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  • This 1958 Chevy Apache is rusty on the outside and ultramodern underneath.

This 1958 Chevy Apache is rusty on the outside and ultramodern underneath.

Joe Greeves
Jul 19, 2016
Photographers: Joe Greeves
At first glance, this rusted hulk looks like something that’s was abandoned on the side of the road. Although its classic lines clearly show through, its weathered exterior shows years of neglect. The almost unreadable 1973 license plate marks the last time it was on the road, and it’s only through careful observation that you begin to discover elements out of the ordinary. Most obvious are the high-quality Billet Specialties Smoked Dagger 20-inch wheels with carefully adjusted offsets that tuck the rims perfectly inside the rusty fenders. Then of course, the stance is another giveaway with the rocker panels positioned squarely on the deck. As your curiosity grows and you inspect more closely, a quick look inside shows a pristine interior. The highly polished bed catches your eye, and once the weathered hood is opened, the full extent of this remarkable transformation is revealed. In fact, the surprises are just beginning. This ’58 Chevy Apache is another patina masterpiece from the talented team from StreetHeat in Melbourne, Florida.
Photo 2/16   |   1958 Chevrolet Apache Rear Right
Although Gavin Broome and Matt Verzi have been active in the automotive-repair business most of their lives, their real workplace satisfaction came when they teamed up a half-dozen years ago. They moved away from a career of minor repairs, concentrating instead on creating complete vehicles. They specialize in rejuvenating classic trucks, keeping the Mother Nature-inspired patina on the outside, and modernizing everything underneath. The internet is their primary source for new project vehicles. When they find one, they have it shipped to their headquarters in Melbourne. This Chevy Apache pickup appeared on Craigslist in North Carolina, but disappeared before they had a chance to buy it. It resurfaced a few months later, and that time they acted quickly. A week later, it was in their shop, but progress was slow. In fact it was almost three years before the rejuvenation process began in earnest. Part of the problem, the exterior was in terrible shape with door hinges frozen shut and an unusual collection of vintage bottles buried in animal debris inside towering almost as high as the seats. To maintain the rusted patina, the many repairs had to be done carefully. The cab corners and A-pillars were replaced, along with dozens of other repairs, each requiring a careful blending of shiny and new into the rusty and dusty. As other projects came into the shop, the Chevy was pushed aside in favor of more high-priority builds. The rejuvenation process finally began in earnest when a good customer flew in from England and saw the truck sitting in the rear of the shop. He had already purchased several vehicles from them in the past, and when the team suggested an old-school build plan for the Chevy, he said, “Do it!”
Photo 3/16   |   1958 Chevrolet Apache Chassis
Everything begins with a firm foundation and the StreetHeat team has their own, in-house designed chassis that becomes the platform for their suspension and powertrain upgrades. The forward portions of the boxed chassis rails were Z’d 3 inches to accept a second-gen Camaro front clip, chosen for its solid factory engineering and reasonable cost. In fact, they use General Motors products whenever they can to ensure a high-quality build. The rear C-notch was next, providing clearance for the GM 7.5-inch rearend (3.72 Posi), held in place with StreetHeat trailing arms and stabilized with a panhard bar. Disk brakes on all four wheels and a Lokar parking brake ensure modern stopping power, while Speedway shocks guarantee modern handling. Rounding out the suspension upgrades, the combination of twin Viair 480 compressors, Airmaxxx 2600 ’bags, and Horn Blasters 5-gallon reserve tank puts altitude control at the driver’s fingertips. Getting the chassis rolling in style are Billet Specialties Smoked Dagger 20X8.5-inch wheels with custom offsets front and rear. The wheels are wrapped with Nanking NS20 rubber, 245-35/20 in the rear and 225-35/20 up front.
