The Chain Smoker 'Art Rod' Drips Endless Coolness

SEMA 2021 / 12 Comments

It was left for dead in a prairie for 40 years.

This 1947 Fargo FL1 pickup truck could have remained in a Canadian prairie field for eternity. Someone dumped it there 40 years ago. It was left to the elements but that doesn't mean a revival would be impossible. The right person had to be willing to take on such a project. That person is Warwick Andrews. Making its debut at the 2021 SEMA Show in Las Vegas is the Art Deco Rat Rod "Art Rod." It was given the perfect name: "Chain Smoker." It looks like something straight out of "Mad Max."

The exterior's weathered patina was too beautiful to paint over, but Andrews still put his chain-wielding skills to work. The new body panels have been welded only from the back in order to create a floating illusion. The large radiator up front is all-original though it was stretched 7 inches forward from its original location. The spot where the front fenders originally lined up with the grille's front was filled in with 26 rows of vertical chains, curved to match the flow of the truck's body lines.

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Other notable custom fabrication work includes a rearward exploding chain stack structure and a swooping rear bumper. Both were designed with Art Deco era cars and rat rods in mind. The four fenders and side steps were widened with a 7-inch chain body kit that required over 300 feet of chain taken from a 1940s era decommissioned elevator. It's definitely an extremely unusual blend but it works beautifully here. As you've probably figured, all of that extra custom metal has significantly added weight.

Therefore, the right engine was needed: a 12-valve 5.9-liter Cummins diesel crate engine, which was originally intended for agricultural vehicles before it was stuffed into a Ram HD truck in 1989. No expense was spared when building the engine. A number of aftermarket performance parts were utilized like the 74mm turbo feeding a huge 96mm beast. Horsepower? Unknown, but it's estimated to be in the four digits.

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As you can see, the four-piece hood had to be removed to accommodate the turbos. The engine is linked to a five-speed manual transmission with a triple-disc competition clutch, which in turn feeds power through a Dana 80 rear axle. A custom frame along with an inner tube frame had to be fabricated to handle the extreme power. Also added is a four-link suspension. A full interior cage had to be custom built in order to keep passengers safe. It even exits out of the cab into a ridiculously cool swirling art piece.

As far we know, Chain Smoker is not currently for sale and we can completely understand why. It's not easy parting with one-off works of art such as this.

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