The vehicle of choice for most diesel engine enthusiasts is a pickup with a really powerful engine. And that was initially the plan for a client (who prefers to remain nameless) of ACR’s Andrew Faris. On the other hand, Faris’s client has three kids and likes his Sunday drives. So a four-door sedan made more sense from a comfort standpoint—but he couldn’t let go of his diesel obsession. Why not build on the best of both worlds, a stylish street rod with a 1,200hp Cummins? Sounds plum crazy, and the result is this insane ’29 Plymouth.
The project went through other changes midstream, as the original concept called for a rat rod in bare metal. “I wanted a modern industrial theme to the car using metal and wood detail pieces,” Faris recalls. Obviously the treatment went bonkers from there, as the trim and finish on this street rod is not merely industrial, but maniacal in quality.
How did it go off the rails? Faris started out sensibly enough, by selecting the tire sizes: Pirelli PZero 325/30, 19 inches in the front and 21 in the rear. Then he set the original tin body on the floor and moved the tires around until they looked right.
With the wheelbase sorted out, “I ordered a differential and rear clip from Chris Alston Chassisworks,” Faris relates. “And had Pete & Jake’s build me a drop-tube axle.” He then built the 2×4-inch square-tube perimeter frame on his shop table, and installed a four-link rear end and Watts link with Air Spring bags and Bilstein shocks. At the front, the drop axle rides on Posies springs and a Pinto box actuates the steering system. The brake asemblies are 4-piston Wilwoods with Lincoln drum covers and Aeroquip lines.
In the meantime, Industrial Injection was building a 5.9L Cummins with a Phatshaft 62 / S474 compound turbo setup, and Bowler Transmissions was putting together a bulletproof 4L80 trans. A Destroked adaptor links the two together. A FASS filter keeps a good clean supply available to the Cummins, and a Dragon Fly injection pump raises the fuel delivery to keep up with the pair of high-performance puffers. A custom intercooler provides plenty of air density as well.
Once those items arrived, Faris had some measurements to work from, so he decided to widen the body three inches to make more room for his client’s kids. Here’s were things start to get a little nutty.
“This meant a lot of fab work,” he admits. “We had to build the hinging front and rear window openings, the whole rear panel, and widen the cowl.” But that was only the beginning of the insanity, as he also had to figure out the best routing for the custom exhaust. It consists of a five-inch pipe flowing into two four-inchers that dump into a Magnaflow seven-inch muffler. In addition, Faris got the harebrained idea of putting some rain caps on the roof, so he had to make that happen as well. The next major obstacle was to get the rear door functioning, which required moving the lower portion of the door jamb forward to allow easier access to the rear seat.
With the overall look of the car sorted out, Faris worked with Mike Miernik of Miernik Design to draw up some details. He penned a rendering that would promote the Plymouth as a SEMA show car. House of Kolor agreed to host it in their booth and supplied a new hue of Indigo Blue. It looks more like Plum Crazy to us, but what’s in a name? Whatever the label, it looks just as sweet. Commenting on the color and intensity of the paint, Faris notes that “it’s got quite a flop on it.” He also applied Galaxy Grey and flat clear as a contrasting color.
Much more work was left to do with only five months to go before SEMA. “It is very difficult to change directions in mid-project,” Faris points out. “But there’s always a way to get it done.”
That meant really digging in, and a lot of late nights handling items such as hand-finished brushed stainless on the window frames, headlight and taillight buckets, and grille. The wheels are one-offs designed by Faris and Miernik. They were cut as one-piece rims by Evod Industries and the wooden inserts were machined out of teak. The whitewall is in fact part of the rim, not the tire, giving the car a more vintage flavor.
“We tied the old-school feel of the car in with the tuck-and-roll interior design,” Faris points out. The customized hides covering the bomber seats came from Relicate Leather and perfectly match the Galaxy Grey. Carrying the vintage theme further is a classy teak storage trunk mounted on the rear bumper, which echoes the teak veneer wrapping the trans tunnel and dash inserts.
1,200 horsepower and 2,100 lb-ft of torque.
Faris also designed all of the trim and bezels to match and had them machined by Accutec Tool and Die. The dash had to be widened as well (to fit the wider body), and the BOG (Big Old Gauge) cluster was custom built at Classic Instruments to fit with the theme of the car.
The level of detailing went to even higher levels of lunacy. “All the Lokar components, such as the door handles and shifter and e-brake look right at home in the interior,” Faris says. All that remained before the customer took delivery was a custom roll cage.
