If you know anything about hot rods, chances are good you know the name Art Morrison Enterprises (AME). Among other things, the company builds and sells modern frames for classic cars and trucks, enabling them to handle like their designers never thought possible.
Craig Morrison is Art Morrison’s son, and he’s just as passionate about automotive performance as his father. Craig had fond memories of a 1948 GMC farm truck owned by his grandfather, so when the chance to buy a similar 1950 Chevy 3100 Pickup arose, the outcome was a foregone conclusion.
While the truck looks mostly stock from the outside (except for the noticeable suspension drop), it now rides on a custom AME chassis and is powered by a high-output 350 cubic-inch GM crate engine bolted to a Hughes Performance automatic transmission.
Out back, a nine-inch Ford rear converts the engine’s torque into forward motion instead of just grenaded gears and metal shavings. Beneath the giant steel wheels lurk four-wheel disc brakes, too, ensuring that the truck stops as well as it goes and corners.
And corner it will. Craig Morrison may not have specifics, but when he says it’s on par with a C5 Corvette in the slalom, we tend to think he’s understating things a bit. No one builds a vintage pickup to win an SCCA Solo championship, but with the right driver behind the wheel (Morrison himself, for example), we’re sure the truck can surprise a lot of “faster” cars.
And that may be the real beauty of Craig Morrison’s daily driver. It’s got modern amenities like air conditioning, and it’s capable of surprising performance when pressed, yet it’s civil enough to drive everyday and nondescript enough to park anywhere.
Look close enough, and you’ll see pitted chrome and rust bubbling through the paint. Fixing these flaws would change the very purpose of the truck, taking away from what Craig Morrison had hoped to create. Frankly, we like it just the way it is.