The door extension went pretty much unnoticed. Wish I had photos of that one to share. I learned two things over the years. When doing Body mods get the vehicle sitting on the exact tire/wheel size that will live on it as well as final ride height and ground profile. Then start your lay out for mods. Also you must be able to stand back 20 to 30 Feet during the work process to get a good look at what your doing. I never Chop by a given number. I only use a tape measure to make sure I'm level and square. Your eye will tell you when you took just enough or to much.
    Gasser 57 likes this.
  20. egads
    Joined: Aug 23, 2011
    Posts: 691


    I know it's a way too early truck, but this guy added 8 inches to the cab, hand formed the panel, no window. 249.jpg
    Gasser 57 likes this.
  21. Thanks! I am 6'4" tall and the extra legroom is really nice. But I extended the cab just because I always wanted to try it. I have seen some really bad attempts, was hoping to make it look more like a factory deal. Amazing how many people think it is!
    Chili Phil likes this.
  22. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 1,821


    The extended cab came out on Dodge trucks in 1975 if you are HAMB fussy. In any case, my objection has to do with the styling - specifically the curve at the back of the door tops on pickups. Here is a picture of a Fargo panel truck I picked up ages ago. Notice the square corner at the top of the door. In my opinion, you should do this along with extending the drip rail straight back over your new quarter window for it to look right. The factories back then went to the trouble to do this on limited production panel trucks. They didn't have to but it sure makes a difference, not like what Volvo did on their station wagons. Scan-200206-0001.jpg
    RMR&C likes this.
  23. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 1,048


    Dunno? That doesn't look any worse to me than all the newer OT 4 door, short bed wannabe a real truck that never haul anything and are being sold for ridiculous prices these days. At least, that's a picture of a work truck.
  24. WB69
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,226


    Really like the look of this one. But, I think what makes it look right is the wide bed.
  25. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,104


    Thanks. I'd first sketched out the design about ten years before I actually built it. The wide bed does make it look so much better...I had a step side bed on it when I first extended the cab, it didn't look nearly as good.

    I should dig through old pictures and see if I have any good ones when the "paint" was still decent.
    41 GMC K-18 and Gasser 57 like this.
  26. raymay
    Joined: Mar 2, 2008
    Posts: 2,327


    In the 80's I had a desire to build an Extended Cab Pickup. My choice was a beat up 34 Dodge Humpback body that I shortened. A good friend helping me on this project knew I was really a Chevy guy at heart and made me an offer to buy the cab which he turned into a beautiful and functional Car Hauler.
    In the 90's I decided to build a 37 Chevy Kingcab Pickup. Like some of my other one of a kind builds, I started with drawings, cut and pasting photos and building a toy model of my design. There is a great Photoshop thread here on the HAMB you might try where guys have transformed other members ideas to show what they could look like.
    I extended my 37 cab about the same length as a later model extended cab truck. I even incorporated the folding jump seats into the rear of the cab. The bed length was built in proportion to the cab. The overall wheel base turned out to be only 9" longer than the original 37 stock length.
    This truck was enjoyed for several years before I sold it. A few years later the owner was moving and decided to sell the truck. My Son struck a deal and the truck is now enjoyed by his Family in Michigan.

    bigred.jpg 7.jpg 1937363_511054581132_7501901_n.jpg
  27. Pretty hard to get right, as proved is so many that get it wrong. The cabover that RMR&C built looks just right, but it is a cabover. What Pist & broke said, about getting stance and rolling stock figured out first is right on. The right seats and floor pan mods will accomplish what you're after. Good luck on getting it right. Pretty hard to do.
    Pist-n-Broke likes this.
  28. likes ihs
    Joined: May 27, 2011
    Posts: 38

    likes ihs
    from petaluma

  29. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 1,102

    from Brooks Ky

    One of the projects I have on hold for right now is a 49 Chevy pickup. I'm not a fan of the 5 window trucks but prefer the standard 3 window. I plan to extend the cab slightly, appx 3" but that will depend on how things work out when I actually get around to cutting things and measuring what works best. I bought a clapped out cab with no floor. That gave me some extra doors to work with. Originally I was going to widen it at the door opening and widen the doors to match. Decided that was probably not the best way. I think what I'm going to do is cut the junk cab as close to the door opening as possible. Then cut the good cab as far behind the doors as possible and see where they fit together best. Maybe have to bridge a gap, but hopin I can do a little cutting and spreading.
    I always felt that the area just behind the door on old trucks was a little too narrow and would benefit from adding a little more metal. Trick is not to put too much in and ruin the proportions. Later trucks often had somewhat wider metal in this area and looked good to me. I guess time will tell if I guessed right or not.:D
    Here is a very amatuerish example.
    View attachment 4610376
    View attachment 4610378

    50 Chevy Truck.jpg

    50 Chevy Truck extended 001.jpg
    Sorry, but my printer decided to run short on ink.o_O This makes the door window look a little short front to back, but I also want to do a moderate chop (2"?).
    Kinda like this.......
    `50Chevy Chopped 001.jpg

    Real cut and paste :D:D:D:D:D:D
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2020
    Gasser 57 likes this.

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