We spotted Rob Bennett’s hot little ‘54 3100 at Lone Star Throwdown in 2021, and then again at the C10 Nationals in May. His truck isn’t an overnight sensation. Heck, it’s been around on the scene for years, but it still looks great in a very timeless sense. As Rob put it, “The truck has been together 12 years and shows no signs of aging. When you build them right, they stay right.”
Everything about Rob’s truck is “just right”. From the ride height, classy interior, to the subtle paint hue, and even the not-so-subtle, blown small block under the hood, this truck looks like a cake baked with the best ingredients from the last 3 decades of rodding. On a scale of “would we drive it or not”, we’ll give it a solid 10/10. It’s that cool.
Rob tells us the story of how this ‘54 came to be. “I bought this truck 5 years ago from Dan, the second owner. He had purchased the truck from his father, who had bought it new in 1954. Dan drove the truck all through high school and even used it to haul pigs to his high school FFA meetings.
Years later, Dan decided he wanted to build something special out of it. After a 9-year build time, and maxing out his budget, he brought the truck home and finished what he could. He cruised the truck for a year and then parked it after losing interest due to the long build time. It then sat for 7 years, never moving from its garage space.
I stumbled across the truck on eBay. After contacting Dan, drove 3 hours to see it. Sitting 7 years was not kind to the truck, but I could see that it was finely crafted and deserved to be finished properly. I made an offer, he accepted, and i hauled it off to its new home.
Once I got the truck home, my wife suggested we go for a drive, I hadn’t made it 1/8-mile before the air inlet fittings on the rear bags broke and the truck dropped to the ground. I limped the truck home, and it spent the next 4 months in the air in my garage while I fixed the issues.
Most of the non-stainless bolts on the truck were rusted, all of the aluminum components (blower, valve covers, etc) were pitted and badly oxidized. It had no side glass or wipers. Tires were rotted and cracking, and the carpet was stained. It had no A/C, and the air ride consisted of a CO2 bottle with 2 switches to control the height. I could definitely see past all of that, and looked forward to giving the truck the attention it deserved.
I installed the door glass and power windows with hidden control switches under the dash, along with a RideTech Ride-Pro E3 with 4-corner stabilizing, dual 150psi compressors mounted under the bed, and a 5-gallon air tank behind the seat. The Ride Tech system is mounted under the hinged Glide Engineering seat base.
All the bed wood was replaced with deep mahogany stained finished wood. Wireless remote controlled door openers were added, as well as a Vintage Air slimline unit with custom made compressor brackets, to keep the compressor as low as possible. The old satin finish supercharger assembly and aluminum valve covers were updated with a new polished Weiand blower and Speedway Motors finned valve covers with breathers, finned air cleaner, and finned radiator cap. Black braided fuel pump to carb lines with polished AN fittings were also added.”
Rob and his wife Lisa have good taste in hot rods, and their ‘54 is just part of their collection. Rob is a historian and huge fan of the pro street cars of the 80’s and 90’s and even owns one of the quintessential blown, big tire cars of the era – the ‘65 Chevelle built by Mark Grimes back in the day. It’s safe to say that the Bennetts are the type of tried and true rodders who make this community great.
Rob Bennett • ‘54 3100
- 1970 small block Chevy 355ci
- Eagle forged crankshaft and
- H-beam connecting rods
- Diamond Racing pistons
- Comp Cams hydraulic roller camshaft .495/.487” lift, 270/264° duration
- World Products Sportsman II heads
- Weiand supercharger
- Mighty Demon 750cfm carburetor
- MSD HEI distributor and 8.8mm plug wires
- Be Cool aluminum radiator
- Speedway finned aluminum valve covers
- Hedman ceramic coated 1-5/8” headers
- 2-1/2” ceramic coated custom exhaust system with Thrush Hush Power mufflers
- 700R4 transmission by Phoenix Transmissions in Weatherford, TX
- TCI Street Fighter 2600rpm stall torque converter
- Lokar shifter with vintage Pearl Beer tap handle
- Stock original frame with all unused brackets removed, smoothed and powdercoated Ford blue
- All fuel and transmission lines plumbed with Aeroquip AN fittings and hose
- Custom bent stainless hard brake lines
- Heidts Super Ride II IFS with 2” drop spindles and Mustang II rack & pinion
- Custom 3/4” front sway bar
- Currie Enterprises Ford 9” rear axle with nodular iron center section and 31-spline axles
- Triangulated custom 4-link rear suspension
- Ridetech Shockwave air bags, front & rear
- Ridetech 5-gallon aluminum air tanks and dual 150PSI compressors
- Wilwood 12” curved vane rotors,
- 11” front, 12” rear and 4-piston calipers
- Speedway 7” brake booster
- Modified Speedway brake pedal
- Wilwood adjustable proportioning valve
- Custom 18-gallon rear-mounted fuel tank with hinged bed floor access
- Ididit non-tilt steering column, painted to match
- Wheel Vintiques Smoothie wheels, 15×6 & 16×7
- Diamond Back wide white BFGoodrich T/A tires, 215/60R15 front, 235/65R16 rear
- Smoothed and painted original hood hinges
- Frenched sealed beam headlights
- Speedway round door frame-mount mirrors
- Bed rails were capped, rounded and rolled into the tailgate top
- Tailgate latch and chains removed, hidden tailgate latch installed
- Custom made rear bed tub to cover the rear suspension and allow the bed height to remain stock
- Taillights were molded into the rear bed supports
- Door handles shaved, vent window removed
- Rain drip rails were removed and filled in
- Front fender vents removed
- Front bumper narrowed and shaved of all bolts
- Rear bumper from 1952 Chevy coupe, narrowed and all bolt holes removed
- Front grille-mounted lower turn signals removed and the bottom bumper valance modified
- Completely smoothed firewall, radiator core support and fenderwells
- All emblems were removed and filled in
- Paint and bodywork by Ornduff Hot Rods of Tomball, TX
- Headlight, wiper, engine fan and power window switches have been mounted under the dash
- Stock restored speedometer, Autometer oil press, water temp and supercharger boost gauges
- Vintage Air climate control
- Glide Engineering seat with distressed leather and matching door panels by Cy-Fair Upholstery in Tomball, TX
- Short beige hook/loop done by Sachse Rod Shop (Sachse, TX) and custom floor mats