Jay Queener shows off a truck on Monday that he is building for a client in Roswell. Queener has worked on this truck for almost a year. (Staff photo: Andy DeLisle)
Forget the way the word is used to describe some modern engines, because what’s happening at Jay Queener’s garage is truly a hybrid. A mixture of past and present, as well as some futuristic innovations, is coming to life in the form of a Frankensteinish vehicle that Queener has been paid to create.
“When people see a Corvette come down the road, some of them will take a second look,” Queener says. “With this, everybody’s going to notice.”
At A&G Muffler Shop in Clovis, which Queener has owned since 1980, the business has gradually taken on many other endeavors besides mufflers. Outside and in the shop are hot rod and classic car creations, through which Queener’s shop has grown a reputation.
“I run by here every day, on my way to work. I see them doing something and have to stop to see what’s going on,” says Cliff Chilcoat of Clovis.
Right now, Queener’s main project is a pickup truck that was born out of a van wreck and the imagination of a Roswell business owner.
“The body is a truck body. The frame and the running gear, all the chassis and everything, are off the van — a ’97 Ford van,” Queener says. “It (the van) rolled over, so we took all the body and stuff off of it and put the pickup body on it.”
The pickup cab is Ford, vintage 1955, but modified, modified, modified.
Two extra posterior doors for the cab, called suicide doors, are rear-hinged for the passengers riding in the back. But don’t look too hard for the door handles, because there aren’t any. Queener has installed a remote-controlled operation for both the doors and the windows.
“It’s got all the amenities of a new car. It’s got cruise-control, airbag and everything,” says Queener, who adds that a DVD-player, a six-CD player, air conditioning and power steering are part of the interior luxuries.
But the vehicle is not just a showpiece. Its bed, with a tailgate that disappears into the frame when down, is only just a little bit bigger than standard, and the Roswell client who asked Queener to create the truck has intentions of using it every day.
Queener estimates that the Powerstroke diesel drivetrain has the potential to last the owner well over 200,000 miles.
“He said he didn’t know anybody down there that was qualified to do it,” recalls Queener of how the project came his way. “I guess he talked to some people who said they knew somebody in Clovis that could.”
The truck’s jet-black body gives way to flame artwork stemming from the beige-colored front of the vehicle. As Queener supervises the detailing, he knows that his creation is only his for a little while.
“It gives you a pretty good feeling that you’ve built something that they can’t go pick up off a showroom,” he says.