Crafting Automotive Masterpieces: ‘Thelma’ And The 1955 Patina Hot Rod

'Thelma' and the Patina Hot Rod Phenomenon'Thelma' and the Patina Hot Rod Phenomenon

A Journey Through Time, Passion, and Automotive Artistry

The world of custom vehicles is a fascinating realm where passion, artistry, and engineering expertise converge. Let’s delve into the journey of a truly distinctive 1955 Patina Hot Rod truck build that has captivated the hearts of enthusiasts and drivers alike at the Corvette Chevy Expo.

A Unique Vision Takes Shape:

In the early hours of the day designated for the grand revelation of ‘Thelma,’ rain descended from the heavens. It wasn’t the most favorable weather for a momentous unveiling, yet it’s said that adversity only intensifies the resolve of devoted craftsmen. “What sets this remarkable truck apart is its remarkable performance even in inclement conditions,” remarks Jon, one of the owners of Bear Brothers who built this exceptional vehicle, a true automotive marvel.

A Dream Takes Root:

The owner, Carl, and Jonathan had been aware of each other’s existence, but their paths had never crossed. The universe, however, had other plans, and they, by chance, met at a car show in Texas a few years ago. The connection was instant, and discussions began. This truck was destined for more than mere display; it was meant to be driven, showcased at events, and claim its place as the pride of Carl’s collection. The Bear Brothers team embarked on the journey with one goal in mind: to build the truck that would make Carl’s dreams a reality.

Every Detail Matters:

Creating a masterpiece like this truck meant that every aspect of its construction had to shine. The team went to great lengths to ensure the tank gleamed with polished aluminum. Hand-bent air lines received meticulous polishing, ensuring that every inch of this machine was immaculate. Understanding the client’s needs was paramount, and they took the time to get to know Carl and the truck’s intended purpose. It was about crafting a vehicle that looked impressive and served a practical function. They incorporated features that mattered to Carl, paying homage to the heritage of Bear Brothers Auto through custom metalwork and door lettering.

Engineering Marvels:

Under the hood, the Bear Brothers team executed a seamless S10 chassis swap, fitting a powerful 2013 Camaro 6.2 engine and a 6L80 transmission. The transmission shifted from manual to automatic with the installation of a Low Car High Boy shifter. The truck received a vintage air conditioning system and Dakota Digital gauges tailored for the ’55 First Series. However, integrating a RideTech S10 air management system designed for S10s was no small feat. The team had to make it work, bridging the gap between the S10 frame and the truck’s cab while retaining the original frame.

A Flawless Canvas:

The truck’s body was a canvas of its own, one of the straightest bodies the team had ever worked on, with minimal rust. Where rust was found, it was in the usual places, easily mitigated and restored to perfection. Taking client feedback and turning it into reality was a collaborative process. The one-off wheels from Raceline were a triumph, alongside the Low Car shifter and exquisite interior work that gave the truck its unique Bear Brothers identity. To ensure impeccable stopping power, 12-inch slotted Wilwood rotors were fitted along with a Wilwood master cylinder.

A Functional Beauty:

In a masterstroke, the team designed a completely different bed setup. The client requested a lifting bed, allowing for an impressive showcase of the truck’s underpinnings. It’s a remarkable feature for those who appreciate the craftsmanship underneath the vehicle. But this truck isn’t just meant for display; it’s meant to be used, enjoyed, and driven.

A Harmonious Roar:

The exhaust chosen was Borla, a local company that delivers an aggressive growl that matches the truck’s intimidating appearance. Soundproofing the interior ensures that, despite the roaring power, the cabin remains peaceful, allowing for conversation even when the engine is put through its paces.

The Joy of Creation:

For the Bear Brothers team, Jon and Jonathan, building custom trucks is more than just a job; it’s a passion. The satisfaction of bringing a customer’s dream to life is an unparalleled reward. Each project is an opportunity to create a unique masterpiece, and the happiness of the truck’s owner on reveal day is a source of immense pride and joy. Their company slogan is ‘Restoring the Old – Building the New.’

‘Thelma’ Triumphs at the Corvette Chevy Expo: In addition to the remarkable truck build, ‘Thelma,’ showcased at the Corvette Chevy Expo, garnered recognition. The truck received the People’s Choice Award, an honor bestowed through ballots filled out by the spectators. Moreover, Carl Beall’s Patina Hot Rod clinched two prestigious titles: Best of Show Truck and Best in Class, further establishing the excellence of the Bear Brothers team.

