Tub’d Snub Nose: 1956 Chevrolet Cameo Custom

That’s a Cameo? This is a 1956 Chevrolet Cameo Custom, and I mean custom. This is a rolling work of art and may be a love-it-or-hate-it vehicle. It’s listed on eBay with bids reaching over $25,000 and the reserve isn’t met. This custom is in Trenton, New Jersey. The Cameo was built between 1955 and 1958 in limited numbers (1,452 in 1956) and there could be a debate as to if such a low-production vehicle should ever be customized like this. But, once a person buys a vehicle they’re free to do anything with it that they see fit, whether we agree with it or not.

There’s something cool about this truck. Actually, there are a lot of things that are cool about this truck. Whether you’re in the love or hate camp, the work that has been done looks like it’s top-notch and has been done by a professional shop. The details are very well done here, nicely-finished and they were soooooo close to finishing it. I have to wonder why another month wasn’t spent in totally finishing this truck and then it would have brought top dollar. This Cameo has a “full custom pro street frame. 4 link with coilovers. Mustang II IFS with air ride. Strong arm A arms. Disc brakes.” They also have all of the cameo trim moldings and they were rechromed. Not to mention that Chevy snub-nose front clip.

I wonder why the top wasn’t chopped? Or maybe that was next on the list. I sort of like it sticking out there like a beacon compared to the rest of the work that’s been done. It has sort of a cartoon look, and I mean that as a compliment. Normally, as most of you know, I’m a keep-things-bone-stock guy, but I love this one. I think it’s a combination of the overall look of the truck and the impeccable craftsmanship that has been done on it. This is not a quicky shadetree mechanic project. There’s a “Ford 9 inch Strange Rear. New 33×21.5 tires with E.T. Wheels. New wiring and brakes.” For a refresher, here’s what a 1956 Chevrolet Cameo normally looks like.

This really looks like nice work to me, but I’ve never done any work even close to this so I don’t know anything other than what I think looks good to me. Some of you have done work like this, what do you think? You can see that it’s not 100% done, the details like the suicide doors will need to be finished and I would have loved to see this shop finish this Cameo. But, now the price will be less and you can finish it!

Yes, this truck will move out, thank you very much. That’s not the ubiquitous SBC there, that’s a “409/500 HP dual quads pro built by Gibbs Racing.” It’s backed by a TH400 TCI racing transmission. I have a feeling that those wicked huge rear wheels will light up on command. I’m normally an original or restored-to-original-specs vehicle person, but I love this custom Cameo. It’s a work of art, in my opinion, and one that a person could actually use. I have no idea what the price will be on this one, $30,000? $40,000? More?

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Comments

  1. Howard A

    Again, different. They used a “LCF” ( Low Cab Forward) cab, not sure why, looks like major fabrication to engine compartment. Somebody did a lot of work here. Is that where it usually rides? That low? You’d think it would scrape the ground. One word why it’s not finished,,,, money.

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8
    • Bobsmyuncle

      Regardless it’s a good spot to stop. They’ve done the grunt work, now it’s up to the owner to decide the real personal stuff like whether or not to paint, what color, and whether to install the brightwork.

      Like Cinderella you might want to try this on for size before dropping a bid, that pedal box looks awfully tight!

      Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
      • Mark S

        Hi Bob and Howard the first thing I’d like to comment on that when this truck is started it will air up to a workable ride height. The second is with the use of the cab forward cab in play it is possible that all they had of the cameo was the box. I do agree that work is very well done and the look is quit out there but it is still a very cool build. It’s not my cup of tea and I respect the vision it just seem odd that you’d go this far into this truck and not finish it I would find that very disappointing. This is not something that I’d want to own but if I did it would have to be candy apple red with enough clear on top to be able to measure it’s thickness with a tape measure. Ok ok I’m exaggerating but you guys get my point deep deep candy red.

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    • Fin Doctor

      The truck has air ride. Money is not the issue, it is time.
      thanks for the positive comments.

      Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  2. RayT

    Not sure why, but I like it! Like Scotty, I’m not thrilled that the builder used up a rare truck in the process, but the result is, in its own way, eye-catching. And it took a lot of reasonably skilled labor to get it this way….

