If I had known how many weekends I'd spend going to swap meets gathering parts, how many more I'd spend polishing nuts and bolts, or how involved I would get into this truck, I'm not so sure that I would have pestered my neighbor for seven years to get him to sell it to me. When he finally agreed back in December of 1999, I don't think I really knew what I was getting into. He had big plans for the pickup and started to tear it apart...but he never got too far.

Once I got the truck home, I immediately started disassembling it in my garage. I removed all the sheetmetal myself, but when it came time to remove the cab, I had to call some friends for help. With the cab off, it was then time to disassemble the chassis. The whole teardown process turned out to be a harder job than I had anticipated. This was my first project, so I had to learn as I went. Once the truck was completely apart, I had to sort out what was trash and what I could reuse. By the time I was done, parts were everywhere. They were all over my garage, and the ones that wouldn't fit in there were in my backyard.

When I had determined which chassis parts were going to be put back in service, I borrowed a friend's (Vince's) trailer, loaded the bare frame and suspension parts, and took them to Action Finishes to get powdercoated. With these pieces gone, I was able to reorganize my garage and backyard and get some room to work. A week later, I got all the pieces back looking brand new again.

I ordered a disc brake kit with dropped spindles and new springs front and back. Once I had all the chassis parts in hand, I laid everything out in my garage and started putting the chassis together. It was a roller again by February 27, 2000. It was looking good, and I was feeling proud! I installed a new GM ZZ4 crate engine and rebuilt Turbo 350 in March, and the chassis was complete.

It was now time to start on the body. I borrowed Vince's trailer again and took all the sheetmetal to Salerno Auto Body in Sun Valley, California. Everything was sandblasted to get it down to fresh metal. One year later I got the cab back, and the following month I got the front sheetmetal back.

The paint looked so good that there was no way I was going to attempt assembling the truck myself. My good friend Donny Capps helped a great deal in putting it together. I wouldn't have been able to do it without his help. When I got the bed back from the painter, Donny took over and installed the bed wood for me, since I had no idea what I was doing.

The truck was now almost done and looking good. The major components were all there, but nothing had been wired yet. For this job, I turned to my friend Buster "Electrical Genius" Crab. With the wiring done, it was time to take the truck out to Ron Mangus in Bloomington, California.

Vince's trailer wasn't available, so I borrowed one from a guy that rents car trailers, and I loaded the truck. I got all the way out to Bloomington (about an hour away), and as I got off the freeway, I started to turn left just as the front axle broke loose from the trailer. The U-bolts came loose and just fell off. My heart was pounding a mile-a-minute, and I kept thinking that I'd almost lost my truck.

I was about a mile away from Ron's shop. So I called him and he came out with a floor jack, and we tied the axle up. An hour and a half later, we were on our way to his shop. I told him what I had in mind for the interior, and he did it--but with a lot more. He designed the whole interior, and I couldn't be happier.

That's the story of the buildup of my '63 Chevy truck, and I'm sticking to it.

F A C T S & F I G U R E S
Vince Falvo
Tujunga, California

1963 Chevrolet

CHASSIS
Frame / Manufacturer stock / Chevrolet
Modifications none
Chassis Builder owner
Rearend / Ratio '72 Chevy / 3.08:1
Rear suspension Classic Performance 3" dropped coils and 2" lowering blocks
Rear brakes drum
Front suspension Drop Shop 3" dropped spindles and 3" dropped coils
Front brakes disc
Steering box Chevrolet
Front wheel make, size Eagle Alloys, 17x8
Rear wheel make, size Eagle Alloys, 17x8
Front tire make, size Daytons, 245/45ZR17
Rear tire make, size Daytons, 255/45ZR17
Gas tank stock
ENGINE
Year and make '00 GM ZZ4
Displacement 350 ci
Camshaft GM roller
Heads GM aluminum
Valve covers Billet Specialties
Manifold / Induction GM aluminum / Holley 750 cfm
Ignition / Wires GM HEI
Headers Hooker 2 1/2"
Exhaust / Mufflers dual stainless steel 2 1/2" / Stainless Specialties
TRANSMISSION
Make and model Turbo 350
Modifications shift kit
Shifter column
BODY
Body style / Material pickup / steel
Manufacturer Chevrolet
Modifications shaved emblems and mirrors
Hood stock
Grille stock
Bed tailgate chains removed
Bodywork by Salerno Auto Body, Sun Valley, C
Paint by Salerno Auto Body, Sun Valley, CA
Paint type / Color PPG / Tangerine Pearl Orange
Headlights / Taillights stock / stock
Outside mirrors none
INTERIOR
Dashboard stock
Gauges Auto Meter
Stereo / Speakers Kenwood / Boston Acoustics and Kicker
Wiring Buster Crab Racing
Steering wheel Colorado Custom
Steering column polished stainless tilt
Seats Glide '56 Ford bench
Upholsterer Ron Mangus, Bloomington, CA
Material / Color leather / tan
Carpet / Color German wool / tan
Center console Ron Mangus