Campbell, California’s Jim Enfantino bough this ’59 Chevy Apache back in 1984 with the idea that someday he’d get around to fixing it up. At first it was used as his work truck (Jim works in construction). He put a toolbox and a ladder rack on it and worked with it for years, going as far as fabricating sheetmetal flashings right off the tailgate. Over time the truck took a great deal of construction abuse and was retired in 1991. In the late ’90s he started collecting parts for a future build. It’s been finished for a couple of years now, and he drives it mainly on Sunday afternoons and to local cruise nights. It’s only been in one show, and it won Best Truck.
The truck is painted Porsche Arena Red, and the interior is Mercedes-Benz Palomino leather. Powered by a 355 Chevy-tuned port roller with an ACCEL computer and a 700-R4 trans with a Ford 9-inch, it puts out approximately 325 hp with 400 lb-ft of torque. The exhaust has been fully HPC coated. It has a highly modified Fatman IFS frontend with a power rack, big custom sway bars, and single leaves out back. Jim says the truck rides and handles great. Everything under the truck was given the same treatment as the engine compartment--everything was powdercoated, plated, or polished. The firewall was moved 58-inch forward to make room for everything underdash, which was kept to look stock. The original gauges were upgraded to modern specs with factory looks. The original deluxe heater control now works the A/C, while a Secret Audio faceplate in the glovebox, tuner, amp, and storage are under the modified ’59 seat (the bottom folds forward). The vent windows were removed and the stock cranks now work power windows. A large custom stainless steel tank was fabbed with the gas filler located behind the license plate. Jim thought about going with larger wheels, but ever since he was a kid he’d wanted a hot rod truck with a set of Halibrand wheels. There are too many mods and custom pieces to list here, but we’re awfully happy to have been able to share Jim’s baby for the rest of you to admire. CT
If you have a Classic Cruiser and want to see it here, email at least six high-resolution photos and background info to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail prints to: Classic Trucks, Attn: Jim Rizzo, 1733 Alton Pkwy., Irvine, CA 92606.