Motive power for the Apache begins with a GM 350 crate motor running a polished Edelbrock Performer air gap intake, 600 CFM carburetor, and custom exhaust using Hooker Shorty headers, X-pipe, and a pair of Magnaflow mufflers. It sends approximately 260hp to the Turbo 350 transmission, upgraded with a shift kit and controlled by a tall Lokar shifter. Details are so important, the engine was showcased in the sleek, Gunmetal Gray engine compartment with a smooth firewall and front suspension components painted to match. The Gloss Black V-8 was detailed with Speedway louvered valve covers and air cleaner, along with a polished aluminum intake. The Champion radiator and 16-inch electric fan ensures temperatures remain in the green. But look closely, and you’ll see the passenger side of the radiator uses a standard overflow tank, while the matching tank on the opposite side is actually the reservoir for the windshield washer. A polished RPC V-groove pulley system activates the alternator and power steering, while the polished CPP dual-master cylinder energizes the power brakes.
Photo 4/16   |   1958 Chevrolet Apache Steering Wheel
If raising the hood was the initial surprise, raising the custom bed is even more dramatic. The bed floor, made from Sedona Red stained pine planks and separated by polished aluminum strips. It is hinged and lifts to reveal the careful engineering that characterizes this build. Dual pipes run down the passenger side and feed a central exhaust tip. This provides room for the AGM Redline gel cell battery on the driver’s side and allows fuel and electrical lines to be positioned away from exhaust heat. The symmetrically arranged Viair compressors and reserve tank add to the look. Inside, the elegantly understated interior uses multiple shades of Graphite Metallic and Black that coincide with the Gunmetal theme under the hood. The dash is filled with Dolphin black face gauges in a custom gray panel with a black surround. The steering column is from Ididit and holds a Speed Pro wheel, also with Gunmetal accents. The bench seat was re-upholstered by Pete’s Auto Upholstery in Melbourne, Florida, using leather grade vinyl and Gray microsuede inserts. Continuing the theme, all the interior chrome was sandblasted and painted Black for effect. In order to properly enjoy the Custom Auto Sound stereo and 6 by 9 Kicker coaxial speakers behind the seats, the entire cab was lined with Stinger Roadkill, and black loop pile carpet covers the floor.
The truck was built to European standards, knowing it would have to pass the rigorous MOT inspection once it arrived in England. It has working headlights, taillights, amber turn signals, horn, parking brake, and more. Fortunately, rust on the outside is not a disqualification! Verzi smiles when he says, “The truck will pass with ease, but it will probably blow them away the first time they see it!” StreetHeat’s high-tech Rust-O-Rod is complete, and already in England, on display in Stumpy’s Toy Town. The team would like to thank Precision Powder Coat, Rodney Sherman, Charlie's Customs, Boris Maryanovsky (Street Machinery) Alan Ethier, Pete’s Auto Upholstery, Murphy Cadillac, and especially, Mother Nature for her handiwork.
Photo 5/16   |   1958 Chevrolet Apache Engine
Inside the Build
Year/Make/Model: 1958 Chevy Apache pickup
Builder, City/State: StreetHeat, Melbourne, Florida
Front Suspension: Z’d 3 inches, second-gen Camaro front clip, Speedway Shocks, Airmaxxx ’bags
Rear Suspension: C-notch, StreetHeat trailing arms and panhard bar, Speedway Shocks, Airmaxxx ’bags
Engine: GM 350 crate motor rated at 260hp, Turbo 350 transmission
Rear end: GM 7.5-inch rear with 3.72 Posi
Numerous body panels replaced and the body brought back to original, blending the new additions with the faded patina exterior
Painted Graphite Metallic and Black, Dolphin black-face gauges, Ididit column, Speed Pro wheel, re-upholstered bench seat by Pete’s Auto Upholstery in Melbourne, Florida, using leather-grade vinyl and Grey microsuede inserts,
Stereo: Custom Auto Sound stereo, 6 by 9 Kicker coaxial speakers, Stinger Roadkill, black loop pile carpet
Wheels: 20X8.5; Billet Specialties Dagger
Tires: 245/35R20 225/35R20; Nanking NS20



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