DEEP RED

September 1981
A Paint Job With Another Dimension, Depth.
BY JIM CLARK

When it comes to selecting a color for a custom car or truck, red seems to be the one most often chosen. Somehow it just seems to move the vehicle to center stage. This kind of attention is lavished on most any vehicle painted bright red, but in varying degrees depending on the quality of the crimson coating.

That quality varies greatly, from a covering that merely changes the color of the vehicle to red, to those that look like you could reach right down to them like a liquid pool. One of these really special kind is Mitch Lanzini’s India Red 77 Datsun.

Rocky Valencia applied the many coats of hand rubbed acrylic lacquer after many hours of painstaking preparation, the secret to a really good paint job.

Beneath that brilliant covering lies a number of subtle modification.    The most prominent of these is the walk through cut in the rear if the cab, it creates an open access to the rear compartment composed of the stock bed covered with a permanently attached GT spoiler type shell.

The bed tie - down hooks were removed, emblems shaved, side marker lights frenched and all the body seams filled to provide a smooth appearance to the truck.

Three rows of louvers were punched in each side of the tailgate after the surface was smoothed out. Up front an air dam with flexible rubber lip was installed beneath the square–tube grille and the late model square headlights.  Stretching across the top edge of the windshield is a sunvisor.

Tru-spoke real wire wheels mounted with B.F. Goodrich Radial T/A’s are used both front and rear. The wider  tires in the rear necessitated the addition of a set of glass flairs there.

To bring the truck down to the desired level, lowering blocks were added to the rear and      the stock torsion bars readjusted up front. Vision to the rear is provided by a set of Fordvan  rear view mirrors painted black.

Inside there is a continuation of the bright red theme. Red shag carpet is combined with the  red velvet fabric in a diamond tuck pattern in the cab and rear compartment. A liberal use  of brass buttons highlight the plush coverings.  To contracts with all this red Mitch installed  a pair of high back bucket seats covered in black vinyl. All the fine interior mods were  performed by the owner.

Replacing the stock unit is a black leathered covered Grant GT custom steering wheel. In the dash in place of the stock radio a Clarion AM/FM 8-Track stereo with a 40-watt amplifier is installed. The feed sound to the Craig coaxial speakers in the kick panels and Jet Sound Lab triaxial speakers in the rear compartment.

Mitch’s budget has kept the drive-train modifications limited to addition of a Holley carburetor and custom exhaust headers. Future plans call for more changes in this area as funds become available.

Like so many other small pickups, Mitch’s truck started out as strictly family transportation, but in no time became the family project. Now that’s it’s nearing completion some shows are in the offering in addition to family outings to the truck runs.

Defiantly a truck with beauty that’s more than skin deep.