Embracing the Beauty of Worn Elegance:

The Patina Hot Rod Phenomenon: Perhaps you don’t know what a Patina Hot Rod is. A Patina Hot Rod is a unique and intriguing concept in the world of custom-built vehicles. Unlike the polished and pristine appearance of most classic hot rods, a Patina Hot Rod embraces the charm of age and weathering. These vehicles maintain their original, weathered exterior, displaying the marks and imperfections that time has etched into their surface, often characterized by rust, faded paint, and dents. The allure of a Patina Hot Rod lies in its ability to tell a story through its worn aesthetics, showcasing the rich history of the vehicle. While the exterior may exude vintage character, the underpinnings are often modernized for enhanced performance, offering a harmonious blend of classic appearance and contemporary power, making it a fascinating and captivating subculture within the hot rod community.

Carl Beall’s Journey and the Patina Hot Rod:

Carl Beall, a name synonymous with the small Texan town of Hemphill, retired in 2022 after an impressive 46-year stint as the owner and operator of Beall’s Auto Sale, an establishment founded in 1976. Following his retirement, Carl found the freedom to indulge in his lifelong passions. He’s an avid enthusiast of vintage cars and trucks, as well as a collector of oil and gas-related signs. While he’s closed the chapter on his auto business, Carl keeps the spirit of Beall’s Auto Sales alive through its Facebook page.

Recently, he embarked on an exciting journey to Mount Rushmore, accompanied by none other than ‘Thelma,’ his beloved 1955 Patina Hot Rod truck. The scenic road trip resulted in a stunning collection of photographs that captured the essence of his adventure.

Carl also has another exciting project in the pipeline, a 1958 Cameo truck, aiming to debut at the March 16-17, 2024, Corvette Chevy Expo, continuing his passion for crafting automotive masterpieces. Her name? Louise! Maybe we’ll see both Thelma and Louise at the 2024 Corvette Chevy Expo.

From Car Shows to Mount Rushmore: ‘Thelma’ Takes the Journey of a Lifetime

Capturing the Essence of ‘Thelma’s Journey to Mount Rushmore: Picturesque Moments of Adventure

1955 Chevrolet 3100 Technical Specifications

CHASSIS:
Custom S-10 Chassis

Borgeson Power Steering Box
20 Gallon Fuel Tank Under Bed
Powder Coated Ful Black Chassis

SUSPENSION:
Ridetech Ride Prox Air Management
Ridetech Suspension Package
Front Upper Strongarms
Front Lower Strongarms
Front MuscleBar Sway Bar
Front Double Bellow Bags
Rear Wishbone Suspension System
Rear Shockwave Bags
Polished Air Hard Lines
Polished Air Tank

DRIVETRAIN:
LS3 Engine
PSI Standalone Wiring Harness
6L80-E Transmission

Lokar 32″ Single Bend Shifter
Moser 12 Bolt Rear End
Truetrag 3.73 Differential
2.5″ Stainless Borla Exhaust
Holly Headers
Kwik Performance Accessory Brackets

BRAKES
Wilwood 12″ Drill Rotors
Wilwood 4-piston Calipers
Wilwood Master Cylinder
Stainless Brake Lines

WHEELS AND TIRES:
Raceline Classic Wheels
Front 18×8
Rear 20×10
Custom Bear Brothers Caps
Nitto Invo Tires

BODY AND PAINT:
Smoothed and Painted Engine Bay
Raptor Liner Under Coat
Bed Wood by Hardwood Moulding
Electric Agtuated Bed
Patina Matched Replacement Panels
Painted Interior
Custom Molded Dash

INTERIOR:
Upholstery by Rod Relics Upholstery
Vintage Air A/C System
Dakota Digital Gauges
TriqueManufacturing Door Hardward
Retro Sound Head Unit
Memphis Audio Speakers
Nu-Relics Power Windows
1959 Original Impala Steering Wheel Painted/Wrapped
Trickle Charger Incorporated in Stock fuel neck
Ididit 32″ Steering Column

Captivating Moments: Carl Beall’s Truck at the Corvette Chevy Expo

Photo Gallery:

A Legacy on Wheels: Adorning the door of Carl Beall's truck is the emblem of Beall’s Auto Sale, established in 1976 in the charming town of Hemphill. Specializing in late-model, low-mileage cars. Carl's 46-year journey in the automotive world ended with his well-deserved retirement in October 2022.
<em>A Legacy on Wheels<em>

Adorning the door of Carl Beall’s truck is the emblem of Beall’s Auto Sale, which was established in 1976 in the charming town of Hemphill.

Starring at the Corvette Chevy Expo: Carl Beall's 'Thelma' graces the lobby of the Galveston Island Convention Center, showcasing the epitome of automotive excellence in the heart of the Expo.
<em>Starring at the Corvette Chevy Expo <em>

Carl Beall’s ‘Thelma’ graces the lobby of the Galveston Island Convention Center, showcasing the epitome of automotive excellence in the heart of the Expo.

