If you make your living in the automotive aftermarket industry and you see exceptional rides taking shape every day, the chances are good that you will soon want one of your own. The odds are also good that you’ll already have a carefully designed image of your dream vehicle in your head before you even begin the search. Jeff Crumpler from Melbourne, Florida, owns Precision Powder Coating and regularly adds the finishing touches to hundreds of trophy-winning vehicles every year. One of his regular customers as well as his neighbor is the team from StreetHeat. Matt Verzi and Gavin Broome have been in the auto industry for the last 20 years and now specialize in creating one-of-a-kind vehicles, known for their unique StreetHeat touches that include sick, patina-style rides. Thanks to social media, they have followers around the country and around the world with many of their vehicles selling to international customers. When Crumpler decided it was time for his own special vehicle, he knew the StreetHeat team would be the perfect choice. Having been involved with many of their creations throughout the years, his guidance was simple: “Let’s make it the best that it can be.”

 

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Don’t make the mistake of judging this book by its cover. The Mother-Nature-inspired paint job on this ’58 GMC pickup was decades in the making and Crumpler felt it was too cool to disturb. The real magic, however, goes a little deeper. Matt and Gavin began the search on Craigslist and eventually located this truck in Arizona. The body was solid and virtually rust free. Although it did have a long bed, they knew with a little trimming, it was an easy fix. StreetHeat already had a modified short-bed chassis on hand, boxed front to rear, with a Mustang II front end, signature StreetHeat skeleton frame reinforcements and the company’s custom C-notch.

Corvette brake upgrades are one of StreetHeat’s favorites, both for efficiency and show. The crew installed Z06 Corvette brakes up front with 14-inch rotors and six-piston calipers, following up with 13-inch rotors and a four-piston setup in the rear. Core 3 built the conversion brackets and billet hubs that were used to make the ’Vette brakes work on a Mustang II.

Moving to the rear, the chassis employs StreetHeat’s unique leaf spring hangers and 2-link rear suspension that holds a John’s Industries 9-inch housing, fitted with a Yukon posi, Moser 31-spline axles and 3.70 gears. A pan hard bar keeps everything stable.

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Custom shades of cream and mocha establish the rejuvenated interior along with some whimsical plaid inserts on the seats, shifter and door panels. Modern amenities include ac, stereo, white-face gauges, Lokar Shifter, Ididit column and vintage impala wheel. It’s great fun to drive.

The final touch was a complete AccuAir air management system using a combination of 2,600-pound ’bags in the rear with 2,500-pound ’bags adapted to the tighter confines up front. The AccuAir eLevel system automatically levels itself, using 3/8-inch aluminum hard lines to transmit the pressure generated from the pair of Viair 480C compressors and 7-gallon reserve tank. Paired with AccuAir’s iLevel option, Crumpler can use an iPhone app for instantaneous wireless control over the system from more than 100 feet away.

Naturally, Crumpler handled all of the powder coating on his truck. The elaborate chassis became a roller, thanks to American Racing VF497 rims, a custom grind, with 20x8s up front and 20x12s in the rear. Toyo Proxes T1R high performance tires put down an aggressive contact patch with 245/35ZR20s up front and 345/25ZR20s in the rear.

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Don’t let the 60-year-old faded paint and assorted dents and dings fool you. The patina on the outside of this vintage gmc conceals the highly modified suspension and power train.

With the long list of chassis mods finally complete, fitting the vintage body to the modern chassis began by trimming the 8-foot bed and adjusting it to fit the new wheelbase. The bed floor is reclaimed cedar, salvaged from a restaurant nearby that was lost to a fire. The beautiful wood was refinished, notched, stained and coated with automotive urethane clearcoat. Bed Wood and Parts supplied the aluminum rails recessed into each plank. Although the floor turned out beautifully, so much work had been done to the chassis that the StreetHeat team decided it would be a shame to hide it from view. As a result, Matt and Gavin spent weeks making the bed rise at the touch of a button and arranging the multiple systems that are revealed when it lifts. Now, spectators can see the custom chassis, the unique air suspension with its symmetrically arranged components, ceramic-coated dual exhaust, and the rear-mounted, custom-fabricated gas tank that squeezes into the remaining space. For a nostalgic touch, the tank still uses the original cab-mounted filler. With the wood floor in the up position, take it a step further by lowering the tailgate and you’ll see that the steel floor was also raised to accommodate all of the new additions. Thanks to a friend with a CNC machine, the tailgate was even fitted with a mirror image of the GMC logo.

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Truck Specs:
Owner
Jeff Crumpler

1958 GMC 100

Melbourne, FL

Engine

  • 408-ci LS V-8 stroker
  • Holley EFI high-ram intake
  • Holley Dominator ECU
  • FAST Big Mouth throttle body
  • Custom cold-air intake with K&N filter
  • Hooker Block Hugger headers
  • Ceramic-coated exhaust
  • DynoMax Race Bullet mufflers
  • Ultra Flo X muffler with built in X-pipe
  • Custom ultra wide, single exhaust tip
  • Champion radiator
  • Engine tune by Cal at Hartline Performance
  • GM4L65 four-speed automatic built by Burgess Transmission in Melbourne, FL
  • Lokar shifter and custom boot

