This Dug-Up, Dusted-Off, and Slammed 1946 Chevrolet Lives Again as a Beer-Serving Rat Rod

Tanker 10 photos
Photo: Hauk Designs
TankerTankerTankerTankerTanker (3,000 Gallons)TankerTanker (Chevrolet COE)Other Hauk VehiclesOther Hauk Vehicles
I'll be honest: when I first witnessed what you're about to see, it took me a second to understand that it's all completely intentional. Let's dig into one of the most amazing restoration jobs I've seen in a very long time.
Folks, take a nice long look at what we have before us today. It's even possible that you've spotted this hunk of rolling magic in the news before. After all, it's nothing new, but it is one hell of a project that deserves some fresh light; timeless looks are worthy of being carried through from one generation to the next. The question is, what the hell are we looking at?

To answer that, our journey begins with none other than Hauk Designs (AKA Haük Designs), a custom "chop shop" and magic-making garage based out of Pennsylvania. But as you can see, there's something a bit different about this crew; they mainly specialize in creating beastly and overly capable off-road vehicles for some of the most treacherous landscapes out there, not to mention their love for a good showpiece. Oh, and they do love have an immense love for the rat rod lifestyle. They also cater worldwide, so if you end up liking what you see, don't be afraid to get in touch with them.

Part two of the story has to do with a little local beer brewery from out in Pennsylvania, Liquid Art Beer Stube (Roy-Pitz). Since Hauk's and Roy-Pitz's owners have been sharing a friendship for years and dreaming of creating such a machine for nearly the same amount of time, it was bound to happen eventually. Cue the 18-wheeled, 14-keg-filled, beer-dispensing Tanker; check out the taps coming out of the sides.

Photo: Hauk Designs
The result is a slammed, rock-crawling, rat rod big rig that breaks all known limits of what can be achieved with a banged-up, forgotten, rust-caked 1946 Chevrolet COE (Cab-Over Engine) and a 3,000-gallon diesel fuel tanker. While the whole rust-caked look is still present, it's clearly intentional.

As mentioned, everything starts off with that '46 Chevy we see in the image gallery, but to see what's under the hood, or rather, behind it, you'll need to check out this crew's lineup of YouTube videos where they reveal just how this puppy came to life. But I'll give you a hint: "Turbonetics!" Once they've touched it, the transformation is mouth-watering, to say the least.

Starting from the ground up, we can see that Hauk added some of their favorite off-road tires to the rear of the tractor, which are also present under the Tanker, in sets of two, but it's that lowered stance and hand-crafted side skirts/steps, and hand-engraving all over that really got my heart racing.

Photo: Hauk Designs
I found all those little accents and details tattered all over the Tanker to be absolutely mind-blowing. I'm talking about the ones where you have to look really close and some you wouldn't even think of. For example, there are countless pieces of copper-plated aluminum that have been hand-engraved - some CNC-milled - and make up the grill of the Tanker.

Then, there's this whole steam-punk 'gearwork' visible here and there. The side skirts and steps showcase this design, but so do some parts of the Tanker. Did you notice the bullets used as caps for the lugnuts on the front wheels?

Now, you may have noticed this puppy's fender-scraping stance in some of the images, but that's only for when the Tanker is unloading its precious golden liquid (beer) or strutting its stuff at some show. While on the road, an air suspension from Ridetech takes over to ensure a smooth ride, and beer flows frothless. This setup is also app-controlled from a friggin smartphone!

Photo: Hauk Designs
Heading toward the rear of the rig, that 3,000-gallon Tanker comes to life. After a complete treatment and overhaul, this dream is completed by giving the local wildlife (humans) the ultimate hops-infused dream with 14 fountains to drink from. It's all sitting on a custom chassis and modified axles to support the added weight and daunting wheels. A ladder to climb on top and change out empty kegs is also in place.

As for that paint job, hot damn! The whole rusted and dirty look is only highlighted by the craftsmanship of the accents I mentioned, and the copper plating only seals the deal by telling us that all of it is intentional. I'm not sure how many custom shops can whip out a project that's this appealing.

Now, the Tanker seems to have been completed sometime in 2021, and since then, there hasn't been much news on it. Considering it only has one real purpose, dispensing hops-infused tea (beer), it's probably hanging out at home base and being loaded up with the next batch of beer. This means that if you're ever in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, chances are you can grab a cold one from the mothership itself.

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Editor's note: Images in the gallery also showcase other Hauk Designs works.

About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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