When Steve Pace bought this ’56 Chevrolet, it was a running, driving, solid pickup. The former owner had installed a Fatman IFS with a power rack and disc brakes. There was a 350 Chevy under the hood backed by a Turbo 350 and the paint and bodywork were decent. But while the truck was nice, it wasn’t nice enough.
With lots of improvements in mind, Steve turned to Kenny Wilheim for his help. The front suspension was treated to a pair of drop spindles, and in the rear a Chevy 12-bolt was installed using a combination of four-bars and a Panhard rod. With the suspension mods, and by substituting Foose 17x8-inch front and 18x10-inch rear wheels wrapped 225/55R17 and 255/55R18 tires respectively, the truck’s ride height was reduced by some 9 inches.
To up the horsepower numbers, Steve turned to a group well versed on the subject, Mast Motorsports. They supplied a 427-cubic-inch LS3 tire roaster that churns out well over 500 horsepower. Hooked to the back of the all-aluminum V-8 is a GM 4L60E with an HGM Compushift controller.
While the Chevy’s body was solid, it was left up to Charlie Cannilizo of Cannilizo Brothers to make the totally de-chromed body perfect and then shoot the PPG Victory Red paint. Larry Preston of Preston’s Upholstery gets the credit for stitching the saddle tan leather interior and Kenny Wilhelm ran all the wires that get power to all the right places.
Since its transformation Steve tells us that most of the miles it accumulates now come from traveling to events with his pals in the Pickups N Panels club. However, when the mood strikes, he does enjoy driving the Chevy around his hometown of Flower Mound, Texas. The truck now has the performance Steve was after. “It’ll shove ya back in the seat,” and it’s obvious the truck is finished to perfection—we’d say twice as nice is as good as it gets. CCT
The heartbeat of this Chevrolet...
The heartbeat of this Chevrolet comes from a Mast Motorsports LS3. A Vintage Air Front Runner mounts the engine-driven accessories; the radiator and fan are from Flex-a-lite. A custom intake system delivers cold air from filtered intakes behind the grille to the throttle-body enclosure. The coil packs have been relocated to boxes located at the bottom of the firewall.
Bolt-free stainless rub strips...
Bolt-free stainless rub strips are used to protect the mahogany stained bed planks. Fuel is carried in a stainless tank below the floor.
Gears are selected by a Lokar...
Gears are selected by a Lokar shifter. Upshifts and downshifts can be made with the paddle shifters on the steering wheel. Vintage Air is used to combat the Texas heat.
In the rear a smooth tailgate and a roll pan have been added. Frenched taillights are ’39 Ford-style LED.
The interior of the truck is simple and understated with saddle tan leather on the bucket seats, door panels, and the unique treatment on the lower dash panel. Instruments are Classic; the steering wheel and column are from ididit.