Bill Blewett was moseying through the Canfield, Ohio, swap meet in 1999 when he was overcome by a beat-up old Chevy truck that was giving him the eye. Why did he suddenly feel such an attraction to this 40-year-old workhorse that was rougher than an old corncob? No one can explain it, but we all know it when it happens-all of a sudden this inanimate hunk of Detroit iron might as well be an attractive member of the opposite sex, because the following dumbfounded state of cerebral activity is about the same. The only difference may be that more guys probably know what makes a truck tick (or why it's not for that matter) than the previously mentioned.
Bill's close member of the opposite sex (a.k.a. his wife Bobbi) breeds Burmese Mountain dogs and didn't even put up a fuss about Bill's new affair as long as it all came out of his pocket. Actually, she was glad to have him out of her hair. With all the fervor of new love, Bill tore apart his new '59 Chevy Fleetside so he could execute "the big plan." The only problem was that he didn't know what that was yet except that it was "going to be nice." Well, he had one shop start in on the '59, but it was soon yanked due to the results. It was then brought home where he tinkered on it, but was soon left in hibernation for a year to gather his thoughts and actually formulate "the plan."
One night, while watching Hot Rod TV, Bill saw a truck that caught his eye that happened to have been built by Chris Smith, who he found out didn't live too far away. Bill wanted to pursue that lead, but got sidetracked until he saw the black '58 Chevy that Chris built here in the pages of CLASSIC TRUCKS and finally got on the horn and tracked him down. As it turns out, Chris owns a shop in Tiffin, Ohio, that has built a number of outstanding cars and trucks. The two of them tried to get together, but it wound up taking another year.
From here on out things went pretty quickly for the crew at Smitty's Custom Automotive-another year to be exact-from start to finish.
Luckily for Bill, Smitty's knew exactly what to do. They tore into the truck's chassis, and besides smoothing the rails and adding a hefty C-notch in the rear, they also welded in a TCI Mustang II front clip that holds Air Ride's A-arms, 'bags, and HAL Street Star shocks. Wilwood 12-inch rotors and polished calipers were tucked behind the 18- and 20-inch Colorado Custom Winter Park wheels, while a Stainless Steel Brakes 1-inch bore master cylinder squeezes the fluid through all the stainless lines. An AGR rack hooks to the ididit chrome tilt column where comfortably the Colorado Custom steering wheel is perched. They guys at Smitty's seem to be well-versed and proficient at all aspects of a turnkey build, so they also handled the trim job after just about every seam was welded up and each panel smoothed of its scars from its life of hard work. Only after all of this was the '59 shot in a custom PPG Orange Pearl mix by the team in Ohio. Bill even jumped into the labor part of the project at this point to tackle the bed wood. He made all the necessary planks out of some beautiful oak and proceeded to tint them a slight orange to add yet another little custom touch.