have built many old Chevys in my time; in the past, I've had at least a dozen old trucks, but never one with a V-8 engine and automatic trans, Mustang II suspension with airbags, and A/C. So, I put my mind to it and finally did it. After a couple of years, this is what I came up with...though I'm still not done with it (do you ever really "finish" a truck?!).

"The first thing I did was take the body to my friend Lupe in Artesia. After he was finished with all the bodywork, Big Lupp from San Fernando sprayed the PPG dark green and white. At the same time this was all being done, the frame was sent over to The Bagman in Anaheim, where Ponch updated all the suspension, installed the remote-controlled airbags, and completed all the mechanical work. Finally, once all the glass was replaced, wiring redone, and chrome replated, Olympic Top Shop in L.A. reupholstered the truck with tan mohair, including custom-making the headliner and door panels.

"Even though it's not officially done, I really enjoy driving it on the freeway--in the fast lane with the air conditioning on! People look at it like, `How can an old truck go so fast?', because from the outside, it still has the original look. I also like how it lays on the running boards with the original 16-inch wheels and Firestone whitewalls--this was probably the most challenging part of the buildup." CT