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The winners of every Chevrolet SEMA 2019 design award receive a special-edition trophy featuring the 2020 mid-engine Corvette Stingray. Attached to the front is a small plaque that indicates what category it was presented in. The Chevrolet SEMA Truck of the Year award is possibly the most prestigious recognition a classic truck builder could receive at this event. Representatives from the selection committee voted unanimously to honor this 1958 Apache built by Levi Green.

What started out as a daily driver for a High school hotrodder with big plans and a small budget eventually turned a passion into a successful business.

Levi is the owner at Hammerfab, a full-service automotive fabrication shop in Liberty Hills, Texas. He has been slowly building his task force era truck using it as a test bed for unique products made available to his customers.

In an automotive era where more is the new norm, Levi defied the mainstream approach with this long term build. He avoided trendy colors and chose a combination that would be timeless instead. He consulted Brian Vastine, the owner of Vastines Paint Garage in Royse City, Texas. The decision was made to go with Oceanside Blue topped with Sandy Beach White.

Approaching the front of the truck, a discerning enthusiast might pick up on some subtle changes. The winged Bow Tie emblem on the hood was removed and the fender gaps refined. A rear bumper that’s been flipped and shaved smooth, is tucked tightly on owner made brackets. The original grille was disassembled, then shipped to Jon Wrights Custom Chrome Plating to restore the brilliant triple plated finish.

As you walk toward the cab, you might not notice that the drip rails have been shaved due to the seam and stainless trim being retained. What does become evident is the panel alignment has been adjusted to tight tolerances. Mini Cooper door handles with a hidden push button activate electronic solenoids for interior access. The door skin was updated with a finger grip recess designed and fabricated by Hammerfab.

Continuing the tour toward the back of the bed, you can see that the rear fenders appear to accommodate the wide rear tires rather easily. A 3-inch section has been added for additional clearance. This created a need for wider steps, so a pair were hand fabricated to emulate the originals.

A set of early Impala teardrop taillights were fitted with soft glow LEDs and mounted directly to the fender. The stepside rear bumper was flipped, shaved, then stretched 7 inches. It was tucked in tight with the license plate sitting above hand built exhaust tips.

the stepside rear bumper was flipped, shaved and stretched 7 inches. The license plate sits above hand-built exhaust tips.

The tailgate seems to be stock with the original latch chains removed. An extensive list of modifications are hidden under the smooth exterior of the Mar-K stamped metal. A hidden release button is now located under the bumper. Levi designed a set of compound hinges that allows the gate to pivot out, and up as it opens. Once the gate is at rest, it sits level with the raised bed floor. Inside the bed reveals a combination of mahogany and maple sections sandwiched together creating a unique striped pattern. The planks were cut and milled by Leslie Webb Designs then hand fitted. Chrome plated Mar-K smooth aluminum bed strips secure the floor in place.

Inside the cab, Fawn Gold covers most of the hard surfaces that’s been topped with a Root Beer Brown dash. The satin finish complements vintage grain leather combined with cloth inserts covering a modified C10 bench seat. An Impala speaker grille was accented with a Pontiac Indian head and inserted in the seat back. The gauge cluster appears to be a nicely restored original, but a twist of the key reveals Dakota Digital RTX electronic instrumentation instead. Modern updates include a 120 mph speedometer with a small tachometer squeezed in.

A JL Audio Bluetooth receiver hides behind a radio delete plate. It feeds a Kenwood amplifier that sends the output signal to an array of JL Audio speakers. A pair of 6.5-inch mids are concealed behind the factory fresh air vents inside a fabricated enclosure. Bass is provided by a 10-inch JL Audio subwoofer in a concealed custom box.

A 1976 350 backed by a TH350 was bored to 355 cubic inches with a mild cam added. An Edlebrock aluminum intake replaced the GM cast iron unit. The rebuilt motor is supplied fuel by a Holley Terminator EFI system. Exhaust tones play a mechanical melody through a fabricated system created with 2.5-inch mandrel bends and Flowmaster mufflers.

Levi integrated a 1978 F body front suspension clip by grafting it to the 1958 frame. This was once common practice that provided updated brakes and steering components. In the rear a GM 10 bolt tucks inside a Hammerfab step notch.

No build is complete without improved rolling stock. Daniel Reyna was commissioned to design a set of Raceline “Classico” wheels. Up front a pair of 20×9.5 are wrapped in Continental 265/35/20 tires. Out back 22x11s with wider Continental 325/35/22 fill the fenders nicely.

What started out as a daily driver for a high school hotrodder with big plans and a small budget eventually turned a passion into a successful business. The acknowledgement by the Chevrolet Design Award team along with the accompanying media coverage was a dream come true. It took two and a half decades to accomplish, but an endless pursuit of perfection finally paid off.

Truck Specs

Owner

Levi and Kristine Green
Liberty Hill, TX
1958 Chevrolet Chevy Apache

Chassis
  • Slightly modified stock 1958 frame
  • 1978 Pontiac Trans Am front end
  • Ridetech helper bags on rear
  • 1969 Ford Mustang gas tank
  • Tilton Racing master cylinder (two located under dash)
  • Painless wiring harness
  • Wilwood remote brake reservoir
  • 2-inch drop spindles
Engine
  • GM 1976 Chevrolet V-8
  • 1997 GMC Yukon front runner pulleys and components
  • Edlebrock Intake
  • Holley Terminator fuel Injection
  • Eddie Motorsports billet hood hinges
  • Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator
  • Engine bay done by Hammerfab
  • Hood latches done by Hammerfab
Transmission
  • Chevrolet TH-350
Exhaust
  • Custom mandrel bends with 2.5-inch with Flowmasters
Wheels & Tires
  • Raceline Classico
  • Front: 20×9.5 Rear: 22×11
  • Continental tires
Body
  • Rear bumper widened 7 inches
  • Rear fenders widened 3 inches
  • 1961 Chevrolet Impala tail lights
  • Mini Cooper door handles
Bed
  • Bed was raised 2.5 inches
  • Bed floor done by furniture maker Leslie Webb
  • Made from Mahogany and Maple strips
  • Mar-K aluminum bed strips
Brakes
  • Front: Pontiac Trans Am disc brakes
  • Rear: Chevrolet Camaro disc brakes
paint
  • Brand of paint: Debeer
  • Color:  Oceanside Blue/White Sandy Beach
  • Painter: Vastintes Paint Garage
Interior
  • Dakota Digital RTX gauges
  • JL Audio speakers
  • Kenwood stereo
  • Custom made kick panels
  • Bench seat designed by Hammerfab and Jay Schluter
  • Dash painted Fawn Gold and Root Beer Brown
  • Door panels and seat covered with Vintage NOS Bel Air Fabric
  • 1956 Chrysler door handles
  • 1962 Corvair steering wheel
  • Hammerfab custom tailgate and step plates

 

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