Rick's Custom Welding, Inc.
The Truckster was a 1967 American Motors Rambler Rebel station wagon body sitting on top of a 1959 Dodge 1 1/4 ton stake truck. It had a 318 Dodge engine hooked to a 4 speed transmission and a 2 speed rear end. I got the idea from “Vacation” and “Mad Max.” I bought the Rambler from my cousin (John Wohlfiel who got it from our Aunt Geri Faust) and drove it for a few years. The transmission was the weakest part of the car, so after a few transmission replacements it was time to retire it. Then I got the truck from a friend of mine (Norm Williams). I took the cab and bed off: it had a six cylinder in it so I swapped it out for a 318. I shortened up the chassis to fit the Rambler and then just put them together.
This is the second truck I’ve built – we call it “The Big Boy" after The Union Pacific locomotive. It is modeled after the my first truck, dubbed "The Truckster,” which I built in my hometown of Franklinville, New York.
The Big Boy’s Chassis is a 1984 International Cargo Star with the body of a 1984 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser. It originally had a 7.3 diesel engine, and after about a year, I installed the current engine, a 6V53 Detroit Diesel and a MT643 Allison transmission.
The Big Boy proudly serves as our Rick's Custom Welding service truck.
Many ask if it is street legal, and the answer is yes. Although, when we first brought the Truckster to Virginia, we were pulled over on a frequent basis - more often out of curiosity, but on the rare occasion for inspection, which we always passed. When the Big Boy was built, DMV had to visit the build site to inspect it before issuing a new Identification number. Once in a great while it will still get pulled over to be checked out, but it has never been in violation of Virginia codes.
The Big Boy has been entered in two competitions over the years, and has placed first both times. In the first, when I arrived they didn't have a category to place it in, so they entered me in the class they could best fit, and we still won first place!
2009 Carilse All Truck Nationals -1st place: MISC. 2WD OR LOWERED
2010 Carilse All Truck Nationals -1st place: MISC. 4x4 OR LIFTED