The classic lines of the vintage Apache needed very little help. Custom headlights, new si
Steve Greene, from Coconut Grove, Florida, is retired from his wholesale food distribution business and is now enjoying the good life, playing with several interesting vehicles in the stable, acquired over the years. An active enthusiast, Steve is used to very cool cars, like his supercharged 2010 Camaro and 2010 ZR1 Corvette in the driveway. This 1959 Chevrolet Apache, however, was a real departure from the norm. It was found by Steve’s son-in-law, Robert Breeden, on Craigslist in San Diego. The idea of a vintage truck was just different enough to be intriguing, so Steve bought the truck and had it shipped East.
The distinctive looking Apache was in fair shape when it arrived but Greene is serious about his vehicles; the ’59 needed a few personalizing touches before it was ready to take its place in the family garage. Steve already had great success with a fabrication shop called Miranda Built in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Owner, Jeremy Miranda and his team had already worked on his Steve’s Camaro. In addition to modern customs, they specialize in reinventing classics from yesteryear, using an infusion of modern technology.
After agreeing on a build plan, a list of mods was prepared for the Apache, beginning with new chassis elements to upgrade the truck’s 50-year-old technology. A Gen II Camaro front clip, fitted with tubular upper and lower control arms, power rack-and-pinion steering, and dropped spindles, was modified to accommodate a planned set of 20-inch front wheels. A C-notch in the rear provided clearance for the TCI four-link suspension that holds the Camaro IROC 10-bolt rear, narrowed two inches and running 3.27 gears. Tubs were added to the bed in order to fit the high and wide 22-inch rims scheduled for the rear. All four disc brakes were upgraded with the latest Wilwood technology using 12.88-inch drilled and slotted rotors, six piston calipers up front and four piston versions in the rear. KYB gas shocks on all four wheels guaranteed a stabilized ride. In order to achieve that slammed show truck stance, the Miranda team installed a complete air suspension system, using four Slam Specialties 2500 bags, a pair of Viair 380C compressors, -inch lines, and two 3-gallon reserve tanks mounted under the truck. Gauges on the dash monitor ride height. Getting the Apache rolling is a set of five-spoke, Boyd Coddington Two Tone rims, 20x8.5s up front and 22x10s in the rear, wrapped in Nitto 35- and 30-series rubber. The 305 V-8 under the hood benefits from a Holley 600 carb on an Edelbrock manifold along with Hooker headers that feed a pair of Magnaflow mufflers. A Pete Jackson gear drive was added for its distinctive sound, a SPAL electric fan ensured adequate cooling, and a reworked 700-R4 automatic transmission got the power to the ground. Cosmetic upgrades on the motor include hidden wiring, polished valve covers, and a pinstriped, vintage Caddy-style air cleaner.
The Apache sheetmetal remains original except for a few subtle changes like the modern HID headlights, LED taillights, Billet Specialties side mirrors, and a custom roll pan on the bumperless rear end. The bed floor was lined with a color-coordinated shade of dark oak featuring a billet gas cap cut into the bed. The final step for the exterior was the unusual Porsche color, called Sepia Brown, highlighted with khaki pinstriping from Bones Design in West Palm Beach, Florida.
The truck had a fairly plain interior, so a custom package was assembled to bring the truck into the new millennium. The dash now holds modern Classic Instruments in the original housing and modern temperature control comes from the Vintage Air A/C unit mounted underneath. The custom bench seat, covered in Camel-colored vinyl and suede, was shortened two inches to keep it below the rear window. Thomas Nast, of Okeechobee, Florida, did the stitchwork, finishing the makeover with chocolate brown pleated door panels. The steering column and dash were painted to match the exterior.
Done in light and dark shades of brown, the interior features a custom bench seat, door pa
In addition to large diameter modern rims, the truck uses Wilwood six-piston disc brakes u
The unique look of the Apache is modernized, thanks to the 20- and 22- inch rims as well a
Nestling in the shiny black engine room is the overhauled and detailed 305 V-8, accented w
Tubs were fabricated for the bed to accommodate the 22 x 10-inch rear wheels. Dark oak sla
High-tech entertainment was also on the list, beginning with Dynamat sound deadening applied to all interior sheetmetal surfaces to minimize any unwanted sonic intrusion. The new stereo system, controlled by the Kenwood KD-X994 head unit, directs the power from a single ARC Audio KS 300.4, four-channel ARC Audio amplifier to the pair of 8-inch ARC Audio ARC 8D4 subs and 6-inch KS 6006 component sets.
The finished truck has turned out to be great fun to drive but for Steve, it was quite a surprise to discover that his vintage Apache consistently gets more attention than his elaborately customized late-model cars. I never would have believed it but seeing is believing! Steve told us. We understand exactly Steve, but don’t worry, you’ll get used to it! Great trucks are not created in a vacuum though, and many thanks go out to Jeremy Miranda and his talented team, Dustin Clark, Bjorn Gunnlookson, and Tim Allen. CCT