Tim O’Connell – 1961 Chevy Apache


As most of you may know, if you have read my posts, i have a deep love for trucks. My absolute favorite is the 1965 Chevy Step Side.

There is no great reason why, it just is. However, I absolutely love the trucks from the 1960’s, especially step sides, of which, this truck is.

Tim contacted me via the new form, which you can do as well, if you have a project you would like to feature. Just click here.

Now, to see pictures of this truck, as I am sure you do, please go to the bottom, reading the article as you go, to see great shots.

Also, make sure to leave a comment for Tim, so he knows what you think, check out his Facebook group and let him know you got there from here.


Make, Model, Year of Project:

Official sponsor of this feature article. http://www.cbdoilishope.com

This is a 1961 Chevy Apache

What stage, if any, is this project in?

This is a Completed Project.

When did you purchase it and for how much?

I picked it up for $3500

Why did you choose this vehicle?

For one, my dad had a 1963 that I drove to high school.

I originally saw this this truck parked. Rode by it every day. Finally, I stopped in Icon Automotive and asked if it was for sale.

They said yes, but they wanted way too much.

So, I started hanging out there, and became one of “the guys”.

After another year, I asked again. Now the price dropped dramatically, and I jumped in. No regrets.

What sort of condition was it in when you started the project, what was wrong with it, etc.:

Old farm truck looking thing.

What, specifically have you done, or had done to it?

Lowered it and added 22” Transports.

Painted the top and bumpers

Dressed out the engine with all aluminum parts

Added dual custom exhaust

Can you list any and all parts that you have put in?

I put in shorter rear springs and 22” transport wheels

Upgraded to disc brakes

The interior was soundproofed

I added custom dual exhaust

The aluminum on the engine was an aluminum intake, aluminum pullies, polished alternator

The paint work was done under hood and exterior

Where have you purchased your parts?

I got a lot of parts at local shops, I also used Summit Racing

What about you?

I’m just an old guy who loves trucks. I am the owner/Admin of the facebook group, 1947-1997 Truck Nutz.

This is my 5th build. I have had a 1948 that’s now in Great Britain. A 1952 that’s now in Tennessee. A 65 and a 56 that have been and gone. I also have a 1997 Silverado. I love trucks.

Any stories regarding this project:

This truck has been to the Hot rod nationals, GoodGuys  and several local shows

Any garages, parts stores, fabrication shops, etc you want to call out specifically?:

Icon Automotive. Those guys are the best and the best at what they do. Builds!

I would hang out there after work. They are two streets over from the BMW/Mercedes shop I worked at. 

They do restoration and fabrication on older vehicles. Camaro’s, C10’s, Chevelle’, 3100 Chevy’s, you know, everything I love! It’s a good place to lean on their counter, talk cars, pet their dog, and just hang out.

Their door is always open.

Mike and Ben (Father son duo ), have helped me with my “61” tremendously.

Lowering, drilling wheels for hubcaps, wiring, you name it. Those dudes keep me running. They even gave me keys to the shop.

So, I am officially “one of the boys “. 

From the editor:

This came attached to one of the emails from Tim and I felt it just needed to be added. I would steal it as my own, if it was possible.

Tim’s tag:

You see, they look at it, and they just think it’s a truck. 

They see it as a rusty old hunk of junk that’s able to carry a couch or a refrigerator.

They see it as a tool and not much of anything more.

But, we see different.

We see memories.

We see bench seats and dates riding close.

We see rides in the back and feeling free.

We see country roads with the windows down.

We see learning to drive a stick, learning how to change oil and plugs.

We see a friend.

Yeah, they may see a truck, and they’d be right.

But we see our trucks. And they are beautiful.

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Al Liebmann – 1932 Ford 5w Coupe

This featured article will probably be known to quite a few people, especially if you have been around the drag racing scene for any length of time. Below is just a quick summary Continue reading

Robert Walker’s 1979 Australian Dodge D5N – The Powerhouse from Down Under!

To start, isn’t it amazing how we can bring you stories of cars, trucks and bikes from around the world?

No longer are you stuck looking at and hearing about these customs & classics from your area alone and so, with that in mind, let’s take a look and hear the story of this trucks amazing transformation.

Come with us to Australia!

Let’s go Meet Robert Walker and enjoy learning about his Dodge D5N and see what can come out of Gilgandra


A little backstory about this truck.

The Australian-built Dodge D5N replaced the AT4 in 1972 and remained in production until 1979. The truck shared bodywork and chassis with the Australian International AB/C/D-line trucks, itself based on the American versions. Continue reading

Coming back

So, we have been out of it for about 11 months, with a small amount of posts and articles.

We are back, this time, I think for good. We have some things in the works to ensure that we can keep on going without another stop and look forward to bringing you more stories.

I first want to apologize to anyone who gave me information to publish and never saw it published. I am very sorry. I have looked back and I just cannot seem to compile a story for anyone, all of my data seems to be gone, or partial.

I was extremely busy with a new job that just didn’t allow me any spare time to write these stories. I got further and further behind, until I just lost site of what I was doing and became completely overwhelmed.

No longer am I in that job, or overwhelmed. I have begun to gear up production of the stories and some new things to ensure that they keep coming.

Let’s start this new year off right, let’s start telling the stories again and get some new material.

So, I am looking for any and all car owners. Tell me your story, let me write it down so others can enjoy your project/car/truck/bike and give encouragement to those who may be stuck, or thinking that they just can’t do it.

Denton Friday Night Cruise – July 2018

Well, after several months, (Almost 5) away because of life and work, we finally got some time to get to a car event. The Friday Night Cruise at Denton, MD.

