Ohio Shop Dropping a 1956 Dodge Pickup Body on a 2004 Dodge Viper SRT-10 Chassis

Oh, your Dodge Ram has a Viper engine? That’s cute.

byKyle Cheromcha|
Builds photo

It used to be that dropping a giant engine in an unexpected place was the height of ingenuity. But human progress is an unstoppable force. These days, we can only marvel at the growing number of chassis swaps that slip the entire driveline from one car under the unchanged body of another. Add to that list this unholy union between a 1956 Dodge pickup truck and a 2004 Dodge Viper SRT-10 currently taking place at the Church of Cleveland Power and Performance.

If that name rings a bell, it's because the outfit was featured here a few years ago as it performed a similar marriage between the body of a 1969 Dodge Charger and the guts from a 2016 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. But Project Aberration, as the truck build has been christened, is a more personal endeavor, with shop owner Rick Fragnoli sacrificing his personal daily-driven Viper to bring CP&P's next creation to life.

"Sometimes in the case of this company, you gotta do what's best for the company, and we feel like this is gonna be a big project for us," he says in the YouTube video introducing the project. "So we're gonna go ahead and do it."

Well said. Project Aberration is inspired by the Viper-engined 2004-06 Dodge Ram SRT-10 pickup, that mid-Aughts masterclass in mindless power. But plopping the Viper's 8.3-liter odd-firing V-10 into an old truck isn't enough for Cleveland Power and Performance. The goal is to create a 1956 Dodge pickup that drives exactly like a 2004 Viper, which means porting over the frame, suspension, and six-speed manual transmission in addition to the engine.

Fragnoli also added upgrades like a Paxton supercharger, coilovers, and a stronger limited-slip differential to his Viper over the years, all of which will be making the jump to the truck. As for the old Dodge pickup, it's a 1956 C Series model that spent its entire life in California, passing through three generations of the same family during that time. Preservationists should mourn neither: the Viper had a salvage title, while the truck's owner willingly parted with their rolling heirloom.

The shop is keeping folks updated on Project Aberration through a photo album on its website and periodic posts on Facebook and Instagram. The build only began in earnest in January; in that time, Fragnoli and company have already pulled the truck body off its frame, disassembled the Viper, and started making cuts to the sports car chassis so everything fits under that 1956 skin. (The 2004 Viper has a slightly shorter wheelbase and wider track than the old pickup.)

According to the latest post, the team is nearly ready to start building out the bespoke frame, which will make use of the Viper suspension's original front and rear mounting points with a "re-worked" section in the middle. We'll have to wait for more details to come out, though. The Drive contacted the shop for the inside scoop, only to be informed by a friendly sales manager that Fragnoli had already promised the full story to another publication, as was the case with the Mercedes 190E-C63 AMG mashup we covered last year.

C'est la guerre. Even without exclusive access, we can tell this is shaping up to be a nice addition to the burgeoning body-swap community. Look for more progress updates from Cleveland Power and Performance in the weeks and months ahead.

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