The Chevy COE (cab over engine), with its bulldog nose, was one of GM’s most distinctive designs. The idea behind placing the cab over the engine gave the driver a more commanding view. The design also allowed for a shorter wheelbase that created a tighter turn radius, enabling the truck access to narrow alleys and tighter corners, all while carrying the same payload as a longer truck. This made the COE popular in crowded cities. There were some disadvantages to the design, as servicing the engine became more complicated, compromised ride quality, the climb in and out of the cab, and summer heat radiated from the engine into the cab.
Our feature Chevy COE, known as the “Decoliner,” has been a project of massive undertaking, with ten years and ten thousand hours invested. In that time, the COE has been transformed into an award-winning show truck. Beginning with a plain-Jane three-ton box truck, Dale Gerry Street Rods engineered and constructed a custom chassis to carry the tandem rear axles.
The factory cab was stretched, and two original Chevy doors were added. Over one thousand hours were required to form the custom fenders from aluminum and composite materials. A 1955 Chevrolet bumper was fitted, and the entire truck was finished in show-quality gloss black paint. The Decoliner rides on a computer controlled air ride suspension, and rolls on American Racing Torq Thrust wheels.
The custom interior of the Chevy COE was done by Lee Baxter’s Hot Rod Interiors, and features low-back bucket seats covered in brilliant red Italian leather. The dash is an Astra Dome adopted from a Chrysler Windsor, and stuffed full of Dakota Digital gauges. The COE is equipped with climate control from Vintage Air and a custom audio system designed and installed by Andres Car Audio.
Powering this rather massive Chevy COE is a GM crate 502 cubic-inch Ram Jet V8. A Duramax radiator with twin electric fans keeps things cool under the cab. Moving power to the rear wheels is a Gearstar Performance 4L80E four-speed automatic transmission, a custom Ford nine-inch rear differential, and Dutchman rear axles.
This unique Chevy COE will cross the auction block at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale event January 22nd-30th.