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Off-Road Magazine Old Iron

Maurice says it stops people dead in their tracks. A "thumbs up" is not very unusual either. As a matter of fact, the Southern California kid's bright yellow 1957 Chevy not only gets a stare from your average truck fan, but it appeals to almost all segments of the population. It is just cool-looking ride!
     The whole idea was started in the shop by the name of Off-Road Unlimited in Burbank, California. Maurice Rozo, the shop's owner, had happen to stumble upon a beat up '57 body that just begged him for a new chassis and some TLC. So Maurice, being the gentleman that he is, found a 1976 Chevy 3/4-ton 4x4 frame that was then shortened to mate underneath the truck using custom fabricated body mounts and Energy Suspension's body mounts and Energy Suspension urethane bushings.
     Next, a Chevrolet LS-6 454 block fitted with a custom ground head by 4X Specialties (Van Nuys, California) went in along with the cam that has .566 inches of llift and 290 degrees of duration. A Holly 750cfm double pumper with off road floats and a K&N air filter add the fuel to the motor and a Doug Thorley Tri-Y header system lets the exhaust out into the Flowmaster three chamber dual-exhaust out into the Flowmaster three chamber dual-exhaust system installed by Enoch Muffler (Burbank, California). Young's Radiator (San Fernando, California) built a custom five core radiator to keep things cool.
     The stock fuel tank in the '57 hel only 17 gallons of gasoline, so a 30-gallon fuel cell built by Custom Gas Tanks (San Dimas, Calfornia) was built and installed, giving Maurice the cruising range he needs.
     John Kilgore, a TH400/TH475 transmission specialist from Burbank, California, then customized the '57 TH400 tranny using a 21-percent lower-than-stock first gear, six-percent lower second and a standard 1:1 third coupled with a 2500rpm stall converter. A NP205 transfer case built by Trans Action (Burbank, California) delivers the power to the custom driveshafts built by General Driveshaft (Montrose, California)
     For axles, Maurice chose the Chevy one-ton units using a Dana 60 with a Powerlock in front and a Corporate fourteen bolt with a Detroit Locker in the rear end and 4.88:1 gears in both the front and rear of the truck. This means for some hard acceleration in the mud or on the hard stuff! Disc brakes on all four corners assures the 5500-pound truck will come to a stop when necessary.
     National Springs built the leafs and 24 Doetsch Tech MV-12 racing shocks (six at each wheel), provided by Four Wheel Parts Wholeaslers (Gardena, California), were installed to control the springs and two MV-12s were bolted on and used as stering stabilizers.
     Maurice chose 40-inch Ground Hawg Tires mounted on 12x46.5-inch aluminum Weld "Super Single" rims to fill out the '57's large wheelwells. The interior features a stock '57 bench seat and an original '57 headliner. The dash retains the stock factory look as well. A steering column from a late-model Chevy Silverado 4-speed truck was shortened six inches and connected to a Tommy Lee steering box. At the end of the column, various Auto Meter gauges were connected to help monitor the beast's vital functions. Filler lap belts and shoulder harnesses were then installed to keep everyone safe when the going gets fun.
     To crank up the tunes, Maurice flips the switches of a USA-04 40-watt AM/FM cassette player with CD input built and installed by Keith Daves of Custom Autosound (Northridge, California).
     At this point, the truck was mechanically sound and the body was once again removed and taked to Mike Hurst (Burbank, California) for the final body prep and paint work. Mike gave the '57 his magical touch, smoothing out any remaining dings and then applied five coats of Chrome Yellow acrylic urethane paint. helping give the truck its unique personality.
     Since its completion six months ago, Maurice's bright yellow '57 has won him three first place trophies in the first three shows he entered. (Might we add, they were all tough shows with some stiff competition). Maurice also like to drive (not trailer) his truck to the competition. Heck, with extremely little effort, we even managed to talk him into getting his animal muddy for you readers. that fun-filled day also managed to get him on the cover of his favorite magazine. Not bad for a once-upon-a-time old beater!

Six MV-12 Doetsch Tech Maximum Velocity Racing Shocks per wheel were mounted to custom-fabricated shock mounts using Energy Suspension's urethane bushings.

The '57's interior retains the stock look with the exception of the various guages and "functional" performance items added.

A trace of the diamond-plated bed shows riding above a custom designed suspension system. If you have any questions about this hot '57 that haven't been covered in this article, you can give Maurice a call at Off-Road Unlimited at 818-563-DIRT. Maurice specializes in custom fabrication of 4x4 trucks, and is in his shop Monday through Friday from 8AM-5PM. Be sure and tell him who sent you!



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