When Mike Curtis was in fourth grade one of his dad's employees drove a dropped '72 Chevy truck. It was blue-on-white with trim and super fast. Mike knew he had to have one someday. Eight years ago Mike was halfway there: He had purchased a '72 from his dad. Little did he know he was still eight years away from fulfilling his dream of having the truck he pictured-the reason being that the truck was worked on here and there, bounced from here and there, and sat around more than Peg Bundy during an Oprah marathon. Eventually, the plans for the red-and-white Chevy came to fruition.
Considering that the truck was pieced together over the years, there really wasn't a set order to its build. In fact, Mike kind of just jumped around-until one day he looked up and it was done. But seeing as we have to start this story somewhere, we'll begin with the chassis. For the most part, things were left true to form, only tweaked to get the stance Mike was after. In the front, the stock GM components stayed in place, but new 3-inch drop springs were popped in. When things settled down, the lowering job still wasn't enough, so Mike cut a coil from the spring to bring the nose down that extra bit. In the rear, the plan was a bit more complex, but still simple natured. For starters, the frame had to be C-notched to accommodate the stance that Curtis was after. Not wanting to use the stock coils, or aftermarket lowering coils, Mike decided he would go a different route that would provide comfort and adjustability: coilovers. In order to install a set of QA1 coilovers, Mike fabricated brackets that fasten to the rear trailing arms and an upper crossmember that acts as the upper mount. From there it was just a matter of setting the ride height in the rear to get the desired stance. Seeing that the truck had been in the works for several years, one item that Mike had accumulated over time was a ZZ1 350 crate engine he picked up from his dad as well. When the time was right, the motor was dropped in and some Cal Custom valve covers were installed to spruce things up. Instead of sticking with the stock three-on-the-tree setup, Mike threw in a manual tranny from a Camaro with a Hurst shifter. In the rear of the frame, a '65 Mustang gas tank was squeezed in.
When it comes to the body of the '72, it has had more hands on it than Britney Spears! [When contacted for this story, Britney, via her publicist, issued this rebuttal: "Don't hate, participate!"] Originally the bodywork and paint job set out to be tackled in a somewhat normal manner, but things quickly strayed from the plan. At first, Mike started filling all the holes, such as marker lights and bed-stake pockets, and installing the trim he always visualized. From there the truck was primed. Sometime later the cab and interior was painted PPG Honda Red and GM White-an odd combo, yet quite complementary. Matching the cab is a red/white vinyl interior job by Advanced Specialties in La Habra, California. Unfortunately, that's where the paint job started and ended for the time being, because for the next few years the truck lay there half-painted. Then Mike's friend Jared painted the front clip on the Chevy to match the cab, yet that too was just a stint of work-the truck once again took a seat parked in the corner. Sometime after that, Mike's brother came down for a visit and they decided to hash and thrash on the truck and finish it off-but once again (big surprise, huh?) the well ran dry and work ceased. The days rolled on for longer than Mike cares to count before worked picked back up. While working on Overhaulin', Mike struck up a friendship with Geoff Curtis and convinced him to finish painting the bed and tailgate of his '72 once the Overhaulin' season was done. Within 12 days of the paint job Mike had a group of friends in town gearing up for the upcoming Goodguy's show in Del Mar, California. Together they decided they weren't going to the show without the Chevy, so they began a mad dash to finish things off. Then, lo and behold, the Chevy was finally finished ... almost. The last bit was for Mike to toss a set of his new Curtis Speed Equipment wheels, Mike's own brand, whittled from billet aluminum on the Chevy (19x8 up front and 20x10 out back, with Falken 245/45/19 and 285/50/20). Now that things are finally finished, the truck doesn't just sit around waiting to be fixed. It actually gets driven several days a week. With pride.