The Utah Sapphire: The LS-Powered Chevy Apache from Steve's Garage
The year is 1959. A gallon of gas costs $0.25, Alaska and Hawaii join the United States, and American Airlines completes the first transcontinental commercial flight from Los Angeles to New York City with a ticket price of $301. It was also the year Tony Berry’s grandfather picked up a mint Chevrolet Apache from the dealership. Much has changed since ‘59, some for the worse and some better, but this Apache has kept up with the times thanks to Steve’s Garage in St. George, Utah.
To say this restomod project has kept up with the times is actually selling it short. While the exterior is a combination of new and old styling, tons of technology is tucked away right beneath the surface. At first glance, the paint jumps out immediately. The exterior is draped in Chevrolet’s Sapphire Blue with all the exterior chrome—mainly the front fascia—blotted out with a matte black finish. A set of Moonmaker headlights stare back from the otherwise dark frontend.
The shaved handles, deleted drip rails, and rounded door corners above the side mirrors work together to create an unbroken shoulder line from the nose to the rear of the cab, working wonders for the overall sleekness of the truck’s profile. Around the rear, the rounded bed rails and nearly-hidden tail lights (flanking the rearview camera under the tailgate) continue the sleek and smooth look.
An Accuair e-Level Air Management system is housed behind the cab, atop a Cargo Glide slide-out bed which not only helps when loading and unloading cargo but shows off all the great structural and exhaust work that would be otherwise hidden beneath the truck.
Working alongside the Accuair setup is a TCI independent front suspension and TCI four-link out back with Wilwood disc brakes on all four corners. Putting the power to the pavement are matte black Ridler 695s wrapped in 245/45R20 Nitto INVO tires up front and 375/35R20 Nitto NT05 tires in rear.
Speaking of power, this Apache certainly has no shortage of it. Under the hood, tucked into an immaculately shaved bay, sits a 525 HP LS3 mated to a 6L80E transmission. The custom stainless steel exhaust is routed over the rear axle and exits through the rear fenders, the craftsmanship of which can be fully appreciated with the slide out bed.
Moving inside, there’s more tech and modern amenities to be found. A center console and smoothed dash painted the same sapphire blue as the exterior ties the inside and out together incredibly well, while breaking up the otherwise black leather interior. Mounted in the dash, the Dakota Digital gauge cluster feels right at home in this mix of digital and analog. RFID push-button start, a video rearview mirror, Sony entertainment unit and Vintage Air air conditioning wrap up the updated creature comforts.
While the body lines may speak to the 60 year vintage of this Apache, everything else screams LS-powered modern masterpiece, and that’s a mix we can get behind. It's difficult to reiterate just how much has been done to this classic, so check out the huge gallery below and let us know what you think in the comments.