Chaotic Customs SEMA Build Vintage Ford Pickup

Chaotic Customs SEMA Build – 1940 Ford Pickup


Pictures and words by Karma Carlson

hot rods, 1940 Ford, 1940 Ford Hot Rod Pickup, custom 1940 Ford


Want to see the finished truck at SEMA 2013? 1940 Ford Hot Rod Pickup at SEMA


It all started with a hole in the hood of a 1929 Model A roadster. Mike Young brought his roadster to Chris & Karma Carlson at Chaotic Customs in Mulvane, KS, to have the hole in his hood repaired after removing a blower motor. The repair turned into a complete rebuild of the car and a friendship was formed between the Youngs and the Carlsons. After driving the roadster, Mike discovered his wife, Glenna, was not a roadster chick. Roadsters in the Kansas heat and wind were not her cup of tea. They decided to build an enclosed car so that Glenna would enjoy riding longer distances to car shows. Mike knew Chaotic Customs was the shop for the job.


Learn more about Chaotic Customs painting skills in this Metal Flake on a budget Painting How-to


Mike had his eye on 1949-1951 Chevy Fleetlines but Chris had a line on a 1940 Ford pickup. Upon seeing the ’40 Ford, Mike declared:

“You can’t drink it pretty!”

hot rods, 1940 Ford, 1940 Ford Hot Rod Pickup, custom 1940 Ford

But Chris had a vision! It’s been said among Chaotic’s customers that Chris is like a crack dealer in custom car work. One idea and the customer is hooked! Mike’s ’40 Ford was originally planned to be a nice driver, but as often happens, the build took on a momentum of it’s own.


hot rods, 1940 Ford, 1940 Ford Hot Rod Pickup, custom 1940 Ford

SEMA 2012 arrived and Mike & Glenna accompanied Chris & Karma to Las Vegas to show Chaotic’s newest build, a 1934 Ford Coupe that was making it’s debut. Over an amazing Italian dinner at Battista’s Hole in the Wall, a plan was formed. Maybe it was all the cool cars at SEMA, or perhaps the house wine, but this time, what happened in Vegas did not stay in Vegas! Mike caught Chris’s vision for the ’40 Ford and plans began to build an award winning custom truck to debut at ISCA Detroit Autorama 2014.


Chaotic Customs uses Martin Senour Automotive Finishes produced by Sherwin Williams and sold exclusively in NAPA stores. When Martin Senour caught wind of the ’40 Ford project, they wanted to be involved. It was decided to reveal the truck at SEMA 2013 in the NAPA/Martin Senour booth in a scheduled reveal. It was time to kick this build into high gear!


When all was said and done, the truck has over 188 body modifications. No panel was left stock. Chaotic Customs started by chopping the top 4 1/2″, sectioning the body 2 1/2″ and channeling it 2″. Next, the doors were stretched 2 1/2″ and the cab was stretched an additional 2 1/2″ to keep it in proportion. The cab was reshaped and the back of the roof and doors were leaned forward 12 degrees, giving the truck a look of being in motion even when sitting still. The Chaotic Crew went to work fabricating rear windows, reshaping the belt line, rounding corners, sectioning the doors, shaving and smoothing.


The truck bed was totally customized as well. The entire bed was leaned forward to match the cab, shortening the front 5″ to keep it in proportion. A 2″ bed rail was added and the corners of the cab were rounded. The bedsides were lengthened to follow the frame rails, it was channeled 2″ and the front of the bed was flared to match up to the cab.


hot rods, 1940 Ford, 1940 Ford Hot Rod Pickup, custom 1940 Ford

The Chaotic Crew went crazy with the rear fenders adding 12 1/2″ in length, 1 1/4″ in width and 5″ in height. The fenders were peaked and hidden mounting structures with inner fender panels were added. The wheel opening was reshaped and the fenders were lowered 1″ on the bed sides. Dual ’59 Cadillac taillights were frenched in to finish them off.


hot rods, 1940 Ford, 1940 Ford Hot Rod Pickup, custom 1940 Ford

The ’40 Ford features a pie cut hood that is pancaked at the belt line with a reshaped front nose. A custom made one-off Alumicraft Grill sets off the front end of the truck. The front fenders were widened 1 1/2″ with custom inner fender braces and the headlights were reshaped. The back of the rear fenders were reshaped to attach to the top of the hourglass running boards.


A crate LS1 350 motor with a 4L65E transmission was added to the TCI chassis. A complete custom leather interior is being sewn up as we speak in Chaotic’s upholstery shop. Chris has a very talented crew at Chaotic Customs and they were able to really showcase their fabrication and body skills on this build!


The paint is a custom mix that Chris & Martin Senour cooked up in the Chaotic paint shop. It has ridiculous amounts of crushed glass and galaxy crystals that make the paint dance under the lights. The beautiful blue was named Bankrupt Blues and it will remain a one-off color exclusive to this build.


hot rods, 1940 Ford, 1940 Ford Hot Rod Pickup, custom 1940 Ford

The Chaotic Customs built 1940 Ford pickup will be revealed at SEMA 2013 in the NAPA/Martin Senour booth #10627 on Wednesday, November 6 at 10:00 am. After SEMA, the Youngs and Carlsons will tour the ISCA show circuit and debut at the Houston Autorama over Thanksgiving and end at the grand finale in Lafayette.


Mike & Glenna are very excited to watch their ’40 Ford be transformed into a work of art! They look forward to driving the truck without the Kansas heat and wind to contend with and Glenna has decided she is definitely a pickup chick!


Chaotic Customs is a family owned business with a talented crew of 16. Their 15,000 square foot, state of the art facility features a paint shop, body & fabrication shop, custom exhaust fabrication, hot rod mechanic shop, upholstery and a hot rod parts and accessories store. The Chaotic Customs Crew is frantically working to get the build ready for SEMA. You can check out Chaotic Customs Facebook page or Martin Senour‘s page to see build pictures and follow the crew on the road to SEMA 2013.

Opt In Image
My Ride is Me Newsletter
Our Newest and Best Delivered to You: