So I have this '82 D350 crew cab short bed truck that I want to clone out to a lil-red-express look, red, stacks, graphics, etc. The truck is pretty rough, 250K miles, will require some repair at the front of the frame where the crossmembers crack, will also need '72-'80 front doors and fenders. It does run, no AC. The cab rockers are a little rusty and bent as it spent time in a rural area and got beat on a bit. I do have some parts including a stepside bed on it already. It's not registered and probably wouldn't pass an emissions inspection because it has no catalytic converters on it, though eventually I plan to do the Cummins conversion.
Or, I can spend some money to buy a '75 crew cab with a factory stepside bed. I'd still need to change the grille and the like to the '79 look that I like, but I do have those parts. It looks less rusty, but the pictures are small and on craigslist. It doesn't appear to have AC, but neither does mine right now. The dash is a little rougher, and I know that getting that corrected is a pain because of having to involve the dealership to get the VIN tag properly affixed to the replacement dash. It probably doesn't need cats because of the model year. I would have to replace the hood, as I don't care for the bird-bath hood, but I do have one from the '82 or I could get one off of any through '93. I don't know about the frame on the '75.
What do you guys think? Stick with the rough '82 that I already have, or go for the '75?