Built Tough: Raptor Liner Under Coat for added durability on this '55 Patina Hot Rod Truck
<em>Built Tough<em>

Raptor Liner Under Coat for added durability on this ’55 Patina Hot Rod Truck

Unleashing the Power: A closer look at the heart of 'Thelma,' featuring an LS3 Engine, PSI Standalone Wiring Harness, and 6L80-E Transmission in the drivetrain.
<em>Unleashing the Power<em>

A closer look at the heart of ‘Thelma’ featuring an LS3 Engine, PSI Standalone Wiring Harness, and 6L80-E Transmission in the drivetrain.

Power Personified: Delve into the heart of 'Thelma' and discover the raw strength and precision that powers this classic beauty. The LS3 Engine roars with a story of performance and craftsmanship.
<em>Power Personified<em>

Delve into the heart of ‘Thelma’ and discover the raw strength and precision that powers this classic beauty. The LS3 Engine roars with a story of performance and craftsmanship.

Crafted to Perfection: Witness the meticulously Smoothed and Painted Engine Bay of 'Thelma.
<em>Crafted to Perfection<em>

Witness the meticulously Smoothed and Painted Engine Bay of ‘Thelma.

Step Inside Excellence: Dive into the meticulously designed interior of 'Thelma,' featuring Upholstery by Rod Relics Upholstery, a Vintage Air A/C System, Dakota Digital Gauges, TriqueManufacturing Door Hardware, a Retro Sound Head Unit, Memphis Audio Speakers, Nu-Relics Power Windows, a 1959 Original Impala Steering Wheel Painted/Wrapped, a Trickle Charger Incorporated in the Stock Fuel Neck, and an Ididit 32" Steering Column.
<em>Step Inside Excellence<em>

Dive into the meticulously designed interior of ‘Thelma’ featuring Upholstery by Rod Relics Upholstery – a Vintage Air A/C System, Dakota Digital Gauges, TriqueManufacturing Door Hardware, a Retro Sound Head Unit, Memphis Audio Speakers, Nu-Relics Power Windows, a 1959 Original Impala Steering Wheel Painted/Wrapped, a Trickle Charger Incorporated in the Stock Fuel Neck, and an Ididit 32″ Steering Column.

Elevating Excellence: Witness the ingenious bed design of 'Thelma,' with a custom lifting feature that showcases the impeccable craftsmanship beneath the surface. It's a remarkable feature for true automotive connoisseurs.
<em>Elevating Excellence<em>

Witness the ingenious bed design of ‘Thelma,’ with a custom lifting feature that showcases the impeccable craftsmanship beneath the surface. It’s a remarkable feature for true automotive connoisseurs.

Unveiling 'Thelma's Hidden Secrets: Behold the unique lifting bed, a testament to precision engineering and the extraordinary workmanship that lies beneath this classic beauty. An automotive enthusiast's dream come true.
<em>Unveiling Thelmas Hidden Secrets<em>

Behold the unique lifting bed, a testament to precision engineering and the extraordinary workmanship that lies beneath this classic beauty. An automotive enthusiast’s dream come true.

Aesthetic Elegance: Explore the details with Bed Wood by Hardwood Moulding, an Electric Actuated Bed, Patina Matched Replacement Panels, Painted Interior, and Custom Molded Dash on display.
<em>Aesthetic Elegance<em>

Explore the details with Bed Wood by Hardwood Moulding, an Electric Actuated Bed, Patina matched replacement Panels, a Painted Interior, and a Custom Molded Dash on display.

Rolling in Style: 'Thelma' sports Raceline Classic Wheels, with a Front size of 18x8, and Rear size of 20x10, complemented by Custom Bear Brothers Caps and Nitto Invo Tires.
<em>Rolling in Style<em>

‘Thelma’ sports Raceline Classic Wheels, with a Front size of 18×8 and Rear size of 20×10, complemented by Custom Bear Brothers Caps and Nitto Invo Tires.

In the captivating world of custom vehicles, ‘Thelma’ stands as a shining testament to the artistry, passion, and precision that define automotive excellence. We hope you’ve enjoyed this visual journey through the unique story of Carl Beall’s 1955 Patina Hot Rod Truck. As we celebrate the timeless allure of classic vehicles with a modern twist, we invite you to stay connected with us. Sign up for our newsletter to receive exclusive updates, register as a participant for the upcoming Corvette Chevy Expo, and secure your tickets to be a part of this incredible event. Explore the event schedule online, and join us in celebrating the automotive craftsmanship that fuels our shared passion.

Here are some other car features you might enjoy:

Scroll to Top