Hell Revisited | Aaron Gregory's 1951 Chevrolet Pickup Update
Intro & Photography Luke Ray
We first featured Aaron’s fantastic ‘51 pickup back in Fuel Magazine 21 almost four years ago. It’s one of those knock-out builds that always looks fresh. Speaking of which, Aaron’s been hard at work over the last twelve months giving the old girl a new look. I didn’t think this one would get much better, but Aaron’s hit a home run again with his truck.
If you haven’t seen it before, just back up a bit and head over to our previous feature on this charming Chevy. As well as the magazine feature, we have published it in all its former glory in a full post on this website. Click through to this link to take in that feature and you’ll be right up to speed…
So here we are, well in to 2019 and ‘Memphis Hell’ has a new look. I headed to Sydney to catch up with Aaron to see what’s changed. At this point, I also need to remind you that Aaron isn’t just a talented hobbyist. This is what he does for a living. If you’re an Instagrammer, I urge you to head over to Aaron’s account and marvel at the what he gets up to. You can find the link at the end of this article. Over to you, Mr Gregory…
AG: I was thrashing to get a customer’s car finished at work. So, I went to work on a Sunday in the Chev. The fuel was low but I thought; “I’ll get it after work, I don’t have time now.” Sure enough I ran out of juice on a five minute drive! Three walks to the service station with jerry cans later and I still couldn’t get the little inline fuel pump to feed the carburetter. The battery eventually went flat from turning it over do much. That was the turning point for me. The fuel system was terrible, the carby was a pain, plus it was time to give the truck a birthday.
So, into the shop it went for what I was told will be a “quick, easy and cheap” conversion over to electronic fuel injection. It didn’t end up being any of that, but it was eventually done and I swapped out the automatic gearbox for a T56 six-speed manual at the same time.
While up at the Cooly Rocks On event up on the Gold Coast, I ripped the rear roll pan off and lost a tail light during the Saturday night Super Cruise whilst showing off to the crowds. So, with half the job already done for me I thought I may as well cut the rest of the tub off. I never really liked it all that much anyway. The build was rushed for Motorex seven years ago, so now was my chance to fix all the outstanding issues that have been bugging me ever since.
The rear tub sides have come down 100mm each side. The rear is now 120mm shorter and 100mm off the ground. The rear guards have come down 75mm and forward 50mm. The big, raked ‘nomad’ tailgate is replaced with a louvred aluminium skin, LED tail lights and rear exit exhausts.
I had about five months off work in an eighteen month period with illness. So much idle time gave me way too many ideas, but it also allowed me plenty of time to plan everything that I wanted to do and to research the hell out of it all. So, when it came time to cut it up it was all very straightforward and quick.
The roof chop metal work was completed over a couple of nights after work. 75mm was removed. My dad Steve came up for a week and got it ready for paint. Then my mate Steve painted the roof and tub. A new two-tone colour scheme meant that no paint needed to blended! We just masked it off and painted the top brown, simple as that.
The roof chop in progress. Pics by Aaron Gregory.
My mate Jamie Smith asked if I knew anyone that might want some 315/45/18 Pirelli Pzeros. I said no but that I’d take them and find something to do with them... And so started the new race-look theme. It pretty much snowballed from that point and the look is something I have always wanted to do.
I hunted down a set of genuine OM Simmons three-piece wheels which Scotty from Oxytech had sitting in pieces in a box. So, the truck now runs a 18x12 setup in the rear and 17x10 in the front. To get a better turning circle, I cut and re-radiused the front wheel arches so that the new wheels would clear at full lock.
I then made and added all the aluminium aero bits; The splitter and air dam, diffuser and rear spoiler. With more and more road grip now happening, plus some suspension upgrades, the old bench seat had to go. A quick search landed me a set of leather Subaru WRX seats and some harnesses to keep me in place on my weekend fangs out through the hills.
Follow Aaron: @memphishell51.