Getting back to the diesel, the difference in output is startling compared with the engine used in the original ’29 Plymouth. Chrysler introduced an inline four-cylinder version of its straight six in 1926 (just as Cummins had a four-cylinder version of its 5.9L straight six). But that’s where any similarity ends, aside from the type of fuels used. The Chrysler displaced less than 2.8 liters and churned out 45 horses. The 1,200hp Cummins delivers 26 times that output, plus 2,100 lb-ft of torque. Is that crazy or what?
This Cummins powered Chevy C10 bodied Ford F250 chassis lifted 4×4 creation took Trevor Lima, of Diesel Performance Specialties, over three-years to build. He finished it just in time for SEMA 2018. It set him back a $150,000 to realize this dream build.
Lima has been in the industry for over six-years and created some impressive builds over that time. The last big one, before this Cummins C10 build, was a crazy six-door 2016 Excursion.
Lima built an orange 1967 Chevy C10 2WD single cab short bed alongside his Dad as a young adult in their home garage. The build was nearing completion, with body paint, powder coated frame, engine and trans already done, when his parents got a divorce, and the truck was sold. That truck turned into the famous “Tootsie,” as it’s known in C10 circles.
Between the build with his Dad and restoring a 1970 GMC 2WD in dark metallic green and white with woodgrain trim for his great uncle Pete Lima was hooked. He always wanted to make one for himself, but has always been a 4WD diesel lifted truck guy, so this creation is the culmination of those early build experiences and dreams.
Lima decided in 2015 that it was finally time to tackle a build like this for himself, in his personal style. The idea for this build started off as a cool halfway clean daily driver, but nothing over the top. Lima wanted a lifted 4WD, and wanted a Cummins diesel stuffed under the hood. He also loved the retro classic paint look, and couldn’t resist that orange two-tone.
As Lima started on the build he ran into problem after problem trying to get the big Cummins to fit in the original 1967 Chevy frame. In the end it wasn’t wide enough or strong enough to support the big diesel. A frame swap was going to be required.
Lima says that the running gear under the Dodge frame from the same vintage as the engine he chose, 2003-2007, was “the world’s worst,” so he decided to use a Ford chassis. He found the axles, steering, suspension, etc… to be superior to a 2000’s Dodge truck.
As he started working on the truck more and more he quickly realized that he couldn’t justify not doing the build perfect. He had built a nice 1995 K3500 Silverado several years before, with a 12 Valve Cummins in it, but when he was done he knew there were a few things he should’ve done differently. Lima couldn’t stomach having that feeling again with this build.
At this point the personal build budget went out the window and Lima focused on doing every aspect of this project just right, and to his personal style. He aimed to build a show truck that was an extremely capable weekend driver and was every bit as aggressive on the road as it would look.
Of course, as with most projects like this, it took much longer and cost much more than expected to build. Lima had to keep putting this personal build on the back burner as his business grew, he moved into a larger building, sold his house and the usual life events happened.
The 1969 Chevy K20 single cab body has been refurbished to better than OEM quality and updated with a billet grille. The classic Chevy body sits atop a 2010 Ford F250 chassis, which has been boxed and reinforced. A 2005 5.9L common rail Cummins has then been stuffed under the Chevy hood and between the Ford frame rails. The American truck trifecta has been achieved with this truck!
The Cummins has been bored .020 over stock, the block deburred and all new high quality internals fitted. Parts like Carillo Rods, Mahle Pistons, Hamilton cams, valves, lifters and pushrods and even a big S369 SXE Turbo with race cover and a billet wheel have been fitted. An Airdog 220 GPH, 12mm Stroker-BD Diesel Injection Pump and Exergy Injectors all add to this impressive engine package. An HP Tuner tuned by Firepunk Diesel helps the truck put down 1500 ft/lb torque and 800 HP.
Under the truck you’ll find Fabtech 8” lift springs up front and stock F250 leafs in the back, with a shackle flip. Pro Comp MX2 shocks keep the ride smooth over the rough Texas roads. The truck rolled on huge 24×14 Forged American Truxx 1909 Aries Wheels wrapped in 40×15.50 Toyo Mud-Terrains for SEMA, but normally rolls on classic 17-inch pacer wheels wrapped in 40×13.50 Toyo MTs.
A full custom interior is both modern and classic at the same time. It features seats out of a 2005 Chevy truck, OEM Dodge gauges and a full custom tan leather interior by Pacos Upholstery.
