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Yellow Fever

Low Angle Driver Side
Mike Finnegan | Writer
Posted September 20, 2004

Nine Days From Camo' and Rust to Righteousness

You could say that some people will always be truck people. No matter how many cars may come in and out of their lives, the urge to build a truck will always be there. Scott Conger of Batesville, Arkansas, has built 16 different custom vehicles in his lifetime, each one besting the previous one with new ideas. In between the buildups, Scott found time for his family and a couple of miscellaneous cars. In the end, though, his wife prompted him to build his latest and favorite custom creation to date. She purchased the rusted and camouflage-painted hulk of a '71 Chevy, which Scott turned into a showstopper and capable off-road machine.

It took Scott and his friends Ed, Randy, Shane, Dean, and Kirk just nine days to completely strip the truck down to the frame and rebuild it. The restoration included sand-blasting the frame and all the suspension components until they were clean enough for primer and paint. The stock suspension received components from Superlift, equaling a 10-inch increase in ride height. A 3-inch body lift enables this 4x4 to clear 39-inch Mickey Thompson tires and 15-inch Weld Racing rims. Do you think you could do all that in nine days?

Power for Yellow Fever comes from a likely package: a stroked Chevy small-block and four-speed manual transmission. The stroked Mouse motor benefits from Dart cylinder heads, an Edelbrock Torker II intake, a Holley 650-cfm carburetor, and a Flowmaster exhaust system that's been Jet Hot-coated. Power is estimated at 400 hp, which is more than enough to smoke the tires any time Scott feels the need.

The level of detail in the chassis on this truck is amazing, and it's incredible to think that it was completed in such a short amount of time. Rust was present in all the usual places on a '67-'72 vintage Chevy pickup. Replacement panels cured the cancer in the rocker panels, cab corners, and floorboards. Marrati's Body Shop in Batesville sprayed the PPG Flame Yellow paint and clearcoat, which gives this truck its potent shine.

The finishing touches for Yellow Fever included interior upgrades in the sound and comfort departments. Bucket seating replaced the stock bench warmer and was upholstered in black leather. An Alpine in-dash CD head unit and 300-watt Precision Power amplifier provide the beats for a pair of 12-inch subwoofers mounted in the rear of the cab. Scott also added new dash bezels and a new gauge cluster to the dashboard, giving the Grant GT steering wheel a fresh background.

Nine days sounds like an improbable benchmark for a buildup of this caliber. But when you factor in Scott's background in truck building and the help of good friends, anything is possible. Especially when you have Yellow Fever.

Specifications
Owner/hometown: Scott Conger/Batesville, Arkansas
Year/make/model: '71 {{{Chevrolet}}} Cheyenne
Engine: Chevy 383 stroker, Comp Cams valvetrain, March serpentine pulleys, Dart heads, Flowmaster exhaust
Suspension: Superlift 10-inch Softride leaf springs, dual steering stabilizer, eight shocks
Tires/wheels: Mickey Thompson 39x18.5x15 tires/Weld 15x14-inch wheels

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View Photo Gallery
  • Superlift provided the 10 inches of suspension lift and 3 inches of body lift that give this truck its menacing stance.

  • An RCI fuel cell provides the high-octane mixture that feeds the stroker motor up front. Note the extreme detail of the chassis work, which includes gloss-black paint, polish, and chrome accents. Cleaning this rig must be a pain in the arse.

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