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Classic Industries 1953 Chevy Truck

This truck was not a typical restoration project
February, 2009
By Rob Fortier
Photography by Classic Industries

Classic Industries 1953 Chevrolet 1300 Pickup

Select to EnlargeThis truck was not a typical restoration project for Classic Industries. This is a completely new vehicle. Although they didn't have to deal with rust and body rot notorious with a restoration project, they did pound, bend, and stretch the new sheetmetal to fit into our plans for a custom parts hauler.

This project was unique because; rather than hiring a professional shop to build the truck it was built by employees at Classic Industries, enthusiasts who wrench and pound on their own projects. These employees needed a place to work, so we built a 5000 square foot "Tech Center". The tech center is a state-of-the-art shop with Burr-King grinders, Bend Pak lifts, Auto Twirler body rotisserie, Gearwrench hand tools, Ingersoll Rand compressor and tools, Island Clean Air downdraft units, Iwata spray guns, and Miller Electric welding equipment.

Select to EnlargeWith the Tech Center completed in November it was time to start building the truck. The concept was drawn by Jaime Seymour with our classic color scheme of silver and burgundy. Edgar Soler was pulled from the showroom to be the project manager. He enlisted the help of fellow employees Jason Poling, Christian Carrillo, and Keith Pittman to be the main builders. Other employees for specific tasks include Freddie Ruiz and Byron Stewart to do the woodworking; Bret Dethlefsen and Accounting Department's Regina Rowletts' husband Lance for body prep and paint; Ed Stevens helped with the re-assembly; and more were called up when needed.

Select to EnlargeIt all started with a TCI Chassis, a GM Performance Parts ZZ 383 engine with Edelbrock intake and valvetrain, and MSD ignition sparking the fuel from the polished Mooneyes tank in the bed. A B&M 700-R4 transmission spins a Moser rearend turning our signature American Racing Salt Flat wheels burning Toyo rubber. The exhaust shoots through Doug's Headers and down a MagnaFlow system with Race Pro mufflers. Body mods such as frenched Delta Tech headlights, leaded seams, one-piece hood, hidden latch tailgate, custom dash and console were added to the new body available from our catalog. The underside and bedsides were finished with the durable Al's Liner. Out front the Briz bumper from Chevs of the 40's sits tight to the grill and fenders. The body was squirted with House of Kolor shades and striped by Jeff Styles and polished using Surf City Garage products. The interior keeps outside noise down with Hushmat sound deadener panels and has Procar Seats with custom embroidered covers from Distinctive Industries mounted on custom seat brackets. Auto Meter gauges sit behind an ididt column. The sounds pound from a Sony Xplod system with a custom speaker box behind the seats. Edgar and the boys built a custom center console with hidden cup-holders. The windows ride up and down courtesy an Electric Life power window kit using handles from Clayton Machine Works. All the electrical is strewn through Painless wiring.

With most projects like this the deadline was moved up to make the unveiling at the Pismo Beach Classic Car Show June 20-22. Another challenge to this build was the cameras that followed the build on Speed Channel's hit series "Chop Cut Rebuild." The crew would come in a couple days a week to catch the progress while host Dan Woods would assist with that week's tasks. This process at times interrupted the workflow and made it a challenge to meet our deadlines. We are happy to report that after long nights and endless days the truck fired up and barked its first gasp right on schedule six months in the making.

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Thank you.
Tony Colombini
Art Director
Marketing and Research Department Manager

Classic Industries
18460 Gothard Street
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

714-847-6887 ext 5-501
Fax: 714-841-5348

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