Suspension

  • Mustang II front end
  • Reinforced frame with a C-Notch
  • StreetHeat leaf spring hangers and 2-link rear suspension with pan hard bar
  • John’s Industries 9-inch rearend housing with 3.70 gears
  • Yukon posi
  • Moser 31-spline axles
  • Z06 Corvette brakes with 14-inch rotors and six-piston calipers up front and 13-inch rotors and a four-piston calipers in the rear
  • AccuAir eLevel air management system with iLevel remote option
  • 2,600-pound ’bags in the rear with 2,500-pound ’bags up front
  • 3/8-inch aluminum hard lines
  • Two VIAIR 480C compressors
  • 7-gallon reserve tank

Wheels & Tires

  • 20×8 and 20×12-inch American Racing VF497
  • 245/35ZR20s and 345/25ZR20 Toyo Proxes T1R high-performance tires

Body & Paint

  • All work performed by StreetHeat, Melbourne, FL
  • Long bed converted to short bed
  • Cedar bed floor covered with clear urethane
  • Bed Wood and Parts aluminum strips
  • Bed floor raised to accommodate the air suspension
  • Hinged bed floor rises to reveal the custom chassis and air suspension
  • GMC mirror image on the tailgate
  • Mother-Nature-inspired patina exterior

Interior

  • Stitch work by Rob at Pete’s Upholstery in Melbourne, FL
  • Creamer Brown and Mocha paint job by StreetHeat
  • Jeep Grand Wagoneer seats with plaid inserts
  • Matching plaid on the headliner and shift boot
  • ididit steering column
  • 1959 Impala wheel with a handcrafted GMC horn button
  • Whiteface gauges from New Vintage
  • Vintage Air AC unit with billet controls
  • GearHead brake pedal and accelerator
  • Kenwood KMM BT312U Bluetooth receiver
  • Two 6.5-inch Focal Flax separated component sets in the kick panels
  • JL Audio 10-inch sub behind the seat
  • JL Audio 500 five-channel amp under the seat
  • AGM Gel Cell battery behind the seat
  • Stereo by Bill and Scott at Explicit Customs
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Black powder-coated inner fender panels and firewall showcase the detailed 408-CI ls engine. Thanks to an assortment of high-tech aftermarket upgrades, it sends approximately 475 hp to the GM4L65 four-speed automatic.

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With so much unique suspension work accomplished on this truck, it would be a shame to hide it. The bed raises at the touch of a button so that spectators can see the modern undercarriage. The shiny black reserve tank and highly contoured gas tank are in sharp contrast to the patina exterior.

Once the major elements of the chassis were in place, the power plant was next. Crumpler contacted Dave Hart in Melbourne for one of his signature, 6L LS engines. Stroked to 408 ci, the V-8 is rated at 475 hp, thanks to a Holley EFI high-ram intake and FAST Big Mouth throttle body, controlled by a Holley Dominator ECU. The custom-built cold-air intake with a K&N air filter gets the air in while the Hooker Block Hugger headers feed a dual exhaust system quieted (a little) by a pair of DynoMax Race Bullets that team up with an Ultra Flo X muffler with built in X-pipe. The ceramic-coated exhaust ends in a unique, ultra-wide exhaust tip that is a StreetHeat trademark.

Subtle touches in the engine room include Alan Grove brackets that mount the air-conditioning compressor low and almost out of sight. Then the lines are hidden behind the powder-coated inner fender panels. The Champion radiator uses a StreetHeat custom shroud and 16-inch electronic fan. Power from the LS is transmitted by a heavy-duty GM4L65 four-speed automatic built by Burgess Transmission in Melbourne. Cal at Hartline Performance tuned the LS to perfection.

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The interior begins with a two-tone Creamer Brown and Mocha paint job that retains some of the factory influence while incorporating lots of modern touches. The Jeep Grand Wagoneer plaid inserts on the seats, headliner and shift boot were a new approach for the team and the owner liked the results. Rob at Pete’s Upholstery in Melbourne handled the stitch work. The steering column is from ididit with a 1959 Impala wheel, accented with a hand-crafted GMC horn button in the center.

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Vintage rides are great for cruising and cool sounds are always essential. The stereo in the GMC is a Kenwood KMM BT312U Bluetooth receiver with 6.5-inch Focal Flax separated component sets in the kick panels, a JL Audio 10-inch sub behind the seat and a JL Audio 500 five-channel amp under the seat. Bill and Scott at Explicit Customs did the kick panels, installed the system and integrated the air vents for the Vintage Air AC unit with its billet controls. Hamant Air Boats was the firm that constructed the small custom center console that holds the Lokar shifter and custom boot. The firm also fabricated the fuel cell that was contoured to match the C-notch. The whiteface gauges on the dash are New Vintage Woodward series, while the brake pedal and accelerator are from GearHead. The AGM Gel Cell battery does not give off fumes and was safe to mount behind the seat.

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The build took approximately six months and although the truck is complete, it makes its way back to the shop every now and then for minor upgrades. Amazing trucks are always a work in progress. ST

Special thanks from owner: In addition to the work done at his own firm, Precision Powder Coat, Jeff Crumpler would like to thank the talented teams at Charlie’s Customs, Explicit Customs, Pete’s Upholstery, Olsen Industries, Hartline Performance, Hamant Air Boats, Inc. and Water Thunder.

Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the June 2016 print issue of Street Trucks.