The Rustarado is a bad-ass little piece of machinery masterminded by my father-in-law, Craig Dolan.
This is what I know:
Its a 1954 Chevrolet Pick-up Truck.
It is loud and built to be that way.
There are “air bags” in the wheel wells that lift the body for driving purposes only. They hiss like the doors on the Death Star when the truck is lowered down to park.
Spied once on an entry form: “Original paint. What’s left of it.”
The rat in the rear window is a squeaky toy and not nearly as menacing as it seems.
The leather is all the real deal, hand-stitched and not molding fast enough for its designer (actually, its not molding at all).
It hasn’t been washed in years except for a swipe of the dash in between car shows.
Hammered copper fender. By hand.
The brake & gas pedals are re- purposed metal wrenches.
Its inner guts and noisy parts boggle me but the engine and the “overflow” and all the motorhead cool kid stuff are one-of-a-kind original designs by Craig.
The stick shift is a giant drill bit which is my favorite part. I love things that curl.
The wood in the truck bed is scavenged from an old barn in Pennsylvania.
The leather stitching in the metal is where he had the lobster-like shell “taken in” a bit.
The gauge on the dash is upside-down on purpose so he can read the needle from the driver’s seat.
Its name is a play on the word Silverado.
For Father’s day a photo book was made of my images. The package had a return address on it that said it sailed over from Malaysia so it went unopened for a while. But now it is a well-thumbed book full of dark motor oil fingerprints leftover on its pages from all the car shows it and the truck has been to. My daughter is busting-buttons proud of her grampa’s truck, she even made up a little “country song” she likes to sing to grammie about it. My son smiles like a Cheshire cat at the sight of it & his body language becomes all arms a’swinging as it roars to life and lifts up from the ground. It has become another piece of family lore to add to the stories we’ll all tell over the years to come.
These photos were taken in front of the Casino in Asbury Park, NJ and in the driveway in Manasquan, NJ. Here are a few: