74′ Monster Chevy Truck “Heavy Chevy”

This is a custom build from our 4×4 shop, All American Four Wheel Drive & Auto Repair in Littleton and featured in FourWheeler magazine


It’s funny how projects morph. For instance, when Doug Hartwell of Littleton, Colorado, started building this ’74 Chevy pickup, his goal was to build a simple, yet extreme trail rig. But that was before his monster-truck-loving grandkids came on board as project consultants. It didn’t take long before his young grandkids’ massive off-the-hook ideas were integrated into their grandfather’s plans. The result was this massive rock-crushing Chevy-with matching trailer bringing up the rear.

Chevy 4x4 monster truck built at a Denver 4x4 shop

Among the unique exterior features of Hartwell’s Chevy are the four winches. That’s right, we said four. Hey, the rig weighs 14,200 pounds, so if it gets stuck, major muscle will be mandatory. Up front there’s a Warn 12000 bolted to a custom bumper complete with a brush guard, D-rings, and a pair of 2-inch receivers. A Warn 12000 also resides at the rear on a custom bumper with D-rings, three 2-inch receivers, and a drop-down ladder for the grandkids. On each side of the rig is a Warn 15000, and each is fastened to the rig via custom mounts. The winches are controllable from either outside or inside the vehicle. Other exterior features include custom swing-open tube doors, Line-X’d bed and 3-inch-diameter nerf bars (drop-down ladders here too), a pair of forward-facing Light Force Blitz HID lights set up for pencil beam, a single forward-facing Lightforce Blitz HID light setup for wide pattern, a pair of rear-facing PIAA lights, and a bed-mounted roll cage that also serves as a mounting point for a satellite receiver. The exterior of the rig was painted by Standard Auto Body in Littleton, Colorado. The rig rolls on gargantuan 48×31-20 Prime XTerra Turbo tires and Boyce Equipment-sourced 20×10 steel wheels.

Off road truck trailer

The massive trailer uses a ’74 Chevy pickup bed that rests on a custom chassis made from 0.250-inch 3×6 tubing. The chassis has integrated recovery points as well as an Atwood pintle hitch and custom spare-tire carrier. Under the trailer is a Rockwell 211/42-ton axle with pinion brake (surge activated) and leaf-spring suspension. The trailer rolls on Goodyear 48×16-20 (load-range M) tires. Other features include a custom rear bumper with flip-down ladder, a custom toolbox, and loads of extra parts, tools, and so on.


Denver chevy truck front suspension

It takes a lot of axle to hold up to the stresses created by those massive tires, but the Chevy has the muscular axle to do it. Up front there’s a Chucks Trucks-sourced Rockwell 211/42-ton, and it has a Detroit Locker, Selectro hubs, and custom Moab 4×4 Outpost disc brakes with four-piston calipers. Naturally, the truck also has a stout steering setup featuring hydraulic steering using a Lion 2500 ram. The custom All American 4×4-built four-link suspension uses link bars made from 2-inch-diameter 0.250-DOM tubing with Johnny Joints at all ends. The suspension also incorporates custom anti-sway bars and limiting straps and features a pair of King remote-reservoir coilovers at each wheel.

off road rear suspension Colorado

The rear axle is also a Chucks Trucks-sourced 2 1/2-ton Rockwell, and like the front axle it has a Detroit Locker and Moab 4×4 Outpost disc brakes with four-piston calipers. It also has a pinion brake with two-piston caliper that is controlled by the same Hydro Tech booster as the other wheel brakes. Like the front, the rear suspension is a four-link setup with a pair of King remote-reservoir coilovers at each wheel. Both the front and rear axles receive power via custom All American 4×4-built CV driveshafts.

v8 ram jet truck engine

Hartwell didn’t skimp on power. The rig is propelled via a massive TBI-injected 502ci Ramjet V-8 engine that makes an estimated 502 hp and 565 lb-ft of torque. The engine also features a March serpentine-belt conversion, Hedman therma-coated headers, an engine-driven air compressor, and a dual 3-inch exhaust with Magnaflow mufflers. A huge Ron Davis Racing Products radiator with dual Spal 16-inch electric fans keeps the whole works cool. A 250-amp alternator and dual Interstate batteries generate amperage for all of the electronics. Fuel for the thirsty 502 is stored in a bed-mounted custom 110-gallon (!) stainless steel fuel tank with eight baffles and a top-mounted toolbox.

1974 Chevy Monster Truck interior

A slew of interior modifications include a full roll cage, a bedliner floor, a diamond-plate-lined roof, Corbeau seats with M&R four-point harnesses, an ididit tilt and telescoping steering column, a Lowrance Global Map 3000 navigator, Auto Meter gauges, a 10-inch flip-down video monitor, SkyGate Autotrak GPS, a Cobra CB radio, a Sirius satellite radio, and a number of aircraft-style switches to control the electronics. In addition, Hartwell can monitor both the front- and rear-mounted cameras via an LCD video screen.

Off road chevy truck side view


  • Owner: Doug Hartwell, Littleton, Colorado
    Vehicle/Model: ’74 Chevy pickup
    Estimated Value: N/A


  • Type: 502ci V-8
    Aspiration: TBI, dual 3-inch-diameter exhaust, Magnaflow mufflers
    Output, hp/torque (estimated): 502/565


  • Transmission: Modified 4L80E with Kevlar clutches, B&M SuperCooler, and Klune-V 3.1 underdrive gearbox
    Transfer Case: Atlas 5:1


  • Front: Four-link, dual King remote-reservoir coilovers, anti-sway bar, limiting straps
    Rear: Four-link, dual King remote-reservoir coilovers, anti-sway bar, limiting straps


  • Front: Rockwell 211/42-ton, Selectro hubs, hydraulic steering/Detroit Locker
    Rear: Rockwell 211/42-ton/Detroit Locker
    Ring and pinion: 6.72:1


  • Wheels: 20×10 Boyce
    Tires: 48×31-20 Prime XTerra Turbo
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