    It certainly has little practical value — what do you do if a tire goes flat? How do you get it up a steep driveway? — but that’s clearly not the point.

    I wonder what color would look best on it? I’d be leaning toward something in a metalflake or candy-apple finish….

    Definitely the weirdest machine on BF right now!

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  3. That Guy

    The eBay description mentions “air ride,” which means airbags. No, it doesn’t ride this low; a compressor pumps up the suspension when it’s time to haul butt, and then it can be dropped back down so it looks badass when it’s parked.

    I like it! This is cool and different, and looks super well made.

    *Highly-rated. Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0
  4. erikj

    Great craftsmanship. But I am a purist, so like others-wish they hadn’t used a cameo though.
    May be it was a bunch of parts and not a whole cameo that was scarified-I didn’t read the add, maybe it says something about that. anyway, nice fab work all around, love that 409.

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1
  5. Mark

    I’m in the camp of saying WHY to this truck! I’m not really sure you can call it a Cameo since the entire cab has been replaced along with almost everything else except the bed.

    I’m not sure it looks very much when the air ride is turned on based on how far up into the bed the wheel wells have been extended. I would certainly like the looks of it much better if it had been left close to the original right height. Everything else gives it a nice look but sitting so close to the ground is just wrong for any kind of truck! As well, I see absolutely no reason for putting the suicide doors.

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    • David Montanbeau

      The only thing that was Cameo on these trucks was strickly the back end. Here is my 55 in 1973.

      *Highly-rated. Thumb up 25 Thumb down 0
    • Bobsmyuncle

      Customizing? Hot rodding? You know pretty common reasons.

      For all we know the cab was rotted out leading to what we see here.

      Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
    • Fin Doctor

      we had to go with suicide doors as we had no other way to mount the doors due to the tubs

      Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  6. geomechs

    I do like the way the truck has been planned and carried out except I’m not at all fussy about it being slammed to the ground. Laying frame carries about the same weight with me as ‘patina.’ Both are getting old. Personally I’d have done up a Cameo or a stock LCF and forgotten about melding the two. I might add that, while an LCF cab on a later 1-ton frame and built into a car hauler looks great, it’s another LCF that’s losing out. I know a guy who wants to build the ultimate car/people hauler and wants to make a custom LCF crew cab on a late model 1.5 ton frame. He’s been bugging a guy who has had several LCF’s in his compound for years. The guy won’t sell because he knows what’s going to happen. I might add that the guy has sold LCF parts all over the country but he needs confirmation that the destination is legitimate. No butchers allowed.

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  7. Blindmarc

    Great quality on this one.

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3
  8. David Montanbeau

    The best of the 3 worlds!!
    409 by Gibbs
    1956 Cameo
    Snub nose.
    See my 409 FB page.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/406019856199113/

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3
    • Bingo

      Sweet!!

      Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  9. Jim Mc

    They Pixar’d it.

    Still making up my mind.

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
  10. Peter B Mockridge

    Photoshop? suicide doors – not! where is the engine in the interior? Where is the space in the interior for the front wheels turning? I’m skeptical of this one.

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6
    • Mark

      I was kind of thinking the same thing and tie looked at the post by S Ryan at 3:52 PM. He’s got a link to the website for the guy who’s building it and it’s got a lot of pictures of it in process. It’s differently the real thing!

      Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
    • David Montanbeau

      Call the owner and find out. This guy builds cool stuff.

      Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  11. Dolphin Dolphin

    I don’t need the truck, but I sure do need the spare time that it took him to make it.

    Great build, especially since it likely has air ride, as That Guy said.
    Design? If you have to ask…

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  12. waynard

    American design ingenuity at its best. Whether you love it or not really makes no difference: this is one mans’ statement and he’s done a helluva job so far.

    Or look at it this way: one less Cameo makes all the other ones a little more valuable.

    Great job! Wish I had the interest, but I promised myself NOOOOOOO MORRRRRE projects! (No I don’t have a wife telling me to say that).

    *Highly-rated. Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1
  13. Dusty Stalz

    First time I’ve ever seen a vehicle tubbed AHEAD of the front seat lol. Looks like quality work but the proportions turn me off, and chopping it would make it worse.

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  14. JW454

    This thing looks neat but, very uncomfortable to drive. It may be OK if you happen to be missing your left leg from the knee down. When I’m in the mood to go, it’s not uncommon for me to do 5 or 6 hundred mile round trips. I don’t think this one would be that fun on a trip like that.

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  15. JagManBill

    guys…remember, the only thing special about the Cameo was the bed and trim. All that ‘stuff’ is readily available as repro so it may not actually be a “real” Cameo bed…much less a ‘real’ Cameo frame under it. Well done exercise so far tho

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    • David montanbeau

      I believe nothing special for the frame. All the frames were the same. Who is making the reproduction parts?

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  16. Bob Hess

    Anyone with the fabrication skills displayed here certainly knows you can’t drive it this low. Air or hydraulic systems provide a huge range of adjustment and with a medium setting this neat piece would do just fine on the road. Agree on the left front tub… good thing it’s an automatic. Great art piece!

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  17. Joe Muzy

    Looks like Mater from the movie Cars. They ruined one of the most beautiful trucks ever made for this?

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6
  18. David Montanbeau

    This could be a Don Ridler contender. For people that do not know what that is, here is a link.
    We built a 33 Ply that came in 2nd in the 80s.

    https://autorama.com/awards/ridler-award/

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1
  19. Rustytech

    That’s Sick! Take it whatever way you want.

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1
  20. JW

    I envy the craftsmanship and I do see the cartoon look especially at the front. I just can’t see me sitting behind the wheel with a inner wheel well for a foot rest for my left foot. Someone thought this build out except for that one thing.

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    • darrun

      Based on the amount of comments, I think the builder achieved his goal. He was obviously building a truck that would draw a lot of attention. He did just that and did it well. It doesn’t appeal to me, but that’s what’s makes hotrodding great. Diversity in builds.

      Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  21. S Ryan

    This guy does some nice work. Pretty obvious no Cameos were hurt in the making of this. Probably two lost wrecks coming together. I really like the start , wish I had time to finish.

    http://www.prostreetchassis.net/photogallery.html

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
    • healeydays

      From what I can see on this site, this guy knows his stuff. Could be a interesting project to finish unless this guy wants unrealistic dollars for it.

      Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  22. Puhnto

    Moses! It would cost a fortune to turn that into a decent pickup truck!

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5
  23. johnj

    Neat truck. I really like it. But to hide a dual quad 409 under the cab ? That motor needs to be in something where it can be seen. Put an LS or a plain old BBC in this truck, and put that iconic 409 out in the open. Maybe in a street rod with open hood sides or a tri 5 chevy. If I could afford to build a 55-57, it would be a ’60s style build with a 409 dual quad and a 4 speed. Just a great looking motor.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4
  24. Bill

    how is this a “barn find”? lately this website is getting way off topic.

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 11
  25. Brad

    David M, love the bird in the back!!!

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • David montanbeau

      That was my pimp ride taking the crew to TJ. LOL

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  26. johnj

    I am a motor head and enjoy anything mechanical and I look forward to the new finds every day. My favorite ones are the true barn and old garage and shop finds, the ones hidden away and recently discovered. But there are lots of other cool cars posted here that don’t quite fit the bill as barn finds. Keeps the site interesting. I think it would be tough, even impossible, to bring us a bunch of new true barn finds every day. And I have to say, of the cars listed here that I could actually afford to buy, its mostly been the fill in stuff. This site exposes me to a lot of great cars and projects a would not have seen otherwise. ‘Keep Em Coming

    *Highly-rated. Thumb up 26 Thumb down 0
  27. darrun

    He surely built this from parts. Cameo beds are available from a couple different sources. Neat build.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  28. Joe

    Poor truck. At least they put a 409 in to make up for the neutered look they gave it.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4
  29. Gary charlton

    Gentleman, I have a question about the Cameo. Did it have a special or different chassis than the regular 1/2 ton Chevy or GM pick up?
    The reason I ask is I have a really straight
    ’58 Cameo that someone started to do a sub frame and Mustang ii front suspension. It was never finished. If I ever get to build it (it’s way down on the list) I would want to put it back O.E.M.
    Thanks.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • David Montanbeau

      The Cameo is just a step side with glass fenders.

      Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  30. stillrunners

    With Joe……what a waste of good stuff……

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4
  31. David Montanbeau

    Same truck without Cameo back.

    Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1
    • JW

      I like that one better than the featured one, Cool truck !!!

      Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2
    • David Montanbeau

      You can do all kinds of things with this truck.

      Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
    • Ck

      Definatly not the same truck the white one is way Kooler.I dont like the red one at all it looks like a goofy Hot Wheel.Ya there is a lot of work in it,but this is No Ridler winner.Honestly the only thing I like about the cameo is the 409.I’d yank it and look for a stock 55-58 pickup to transplant it into.

      Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2
      • David Montanbeau

        That is what they said about the 65 Chev that Foose help build. It took the DR. If I had the time and mostly the money, I could make this a strong contender for the Don Ridler.

        Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  32. Jim Mc

    Took me a bit.

    Love the build.

    Do. Not. Like. The. Style.

    Hey, I couldn’t even comment on that shoebox ’50 earlier in the week.

    Taste is subjective, y’know?

    Thank you Scotty for proffering the denizens of the Island Of Misfit Toys of the wheeled world.

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
  33. Blindmarc

    Amagine this towing the shorty Mark ll featured awhile back.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  34. Blindmarc

    Imagine this towing the shorty Mark ll featured awhile back.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  35. Cubs win

    How do you drive that thing? Look at the pedals.

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1
  36. Steve P.

    I can’t understand why some folks get so peeved about someone customizing a classic car. You buy it, you can do whatever you want with it. In 1970 you probably couldn’t give away a Cameo, and today they are one of the holy truck grail. In 50 years maybe a 2015 Dodge Ram might be worth something too, so I guess we should all park one in our garage and leave it untouched so our great grandkids can maybe make some money on it. If they are even selling gas in 50 years! Personally you couldn’t pay me to drive a completely stock car. Not much fun in that. That’s what makes hotrodding so cool. I dig that truck. It will definitely be the only one sitting next to all of those Camaros and Mustangs at the car show!

    Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2
    • David montanbeau

      Bought my 55 Cameo for 500 in 73 and sold it for 5k as a basket case in 75. I thought the guy was nuts. You could buy a 67 tri power Vette for 5k back then.

      Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
    • Bobsmyuncle

      Exactly.

      Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  37. Alex B

    Somehow this makes me think of a turtle, pulling the legs into its shell.

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  38. Jay E.

    All it needs are the big eyes in the windshield. It is already cartoonish proportions. Not for me, but there is no accounting for taste.

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  39. CCFisher

    To me, it looks like a life-sized version of one of those ridiculously-proportioned Micro Machine toys. A LOT of work for a controversial result.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  40. Yellowjax

    It hurts my eyes.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4
    • David Montanbeau

      Close them.LOL

      Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  41. Bobsmyuncle

    Wow a lot of open minded folks here huh?

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  42. Joe Haska

    I LOVE IT! I have seen a VW bus done similar and it is a show stopper. This is a creative work of art, key word art, art is an the eye of the be-holder, love , hate or indifference. The fact that this art, can be driven, is just icing on the cake. I can’t believe that anyone can look at this and not smile, and then look closely, and realize how talented and creative the builder was. Sure its not really something you would drive like a normal truck, but if that’s your problem, you miss the whole point. Its COOL, I love it, and would never kick it out of my garage

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1
  43. RJ

    Inspired somewhat by Hot Wheels Bedtime casting?

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
    • rando

      Ya beat me to it! I was thinking HotWheels. And then thinking “Where would I put my big old feet?”

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  44. Nova

    Laid down, to me it resembles a nurse shark lurking the ocean bottom…
    I love the look and the 409 just seem right!

    Nova

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  45. EU Broker

    I wouldn’t take that thing if you gave it to me.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4
    • David Montanbeau

      That would be a bad move. The engine alone will bring 10 to 15K.

      Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  46. Scotty Scotty

    Auction update: this custom Cameo sold for $28,705!

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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