#Dentonfridaynightcruise #Carshow #customsnclassics #hotrods #ratrods

Continue Below for the full story, pictures and a link to the video of the 1959 Anglia.
Continue reading

1962 PLYMOUTH VALIANT 2 DOOR SEDAN – Jason Stevens

It is always exciting to get a story in that is all in the family. Such is the case with Jason Stevens 1962 Plymouth Valiant.

Originally purchased by his grandfather, this vehicle has served his family well. Going from grandfather, to aunt and now to him, he had promised his aunt that he would restore it.

This is the story of that promise being kept. Continue reading

1969 Shelby GT 500 – Brian Shear

How often do you get to hear the story of a car, purchased as a kid and still owned, decades later. Well, Brian has just that story.

Purchased from his neighbor as a teenager, it is still his and is going through a restoration.

Make sure to go to the end to see the photos.


Disclaimer: Customs N Classics does not charge for any articles. These are free and are derived from emails, chat messages and other forms of communication. The details are from the owner/trustee and are not physically verified. Should there be any issues with this story, please let us know, privately and we will do our best to correct any mistakes.
If you enjoy Customs N Classics articles, please consider a donation to help us with the costs associated in running this site.

What type of vehicle is this?

1969 Shelby GT 500 vin # 480477 sports roof ( fastback)

Black jade in color w/ white stripe. One of 1553 made.

They weren’t done in any sequenced numbers but you could say it’s the 477th made. 3150 total were made in 1969, of which 1868 were GT 500’s (333 convertables)

Who is the first owner of the project and is it still their project?

I’m the 3rd owner. The 1st was J. R. Slavic whom I’ve talked to on Facebook, and the 2nd was Ronald Comer.

When was it purchased?

I purchased it in 1971 late in the year. Drove it to school just after the Christmas break. It had approx 32,000 miles on it.

How much was it purchased for?

I paid $3,250 for it . that was all the money I had , I think my parents kicked it a few to make the sale.

Was this a father/son, Daughter project?

Not really a father son project but I do have a son who is very involved with cars.

Why this particular vehicle?

The 2nd owner was a neighbor and seeing it drive by the house was all I needed to want it.

Give me some backstory, are you a mechanic, do you like to fabricate, are you really good at body work, etc. Some info about you.

I grew up the son of a gas station owner/mechanic. Loved cars since I started to drive and before. I Would spend weekends at my dad’s shop cleaning car parts for his workers.

Info about the vehicle prior to starting it. (i.e., condition, missing parts, just needed paint, no engine, etc.)

The car has 85,000 Michigan miles on it.

We use salt on our roads so you can guess what condition it is in.

When I was 50 I decided to do a ground up restoration on it. The uni body has taken quite a hit from the salt.

The right side forward inner fender extension is bad along with the core support. Rear quarters have damage and the doors bottom edges, as well.

Typical stuff that happens to car in Michigan.

What have you done to it so far?

Having the car for so long a lot was done to it; being in the auto business I had access to Ford parts supply at a 20% off discount rate( dealer pricing).

Rebuilt the motor years ago and again, just recently.

I added factory air-conditioning, power driver’s seat, intermittent windshield wipers, power antenna, aluminum intake , carburetor upgrade from 735 cc to 780 cc, cruise control , extra lighting ( ashtray) , oil cooler.

The inner fender extension has been removed along with the core support and torque box.

Stripped to bare metal and sand blasted (doors forward), Motor and trans removed and rebuilt .

The trans is a C-6 auto with internal upgrades to it.

Motor has been balanced and blueprinted dyno at 477 hp.

Where is it now, in the rebuild stage?

Car has been sitting for years with above work mentioned to it. Sand blasted with a light coat of rust on the bare metal. Striped from the doors forward.

Any special parts you have used?

I was fortunate to have a friend whose father owned a junk yard, so on the weekends I would go and strip cars for parts to use and save for future use, paying very little if at all for them.


The story; I grew up the son of a gas station owner. I had extensive access to any thing cars. Our neighbor had this car and would drive by with it . I fell in love with it. One day I was driving by their house and he was washing it . I pulled in the drive to talk and he said it was for sale. selling it because his daughter wouldn’t drive it. It scared her to drive it. Would rather drive the corvette, that didn’t scare her to drive. I told him I would buy it on the spot , he replied that someone was coming that day to look at I , but if it fell through I could have it. Needless to say, I bought it the next day. My dad required that his main mechanic look at it. The neighbor drove it to the garage to be checked out but I got to drive it home. When I pulled out into the street and got up to 30 mph he said that he knows that I has itching to floor it. Go ahead he said and I did. At that speed it was in the best  power curve and the trans kicked down into 1st gear. Going sideways to the right and shifting into 2nd going sideways the other way. I screamed holy shit and was shaking the rest of the way home.

There was a time I was leaving collage parking lot , got on it and when it shifted into 2nd gear the studs that are welded on the torque converter sheared off , needed a tow to the shop that day, then the time the rear leaf spring snapped or the time the seat back broke , and the universal joint going . just a few things, I drive hard.

One day my mom drove it and got a speeding ticket, and when my dad went shopping and slid sideways across the street when pulling out. A trip from my house or home from Ann arbor takes 50 min. One night I did it in 25. We were going 120 – 130 mph home.

The car hasn’t run in years I just drag it from home to home as I go. Currently it’s in the 2nd garage I built for it. Hoping to finish the restoration I’ve started. I WILL finish it.

I have every receipt for anything I purchased for it going back to day 1. Having Ford access I have purchased all Shelby related parts to do a factory correct NOS Restoration on it ,stuff purchased more than 30 years ago.



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