I found this 1938 Dodge Brothers Humpback Panel Van, in Tucson at a machine shop. It was originally owned by a Chinese grocery store here in Tucson. It didn’t run, had rust, and the doors were hanging off. It hadn’t been running for 20 years, and a family of ‘packrats’ had moved in! It seemed like a special vehicle, which turned into a 7-year project.

I fit in a Keith Black, Polished Aluminum 426 H.E.M.I. motor that had been bored and stroked to 510 cubic inches. Hooked it up to an 4L80E Transmission. I used an 8:71 Supercharger U.S.A. Blower, with a F.A.S.T. electric fuel injection, and put the body on an Art Morrison chassis. I’m a fan of the “old school” look, so Jay Moody used ‘House of Color’ Candy Apple Red Paint, on a black base coat with ceramic gold flake. The Wilwood Disk Brakes have drilled and slotted Rotors, with Hydro Boost.

“Eleven Hot Rods later, I still love to take my first build to car shows, this is still my favorite Hot Rod!”


Rich Wille


1938 Dodge Brothers Humpback Panel Van


Ram Rod Express

Photos by Rod Loveless