(July 2000) This is what we started with: a second-hand fibreglass reproduction '29 Model A cab, complete with doors and Auburn-style dash. It had a steel firewall fitted, recessed to clear the little Daimler hemi-V8 that the original owner was using in his truck (he sold this one because because he got his hands on a steel cab).
(May 2001) One of the first things we had to do, as soon as a chassis was ready, was to cut four inches out of the bottom of the back of the cab, and the firewall, to channel it the depth of the chassis rails.
Because the cab is channeled 4", and the front rails slope up 3", an original grille shell would obviously not fit. On early hot rods, the radiator and grille were often mounted in front of the front crossmember, aligning the top with the cowl. Apart from putting the bottom of the radiator close to the ground, it meant that a standard-sized bonnet (hood) wouldn't fit - not a problem if you're showing off your engine without one.
However, we want to use a bonnet, and not because it's going to have a four-banger, but because it rains a lot here, and we intend to make as much use as possible of the pickup when it's finished. And we don't want to use a stretched one.
(December 2001) If we weren't to use a stock grille, we had two choices: section it 7" to fit as standard, or remove just 4", and also lower it 3" over the crossmember. The picture shows, L-to-R, our repro steel, filled, grille shell, the same one sectioned by 4", and finally sectioned by 7". We don't really like the 7" chop as it makes it look too squat, so we will chop 4" out of the height, then trim 3" off of the bottom of each side flange to drop it lower over the crossmember. It looked like which ever option we took, it should still fit over the original Alfa Spider radiator (just), unlike a '32 grille shell, which would be too narrow.
(March 2002) Unfortunately, when we got to mock up the body, bonnet, and sectioned grille shell, we found that the rad was a touch too tall. This means we will have to modify this rad or find one that fits properly.
(January 2005) It's about time we had another mock-up session, so here it is - a rough idea of how it looks at the moment (the pickup bed is still being made, so this one has been sketched in).
It will almost certainly have a smaller visor above the screen, to aid vision after chopping it 3". And we're still probably going to fit some modified front fenders - modified '32 Ford ones will fit better than '28-'29 Model A style ones, as the A ones are too curvy, and won't mount to the chassis and align with the cowl how we want them to.