There are many reasons to build a hot rod hauler. Ray Sivis of Lancaster, Kentucky, had two: his buddies had custom vintage trucks and- more importantly-his teenaged son, Justin, wanted to build one. The Sivis Men searched for a '67-72 Chevy shortbed shortly after deciding to forge ahead. They found two, a '71-and a '72 that would provide its engine and trans.
In the midst of dismantling the '71, Ray brought the '72 350ci engine to Danville Machine Shop in Danville, Kentucky, for an eventual rebuild. He entrusted the TH350 trans renew to Sparky Turner, owner of Turner's Transmissions in Danville. Father and Son Sivis worked long nights and entire weekends refurbishing the Chevy. Though they considered the '71 to be in "graveyard condition," they toiled away, despite having occasional heated disputes about how to best customize the pickup. Once they made it to the bare framerails in the teardown phase, Ray had the frame sandblasted. They primered and painted the frame and fabricated stainless steel fuel and brake lines. After renewing the frontend by replacing the bushings and control arms, Ray installed Bell Tech 2.5-inch drop spindles and Bell Tech 3-inch drop coils. The Sivises sourced a 20-gallon stainless steel fuel tank from Southern Classics, which they located behind the 3.73:1 Dana Posi rearend.
Sparky, the auto trans guru, and Danville Machine Shop made swift work of the engine and transmission renew. Danville bored the block .030-over and stuffed flat-top pistons in the cylinders. A 292 COMP Cams roller camshaft provided smooth, efficient power. Mr. Turner rebuilt the TH350 trans and installed a TransGo Performance shift kit, thus assuring the estimated 300 horses made their way to the pavement.
As a quality technician, Ray recognizes the importance of being efficient through parallel processing. He delivered the fenders, inner fenders, hood, and radiator support to Roger's Body Shop in Garrard County, Kentucky. Proprietor Roger Schnitzler prepared the panels and sprayed them with primer. Ray wrapped the precious metal pieces in blankets and stored the bounty safely in his garage. As necessary, he procured replacement panels and parts from LMC Truck, as well as Southern Classics of Bowling Green, Kentucky. Ray delivered the cab, doors, and bed to Roger's Body Shop, and later trailered the completed rolling chassis for trial fitment of all the panels. Roger performed final paint prep and fit, took the panels back off, and sprayed all the sheetmetal pieces separately with Sherwin Williams Victory Red paint. Auto Glass and the Sivis Men then replaced the greenhouse with all-new windowpanes. Not to be outdone by her husband and son, Vicki completed the installation of the Mar-K bed floor kit, which Ray had started. She also selected the Chevy's paint hue, in addition to writing all the checks.
Vicki's check-writing didn't halt until she paid for a Painless Performance Products wiring harness, Lecarra steering wheel, an aftermarket original-style stereo, and Steel Horse leather bucket seats-all from Stylin' Concepts. To make the interior a comfy cruiser, Ray and Justin added these items. In celebration of the conclusion of the four-year construction project, the Sivises first fired the engine without having any mufflers on the to-be-completed custom exhaust system. Ray appreciates his neighbors enduring the racket on that climactic day in November. He owes a debt of gratitude to his son Justin and to Roger's Body Shop. And last but foremost, he thanks his wife Vicki for keeping the checks flowing and for enabling the Sivis Men to build their dream truck. We thank the Sivis family for rescuing an old truck from the "graveyard" and adding another custom classic truck to their neighborhood (and thus to the pages of CCT).