Doug Eldred is a true hot rod guy.

He owns Eldred Hotrod Shop in Edinboro, PA, but when he’s not overseeing builds and wrenching on customer projects, he prefers to focus on his hobbies. It just so happens that one of his favorite hobbies is building and hot rodding custom vehicles like this 1939 Chevrolet Custom Pickup, which he named The Brass Monkey.


This truck cab was the starting point for Eldred’s truck.

Although Eldred lives, breathes, and works hot rodding, we’re convinced he could also have a successful career in the investment business. Consider the fact that his beautiful ’39 Chevy started off as a beat-up, standalone truck cab that he purchased for just $600. Eldred used his incredible vision, considerable mechanical and painting skills, and teamwork from his staff at the shop to turn that modest investment into the showstopper you see here.

“I was looking for a personal project,” Eldred said. “Just something to tinker around with in the evening and just kind of bond my employees together a little bit on the side. I came across the truck cab, and I had little rendering of a rat rod.”

DSC_0221As the truck started to come together, his plans changed.

“I put it into bare metal as a roller and I felt at that point it deserved more than just a rat rod look,” Eldred said. “Being a painter, I decided to take it to the next level and finish it as somewhat of a show vehicle.”

Calling the ’39 “somewhat of a show vehicle” may be the understatement of the year. The truck features a long list of custom fabricated parts and pieces from other vehicles. It has a 4 ½-inch chopped top, shaved cowl vent, custom truck bed, and handmade, etched brass door handles and trim. The grille shell is from a 1935 Chevy truck and has been sectioned 7 inches. The headlights are from a 1934 Ford, and the 1937 taillights are modified and feature custom brass bezels and Zephyr lenses. The entire truck is covered in Brass Monkey Bronze base and clear coat.

The truck rolls on a custom-built 2 x 3-inch unibody chassis. It has a 1940 Ford 4-inch drop axle up front and Quick Performance Hi-Nine third member with 4:10 gears out back. A combination of Quarter Elliptical springs and rear coil-over shocks provide the handling, and 18-inch front/20-inch rear Rallye America wire wheels complete the truck’s stunning looks.

A smoothed, 355-cubic-inch small block Chevy provides the go-power. A set of four distinctive Stromberg 97 carbs sit atop the engine, and a pair of Ram Horn headers give the truck that quintessential hot rod look. A custom-fabricated 2 ½-inch exhaust built by Eldred Hotrod Shop expels the spent gases. Inside, the ’39 features Relicate “Pinecone” glazed antique leather to complement the paint nicely. It has custom sheetmetal “seat surrounds” and a modified 1936 Plymouth dashboard.

OnAllCylinders’ Sean Cutright caught up with Eldred and his 1939 Chevrolet Custom Pickup at the Summit Racing Equipment Piston-Powered Autorama in Cleveland, OH. Check out the video here:

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Author: David Fuller

David Fuller is OnAllCylinders' managing editor. During his 20-year career in the auto industry, he has covered a variety of races, shows, and industry events and has authored articles for multiple magazines. He has also partnered with mainstream and trade publications on a wide range of editorial projects. In 2012, he helped establish OnAllCylinders, where he enjoys covering all facets of hot rodding and racing.