Over the years, Austin Parker has had his fair share of classics that he's built to achieve his vision. In the past he owned a '48 Chevy pickup that he was stuck on deciding the paint scheme for when it was time to select a color. Red or black was the question. So he decided to do the best of both and gave it a black and Torch Red two-tone paintjob. It fit his vision and was a beautiful truck until he was approached at a show to sell it. But what do you do when you still wondered what the truck would've looked like shod in all black? You go out and buy another so you have a chance to realize your vision yet again.
Austin was on his way to the Frog Follies show in Evansville, Indiana, in his '40 Ford coupe when he saw this '53 Chevy five-window still sporting all its factory appointments. Austin talked to the college student owner of the truck who needed some cash to finish his education and finally struck a deal to take the truck into its next phase of existence. The truck was hauled back to his home in Ohio where he began to give it some more oomph under the hood and wear some sinister black paint—after all, when doesn't a car or truck look good in that color?
Overall, the Chevy was in pretty darn good shape for how old it was. Cab corners were one of the only changes that had to be made to the truck's body to get it back up to snuff. Austin decided to upgrade the truck's handling capabilities with a Chassis Engineering bolt-on IFS and sway bars in front and back, a Mustang II rack-and-pinion, and 11-inch disc brakes. The rear has new Chassis Engineering leafs with a 10-bolt Nova rearend stuffed with 3.73 gears and 11-inch drum brakes. A two-stage Corvette master cylinder puts out enough pressure to bring the 15x6 front and 15x8 rear Billet Specialties Rival-G wheels to a stop. Believe it or not, Austin's father, 89 at the time, was the one responsible for most of the truck's upgraded suspension duties.
Under the hood you'll find a '93 Corvette LT1 and 700-R trans with Sanderson headers, Street and Performance brackets and pulleys, a Walker radiator, and Billet Specialties valve covers. It all draws fuel from a 16-gallon Doc's Kustom Tank located under the Mar-K oak-lined bed. Body-wise, the truck retains practically all of its stock clothing, with the exception of an aftermarket '54 roll pan in the back and brake lights in the bed rolls.
The cab has been completely lined with Dynamat and Austin built the console to straddle the '92 S-10 seats that've been covered in red leather by Pro Auto in Knoxville, Tennessee. The truck has also been outfitted with Auto Meter gauges, a Kenwood stereo, Vintage air, an ididit column, and Lecarra steering wheel. And of course, the final touch had to be a nice, thick coating of PPG black paint. Austin will tell you it's no fun trying to keep it clean, but when it's all shined up, there's no denying that this purchase truly completed the goal he set out to accomplish.