Modifying and restoring cars and trucks for a living often preclude people from doing the same thing as a hobby or pastime. Well, not so with Dennis Bunton. For Dennis there's nothing quite like winding down from a hard day's work out in the shop by heading back out there to commence wrenching on one of his own classic truck projects.

The latest product of Dennis' "relaxation" is this pristine '55 Chevy Cameo pickup. Dennis happened upon the Cameo in a storage unit in Charlotte, North Carolina. Technically it was a Cameo-in reality it was a big pile of parts and/or boxes of parts. Once he took stock of all the components he'd acquired he then made a list of what either needed replacing or repairing. For the pickup's foundation Dennis ordered a complete custom-built Art Morrison chassis setup for a coilover/rack-and-pinion-equipped frontend and a four-bar/coilover rear suspension setup. He then chose a quartet of MT billet wheels (18s and 20s) wrapped in Mickey Thompson Sport Comp rubber.

The rolling chassis was then outfitted with a fully dressed '00 GTO LS1 backed by a 4L60E overdrive automatic. A custom driveshaft connects the powerplant to a narrowed 9-inch Ford rearend. With this performance-oriented driveline in place Dennis then turned his talents to reassembling the pickup's bodywork. The truck was basically restored to stock configuration (and coated with a flawless coating of House of Kolor Tangelo Pearl urethane) with the bed and interior receiving the greatest share of custom modification. Dennis raised the bed floor 6 inches and replaced the original floor with exquisitely finished curly maple and fashioned a pair of wheeltubs to house the Cameo's massive rear wheels and tires. The interior was customized by the installation of a '55 Bel Air passenger car dash and an owner-fabricated waterfall-style console. Once the interior mods had been completed Dennis enlisted the services of Dave's Auto Trim to upholster the interior (including its pair of Plymouth Neon buckets and floor) in yards of supple cream-colored vinyl.

One has to admit that Dennis has done a tremendous job rodstoring the Cameo and has since been enjoying making the rounds to as many car and truck shows across the country. But, whenever he's not, he can be found out in the shop wrenching on anything from antique restorations to custom cars and trucks-both during a normal workday and his precious time off. Now that's our kind of gearhead.

Dennis Bunton
Statesville, North Carolina
1955 Chevrolet Cameo

CHASIS FRAME: Art Morrison
MODIFICATIONS: custom built
REAREND / RATIO: 9-inch Ford / 4.56:1
REAR SUSPENSION: four-bar, coilovers
FRONT SUSPENSION: Art Morrison IFS, coilovers
STEERING BOX: rack-and-pinion
FRONT WHEELS: 18x7 MT billet
REAR WHEELS: 20x17 MT billet
FRONT TIRES: Mickey Thompson, Sport Comp
REAR TIRES: Mickey Thompson, Sport Comp
GAS TANK: custom