Fresh Blood: A Lowered ’58 Chevy Apache Pickup Truck
Every one of us enters into the custom world with our own personal views of what we think is exciting or not. As years pass by, sometimes we lose sight of what initially drew us in, and our focus can sway toward the next big trend. This is why it is imperative for newbies to help freshen things up for those that might become jaded. With fresh talents coming to the scene, new mods and techniques some into play to help push things further than before. This is an essential step in the never-ending evolution of building custom vehicles.
Filling the Void
One such person that has been able to give a fresh perspective on things is Kaylie Davis of Fruita, CO. Her husband, Willie Davis is the owner of Big Willie’s Garage, which is a shop where he builds many different types of rides. There have also been many times that Kaylie has thrown out ideas that have made their way into projects, but they were never on her own vehicles. Over time, this left a void that she wanted to fill and when this ’58 Chevrolet Apache came into the picture, she knew exactly how she wanted to reshape it.
Striking the Deal
The truck was previously owned by her father-in-law, John Davis, and he had planned to fully restore the truck. Kaylie had her own ideas: she wanted to have it lay flat on the ground over a set of big wheels. With her constantly bugging him about the truck, he took a moment to assess what it was going to take in order to make the transformation happen. Since he was in his mid-70s and it was going to be a daunting, long-term task, he decided to give in to Kaylie and sell the truck to her.
Sticking to the plan, Kaylie equipped the chassis with airbags to set the truck down when parked and lift up to drive. The new suspension consists of a Porterbuilt Extreme Dropmember front IFS with ’72 Chevy C10 spindles and modified control arms for improved function. The rear frame was notched for the 9-inch rearend to travel up and it is held in place with a custom two-link. The air system is fed by two ViAir compressors and monitored by an AirLift 3P/3H management system.
Under the Hood
Powering this truck is a 437ci Chevy big block 496hp engine that was rebuilt and stroked by Top End Performance. Helping this engine perform is a new set of internals, 409 steel cylinder heads and an Edelbrock intake manifold with dual 500cfm carburetors. Keeping the engine cool is a Champion radiator with SPAL electric fans. Powering things like the alternator, AC compressor and power steering pump is a March Performance serpentine kit. Rotational force is transferred to the rear via a Turbo 350 automatic transmission that is controlled by a Lokar Performance Products shifter.
Dressing Rare Parts
As for the body of the truck itself, the cab has a big back window, which is not a common configuration to come across. What makes this truck even more special is the fleetside bed, a rare find in itself. As you can see, the body was cleaned up with a steel roll pan that was welded to the body. For the bed, the center of the raised floor consists of expanded metal incased in epoxy for a unique industrial look. With the body worked straight, it was given a two-tone paintjob with silver and black Axalta materials that was laid down by Charlie Cutts of Custom Charlies. After the paint was color sanded smooth, windows and seals from Precision Replacement Parts were installed along with chrome goodies from Classic Parts of America.
Leaving no stone unturned, focus was put on the inside: and the only finishes are billet aluminum, paint, vinyl and carpet. Troy Rieger at Accurate Upholstery added the custom bench seat and door panels were wrapped in silver and black vinyl and have diamond stitching to match the bed floor. The smoothed and painted dash flows into a custom center console that holds many things like the dials for the Vintage Air climate control. Helping to pilot this truck is a set of Lokar Performance Products pedals and an Ididit steering column with a Billet Specialties Stiletto steering wheel. To monitor the engine vitals is the Classic Instruments gauges that are encased in a custom billet panel.
Rounding It Out
With a truck of this caliber, you can’t just throw on any set of rollers—things have to match all the way around. Kaylie picked out a set of 20x8.5 and 20x10 US Mags Malibu U423 billet wheels with 265/45ZR20 and 285/45ZR20 Nitto 420S tires to fill the wheel wells. This wheel and tire combination looks outstanding and the tires also help provide ultra high performance on the street and a comfortable ride as well.
Continuing the Evolution
If you were to sum up all the pieces, you can easily see how this truck truly stands out from the rest. Kaylie’s experience of being around her husband definitely helped her through this build and her outside the box thinking aided in creating a ’58 Chevy Apache unlike any other. This truck goes to prove that fresh blood can help further the evolution of customizing trucks.