Editor’s note: This story originally appeared at SummitRacing.com on 3/22/2005.
We see them with big motors. We see them with big bling. We see them with wild paint, trick interiors—the works. But Todd Collins’ 1990 Chevy 3500 combines all of these elements into one awesome whole—a whole ton of awesome, in fact.
The dualie started life as a work truck, serving faithfully in Collins’ tile and marble contracting business. He retired the truck in 1994 and began makeover number one, turning it into a street ride to wow the cruise-night bunch around his hometown of Chesterfield, MI. But Collins was already planning a more radical buildup, one that ended up transforming the one-tonner into the truck you see here.
Most of that transformation work went into the body. The Stull front grille was extended to meet the front fenders. The side markers and taillights are custom pieces. The exhaust ports in the dualie fenders, the sunken and shortened front bumper, and smoothed tailgate are present and accounted for under the Spies Heckler black pearl and 1986 Caddy pearl red paint. And you gotta dig on the complete set of belly pans underneath— two on each side of the cab and one under the front roll pan covering an auxiliary oil cooler. Credit goes to JR’s Collision and Deano’s Custom Painting for the body and paint wizardry.
The Chevy’s was dropped nine inches in front and a whopping 11 inches out back with Belltech lowering components. Tucked inside the rear fenders are four fat, sticky Mickey Thompson ET Street tires—tires that go up like burgers on your uncle Fred’s grille when Collins gets into the 540-cubic-inch, fuel injected and supercharged big block.
The stroker 502 has an Isky solid roller cam, a pair of breathed-on Brodix aluminum cylinder heads, and a BDS 8-71 huffer with a fully programmable BDS EFI system. Running just eight pounds of boost, the 540 churns out 618 horsepower and 655 foot-pounds of torque. That’s enough to send the dualie down the quarter mile in 12.20 seconds at a buck and a quarter.
We really don’t know how many cow suits are covering the Chevy’s interior, but burgundy leather is all over the cab—on the Recaro bucket seats, the dash, and the door panels. What isn’t leather is genuine burlwood, including a center console Collins made himself. Buried under the leather and wood is 1,800 watts worth of Kenwood and MTX audio system.
When he’s not busy racking up show trophies, Collins dumps some 104 octane Torco into the Chevy’s tank and racks up 1,000 to 3,000 miles a year cruising around Michigan. He has also swapped blower pulleys to push the boost up to 12 pounds, much to the delight of Mickey Thompson’s stockholders.
Todd set out to build something one of a kind. What he ended up with is a Chevy dualie that looks killer and runs almost as quick as an LS1 Corvette. If that isn’t a ton of fun, we don’t know what is.
Front Suspension: Belltech drop spindles, Belltech coil springs, and Belltech shocks, all Jet Hot coated—nine-inch total drop
Rear Suspension: Belltech flip kit, Belltech leaf springs, and Belltech shocks, all Jet Hot coated—11-inch total drop
Rear Axle: Stock Dana with 3.42 gears and Eaton Detroit Locker differential
Brakes: CNC Customs front disc with six-piston calipers, stock rear drum
Wheels and Tires: 16-inch KMC Talon wheels, 26 x 11.5-16 Mickey Thompson ET Street tires, 225/60R-16 BFGoodrich Touring T/A tires
Chassis Work: Owner
Engine and Transmission
Type: Chevy 540, 618 horsepower/655 foot-pounds torque
Block: GM Performance Parts 502 block, ceramic-coated cast iron
Reciprocating Assembly: 4.25-inch stroke Eagle Specialties forged crank, 5.385-inch Eagle Specialties rods, 8.6:1 JE forged pistons—assembly is balanced
Camshaft: Iskenderian solid roller cam, 238°/248° duration @ .050 inch
Cylinder Heads: Brodix Big Brody aluminum heads, 128cc rectangular intake ports, 128cc combustion chambers—port matched and polished
Valvetrain: Iskenderian valve springs, Iskenderian roller lifters, 1.7 ratio Harland Sharp roller rocker arms
Induction: BDS 8-71 supercharger and 16-nozzle EFI system, 12 pounds boost
Ignition: MSD Pro Billet distributor, MSD 6AL ignition, MSD Blaster 2 coil
Exhaust: Hooker Super Competition headers, three-inch dual exhaust, custom mufflers and exhaust tips by Pro Dyn
Transmission: Turbo 400 with manual valve body with trans-brake, 10-inch/2,900 rpm stall converter
Other Items: ARP fasteners, Russell and Aeroquip plumbing, Tilton Super Starter, Derale electric fans, Edelbrock water pump
Engine Work: Dynamic Speed & Marine
Transmission Work: Rich Bewick Racing Transmissions
Paint and Body
Body Modifications: Belly pans under cab and front roll pan, front bumper shortened and sunk 1 ½-inch into body, Stull grille extended to meet front fenders, hood modified for blower clearance, shaved fuel filler door, exhaust ports in rear fenders, smoothed tailgate and bed, custom side marker and tail lights, sunroof, front and rear roll pans, burlwood and purpleheart mahogany bed
Paint: Spies Heck black and 1986 Cadillac Pearl Red, red and lilac graphics
Bodywork and Paint: Deanos Body Works and Custom Paint, JR’s Collision
Seats: Recaro bucket
Upholstery: Burgundy leather
Dash: Leather cover, custom gauge cluster
Gauges: Auto Meter
Other Items: Custom burlwood console and dash inserts
Audio: 1,800-watt Kenwood/MTX system, custom subwoofer boxes, Dynamat sound control
Upholstery: Seat Works
Special Thanks To: Danny Jones and Jim Bullard