Dennis Jones found his ’55 Cameo in Safford, Arizona, in the backyard of an old high school friend. His friend’s parents previously owned the truck and left it in the hot Arizona sun. When Dennis first looked at the truck the tires were flat and grass was growing waist-high around the ’55, but he knew he had to have it.
The sun had taken its toll on the wood in the bed to where it resembled a rotted fence. “You could step right through it in most spots,” Dennis says. The exterior paint was not in much better shape with holes and rust here and there. After negotiating a deal with his friend’s father for $500 cash and $1,000 worth of traded-out mechanical work on his semi-trucks, the Cameo was his. Dennis handed over the money, aired up the tires, put a new battery in it, and poured gas down the carburetor. Surprisingly, after sitting there dead for five years, it fired right up and he drove it home.
Dennis’ ultimate goal was to turn the truck into a show vehicle, but finding the time and money made it difficult to do. So the project sat in idle for a few years while Dennis figured out a game plan. One day Dennis came home to find his best friend David Kinnison had taken the Cameo completely apart. Parts were scattered all over his backyard, but David provided the motivation for Dennis to start the project. The two friends spent two years putting the truck back together for its first resurrection. The truck was shown at a few events in Arizona and Southern California, and was then retired to the garage. Unfortunately, the Cameo ended up sitting in the garage for 15 years when one day, David called and asked about the old pickup they restored.
Once again, David motivated his friend to build the truck he’d always wanted to build. By this time Dennis’ son Josh was in his 20’s and old enough to help out, then the second restoration began. To get started again, Dennis contacted Don McNeil of Flat Out Engineering to purchase his C4 Corvette kit. Don also installed the parts on Dennis’ pickup along with the parts he purchased from J & D Corvette. The driveline and suspension came from a donor Corvette via J & D Corvette of Bellflower, California.
It only took six months of working weekends to reassemble the truck with help from his co-workers at Escondido Rock and Gravel. Next the truck was wired up to get it running, and then it was off to ACM Paint and Body of Escondido, California, for bodywork.
Two to three months of labor and the truck was painted with a nice, shiny coat of DuPont gloss-red. The interior was the last thing to complete on the truck. Dennis had been looking at other classic vehicles at local car shows and found an upholstery guy who did nice work by the name of Armando’s Custom Upholstery in San Jacinto, California. The stock bench seat was reshaped and recovered with leather and custom door panels made. ct
San Marcos, California
1955 Chevrolet Cameo
Modifications: Flat Out Engineering crossmember
Rearend / Ratio: C4 Corvette
Rear suspension: C4 Corvette conversion
Rear brakes: C4 Corvette
Front suspension: Flat Out Engineering
Front brakes: C4 Corvette
Steering box: rack and pinion
Front wheels: Foose Legend
Rear wheels: Foose Legend
Front tires: Toyo Proxies 245/35 ZR20
Rear tires: Toyo Proxies 245/45 ZR20
Gas tank: stock
Engine: LS1 Turn Key
Valve covers: stock
Manifold: stock with carbon stickers
Exhaust / Mufflers: DynoMax / 2½ dual pipe
Modifications: rebuilt and shift kit
Fenders front: stock
Bodywork and paint by: ACM Autobody & Paint of Escondido, CA
Paint type / Color: DuPont / red
Headlights / Taillights: stock / blue dot
Outside mirrors: stock
Bumpers: stock re-chrome
Dashboard: stock / smoothed
Gauges: Auto Meter
Air conditioning: Vintage Air
Steering wheel: Billet Specialties
Steering column: ididit
Seats: Armando’s Custom Upholstery of San Jacinto, CA
Upholstery by: Armando’s Custom Upholstery of San Jacinto, CA
Material / Color: leather / tan