Throughout our lives we will encounter several life-changing events, and it is these events that conspire to mold us into the people we are today. Many of these events are common amongst all of us, such as the first day of high school, the day we finally get our driver's license, or that long overdue night when we can finally order a beer without being tossed into the street by a bouncer attempting his best Roadhouse impersonation.
At the ripe age of 19, with no wife or children, Skylar Schulz of Breyham, Texas, can safely say his 18th birthday may have been the best day of his life. While most 18-year-olds were utilizing their newly discovered rights as a legal adult, Skylar and his father, Larry, were looking for a little something more. They had their eyes on the prize, as they say, and in this case, the prize was a '59 GMC.
Although the truck had already been a permanent member of the family, serving as a commuter for Skylar throughout high school, the two decided it was time to up the ante. They began with the frame. Larry and Skylar's frame design called for a complete overhaul of the stock GMC chassis. They turned to David Winslow to bring their idea to life. David first fitted the frame with a subframe from a '78 Camaro. He then added the rear suspension from an '86 Corvette, which ultimately gave the '59 full independent suspension in all four corners.
With the frame intact, it was time to give the old gal a facelift. Skylar and Larry took their GMC to the boys at Better Than New Auto Body. Since the truck had been alive and kicking for nearly half a century, she needed a little TLC. First, they smoothed out the cab corners and altered the hood and grille. Next, they added a roll pan and shaved the door handles and locks to give the truck a cleaner appearance. Once the major surgery was complete, they turned the truck over to Bradley Warmke to spray the GMC with a custom two-tone paint job of yellow and gray. With the truck fully painted, Larry, with a little help from David Winslow, continued the facelift by installing oak and chrome runners to coat the inside of the truck bed.
Unlike popular demand for...
Unlike popular demand for today's youthful hot rodders, Skylar ditched the dub idea for a set of American Torq-Thrust IIs.
Now that the old girl had fooled father time and actually got her looks back with age, it was time to give her an engine to match her newly acquired sex appeal. Skylar and Larry equipped her with a '76 350 small-block bored to a 355. For some extra pick-me-up, they stuffed in some flat-top pistons with a compression ratio of 10:1. Breathing life into the motor is a 720 Holley carburetor. They also added a set of Doug Thorley headers and Cherry Bomb mufflers to complete the inhale/exhale drill. The end result is 360 horses of Detroit muscle.
With the engine intact, Skylar needed to decide on the interior. He chose gray leather to coat the inside of the GMC and custom Summit leather seats. He also added a custom aluminum dash and a gauge panel from Auto Meter. The finishing touches included a Pioneer sound system and a custom polished steering wheel.
With the facelift nearly complete, all Skylar needed to do was choose a set of wheels to complement his revamped truck. In a decade where dubs have become standard for young car enthusiasts, Skylar chose a classier, more traditional look with 17-inch American Racing Torq-Thrust II rims with BFGoodrich tires.
With everything said and done, Skylar is left with a brand-new 50-year-old piece of arm candy he can pridefully boast about to his friends and family. The only downside of the project for Skylar is the enormous gratitude toward his father and the suspicion of an eventual letdown from his next life-changing event.
Skylar may have passed on...
Skylar may have passed on big-inch wheels, but one thing is for sure, he definitely needed to have state-of-the-art tunes, and with a Pioneer head unit, Memphis Audio amps, subs, and component speakers, he reached his goal.
Check out the new/old powerplant...
Check out the new/old powerplant loaded with power enhancers such as Doug Thorley headers, a Holley carb, and a Wieand intake manifold.