Ever had dreams about taking your classic truck and upgrading it for extreme trucking and all the perks that come with it? If so, Rtech Fabrications has the perfect souped up truck for you.
Dubbed the Ponderosa, this massive truck is about as politically incorrect as a truck can be, with the Ponderosa originally starting life as a 1966 Chevrolet K30 Crew Cab conversion body. But the mad scientists at Rtech Fabrications went all out, and mated it to a 1972 C30 8,300 lb GVWR dually chassis on a 175 inch wheelbase. The end result of this unholy union of components is a not so jolly Lucent Green giant that is 8 feet tall, and is a monstrous 20 feet long, which should make it a very imposing sight out on the open road.
Performance for this massive rig comes from a 5.9 liter Cummins diesel engine that was lifted from a 1996 Ram, with Rtech infusing it with a more powerful turbocharger and a custom intercooler. The rest of the engine is heavily revamped, and the engine’s transformation helps the Ponderosa produce 550 horsepower and 1,300 lb-ft of torque which should be enough to tow virtually anything that is latched onto its tow hooks. Strength is also another hallmark of the Ponderosa, with Rtech engineers making the body panels out of 16 gauge steel, and putting a generous amount of bracing in the roof area to help exceed factory rigidity standards. A 12,000 lb capacity Warn winch is mounted to a custom crossmember assembly that also incorporates a rear mounted Class V trailer hitch. Tubular steel rocker panels add even more bracing, and entry and exit out of the Ponderosa is aided by Amp Research Power Step XL running boards that tuck away to be flush with the bodywork when not in use. Shifting duties are handled by a five speed New Venture 4500 manual gearbox with a twin clutch setup.
More custom touches are found when one looks over the rest of the exterior, with the factory front doors actually serving as the rear doors, while a chrome grille lifted from a 1966 Chevrolet pickup adds some contrast to the silver hued front bumper. LED headlights light the way at night, and they also help give an elegant touch to the Ponderosa’s otherwise brutish motif. The bed itself has been lined with ash wood, comes loaded with a fifth wheel bed ball, and it even sits over a 60 gallon fuel tank that was designed to maximize its road trip potential.
This potent performance is sent through a Dana 60 Dually front axle, and a bigger Dana 70 rear axle which is all held up by Bilstein 5160 remote-reservoir shocks and Skyjacker leaf springs. The thin rimmed steering wheel has no trouble moving the Ponderosa around thanks to it being attached to an Off-Road Design linkage and a Saginaw 708 steering box, with Red Head Steering gears to help give a nice solid boost to the amount of hydraulic feedback available.
Rtech Fabrications revealed that they always try to maintain alot of factory cues in their custom builds, and accordingly, the interior is a massive retro themed tribute to factory originality. Custom vinyl and cloth 1966 GMC Sport Trim bucket seats are adorned with the stock 1966 fabric pattern, while custom Daytona weave carpet gives your feet a space to snuggle in and relax. The center armrest also adopts this mantra in its own unique way, with the piece actually being crafted out of a vintage GM hood. The stock instrument panel is adorned with retro themed Dakota Digital gauges, HVAC controls, and even a digitally operated cruise control system. Audiophiles will love the RetroSound Hermosa head unit that is partnered with a Kenwood sourced amp and speakers to produce world class audio that should help the Ponderosa be the life of the party no matter where it goes.
Buyers looking to own a Ponderosa of their own will be happy to hear that Rtech Fabrications is willing to build more copies of this massive pickup, provided that they are willing to donate the $150,000 required for a base Ponderosa, which does not include optional equipment and fees. Rtech Fabrications also revealed that it will provide customers endless options for both drive trains and interiors. to sum it up elegantly, your truck, your choice. If we were in a position to own one of these monsters, we would be more than happy to go for a fully optioned Ponderosa or one of Rtech’s slightly more conventional creations.