The list of upgrades on this truck is more than extensive, as Lima needed to find ways to integrate the big Cummins into the Chevy body and Ford chassis seamlessly. A Firepunk Comp Stage 2 transmission turns custom B&W Driveline driveshafts while a ATS 3-piece stainless exhaust with MBRP flow through muffler let the Cummins breath easy. Touches like a custom 35 gallon aluminum fuel tank, dual optima batteries mounted on the frame rails and Amp Research powered side steps help keep this build tidy and functional.
All in, Lima is super happy with how this build turned out and says he “doesn’t really have any plans in the future to upgrade it.” He built it the exact way he wanted, and correct the first time. He says “it has tons of power and drives like a dream. It doesn’t need anymore work in my opinion. It turns more heads than you can count when its cruising down the road or driving by on a trailer.”
After this build started coming to life, it started gathering a ton of attention locally in California. People were stopping by Lima’s general auto repair shop to check it out. The more people came around he realized that there was an untapped niche in the diesel community where he was living. His general auto repair shop wasn’t doing great, as there were about 20 other repair shops on the same road and the competition was fierce.
A lack of a quality diesel shop around was very evident, so he changed his shop’s name and refocused on the diesel market. Diesel Performance Specialties was born, and business was booming immediately. After only six-months he moved the business from a tiny 2,000 Sq ft shop into a huge 8,000 Sq ft space right off a major freeway. Within several months at the new location, he even took over the 8,000 sq/ft building next door. Lima had found his niche and business is good.
This build was winning local truck shows before the interior was even finished, even landing in a few local auto parts calendars. Lima never saw his creation as a SEMA truck, as he “figured it was too old and classic for the modern touches of the show.”
Truck Guru’s Cris Payne was looking for some SEMA trucks for the 2018 show and multiple people tagged Lima’s build on Facebook to be considered. In the end this custom diesel C10 build was upgraded with 24×14 American Truxx wheels and showcased in the company’s SEMA Show booth in 2018.
These days it’s been attending a few local shows and sitting in the shop not getting much drive time. It can currently be seen at the brand new Diesel Performance Specialties shop in Weatherford, TX.
After flying out to meet with American Truxx in Dallas before SEMA 2018, Lima fell in love with th e area and decided to move his shop to the DFW area, which opened in the summer of 2019. Lima’s Chevy C10 dream build is on display at the new facility. It even got a top 100 placing at this year’s Lonestar Throwdown, out of over 2000 trucks at the show.
Check out other custom C-10’s here!
Frame & Body: 2010 Ford F250 Frame (Boxed & Reinforced), 1969 Chevy K20 Body w/ Billet Grille & 1970 OEM Reproduction Front Bumper
Engine: 5.9L 2005 Common Rail Cummins (machined by NAPA Machine Shop & assembled by Diesel Performance Specialties) (bored .020 over, block deburred, Carillo Rods, Mahle Pistons, Assembly Balanced, Hamilton Cams, Hamilton HD Valves, Hamilton Pushrods, Hamilton Lifters, 103 lb springs, 188 Duration and 220 Lift), Mishimoto Intercooler, S369 SXE Turbo w/Race Cover & Billet Wheel (60 PSI boost), Airdog 220 GPH, 12mm Stroker-BD Diesel Injection Pump, 1/2” fuel lines, Exergy Injectors (100% over size), HP Tuners with Firepunk Diesel tune
Axels: Sterling 10.50 with 4.56 Gears, Detroit Tru-Trac Locker
Suspension: Fabtech 8” Lift Front Springs, Stock F250 Springs w/ Shackle Flip, Pro Comp MX2 Shocks
Steering: Redhead Box, 2006 Dodge Column
Wheels & Tires: 24×14 American Truxx Forged 1909 Aries Wheels wrapped in 40×15.50 Toyo MT Tires
Other: ATS 3 Piece Stainless Exhaust w/ MBRP Flow Through Muffler, Firepunk Comp Stage 2 Transmission, 1410 Ujoints, Custom Driveshafts by B&W Driveline, NP241 DHD Transfer Case, 35 Gallon Custom Aluminum Gas Tank, Dual Optima Batteries on Passenger Frame Rail Under Cab, Linex Sprayed Bed, Amp Research Running Boards, American Made Wood Grain Trim, Painted Orange/Red by Rookers Collision, Custom Tan Interior by Pacos Upholstery, Seats from 2005 Chevy Truck, Stock Dodge Gauge Cluster with Dash Bezel from 2005 Dodge, Overhead Dodge Control Panel, Power Windows & Doors, Autometer A-Pillar Guages, Pioneer & JBL Sound System