As gearheads, it’s not every day we see something that makes us drool with envy, especially if it doesn’t have four wheels, and a big-block under the hood. But every once in a while, something comes along that stops us in our tracks and makes us take notice. Unless you’ve been keeping far away from the internet, you likely couldn’t miss the coolest tool box we’ve seen since the first stainless steel roll-away.
The tool box we’re talking about is the one that’s been all over Facebook lately. It looks like the front end of a 1950 Chevrolet pickup was chopped off behind the hood and pushed up against the wall. But rather than dismantling a driver-worthy truck to create this functional work of art, the two men from ManCravez, Martin Skrovan and Bob Collins, built it from scratch, starting with a pile of parts.
ManCravez began as a play on words for the two friends. Martin tells us, “We wanted something that had to do with man caves and garages, and the cravings the guys out there have for the stuff they put in them.” Since the two are always seeking a way to re-purpose something discarded into something for the man cave, the gears of ingenuity seem to always be in sync.
Something Just Clicked
While watching an automotive television show one morning, Martin was enjoying the beauty shots he saw of the Phantom Fleetside – a custom 1950 Chevrolet pickup, built by Kindig It Design. One view was a low shot of the frontend, and Martin got a wild idea. He turned to his wife and said he’d like to make a tool box out of the frontend of a ’50 Chevy pickup. She told him he probably could, and since it seemed so simple, she suggested it had already been done.
Martin began to search the Internet, and after exhausting all resources, the next day, he contacted his long-time friend, Bob, to get his thoughts about building a tool box using the frontend of a truck. “Bob is one of the best fabricators I know, and he has a mind a lot like mine,” Martin added. As the gears started churning, the two put the plan into motion.
With repop parts available, the two figured they could easily get what they needed. But, cost was a factor for developing the prototype. Considering the trial-and-error phase that inevitably comes with a project like this, the two began searching local yards for discarded parts and sheetmetal. They found a front clip on a farm, made an offer on the parts, and once in the shop, the two started assembling a three dimensional blueprint of the vision Martin had in his head.
Building The Coolest Custom Tool Box
The first tool box took about three months to build, working mostly on weekends. After a third tool box was built, the two decided that size could become a factor. While some of it can be taken apart for transporting or moving around, they decided that a 32-inch doorway would be the target size. With some minor disassembly it will fit.
However, before you assume that this is simply a front clip reassembled to look like a tool box, there were a few modifications that went into the overall unit. “The modifications are quite involved,” Martin said. “We had to remove almost two feet of sheetmetal, rework all the panels for strength, and, because we wanted to use the original spring-style hood hinges, we had to re-engineer the structure of the hood and fabricate our own mounts to the frame.”
The final detail on the tool box – to authenticate the under hood look of a 1950 Chevy pickup – was the addition of a polished aluminum upper radiator tank from Champion Cooling Systems, complete with a billet radiator cap. This late addition to the design added just the right touch, according to Bob, and we couldn’t agree more.
Options And Pricing
The dynamic duo at ManCravez wanted to provide options that could keep the cost down for the budget-minded buyer, or add to the overall appeal and give it a unique look for the buyer who wants the top-of-the-line version. For those who want to keep a “work in progress” look, ManCravez can build a base unit for about $5,500.00. That is unfinished, with a coat of primer. The top-of-the-line model can be painted to your desired finish, with custom wheels, functioning lights, under hood lighting, a Bluetooth speaker system with an additional USB charging port, and a custom cover for the tool box.
They even offer a remote fob that will pop the hood and control the lights. A fully custom unit with all the bells and whistles can run upwards of $9,500, and they’ll build it to your specifications. If you’re concerned about mobility, the heavy-duty casters make it easy to roll around.
Keep in mind, this isn’t just a fancy looking tool box to show off to your friends. This is a fully functioning box with several drawers, as well as a deep draw on the bottom for power tools. It’s cool, but it’s also functional.
Adam Edgington from Fastforward Automotive lays down the color for ManCravez, and the two are plenty satisfied with the level of quality. Bob tells us that they can typically build one of these tool boxes in about six to eight weeks, depending on the current backlog.
Bob also told us they have been looking at other vehicles that could possibly lend themselves to other tool box designs, and they’ll take suggestions from potential customers. Another vehicle they put some thought into was a 1969 Chevelle, as well as the bed of a pickup. Martin told us, “It is not easy, because very few vehicles were produced with horizontal grill bars that can be turned into drawers. But we are working on a few different possibilities.”
If you’re thinking about a new tool box to go with your custom man cave, you can contact Martin or Bob at the ManCravez website, and perhaps you’ll be the first one in your club to bring home the coolest tool box we’ve ever seen.