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Dedicated to Jo Neal Horner

 Randal Flanagan lives the life many of us dream of: He builds incredible vehicles of all types while someone else covers the costs—and he gets paid to do it. Yes, Flanagan builds hot rods and sells vintage parts for a living, and yes, we are a tad bit jealous.

That said, anyone who has worked in the automotive industry and been an enthusiast knows that burnout is also very real. By the time you get to work on your own projects, it can be difficult to motivate and keep pushing. That’s why so much respect is due for how incredible Randal’s Chevy cruiser turned out.

OE Steel and whitewalls—a timeless combo that really nails the look and feel of this build.

Randal is obviously no newbie to building trucks. He also built a ’63 Volkswagen Bug, a ’55 Chrysler custom, and a ’55 Chevrolet 3100 custom truck, which led him up to where we start this current tale.

Under Pressure

Let’s be real. Peer pressure is also very real in this game. Buddies with whom you’re around most often tend to sway you a little bit extra—especially when one of those buddies is your kid. That is the case with this story.

Somewhere around 2014 or 2015 Randal’s oldest son, Jason, kept telling him about this truck show called “Dino’s Gitdown” in Phoenix.

Peer pressure took hold of Randal. He wanted to attend this show for years to come, and so the hunt began. This 1961 Chevrolet Apache spent its life prior to Flanagan in Tonopah, Nevada, as a fire/water truck for the Tonopah Fire Department,  which is a unique pro and con in its own context.

“[Jason] told me what a cool show it was and that my 1955 Chevrolet 3100 custom would be a hit there if I went,” Randal says.

Peer pressure took hold of Randal. He wanted to attend this show for years to come, and so the hunt began. This 1961 Chevrolet Apache spent its life prior to Flanagan in Tonopah, Nevada, as a fire/water truck for the Tonopah Fire Department, which is a unique pro and con in its own context.

“I have always loved the look of what I call the ‘eyebrow hood’ on the 1960 and ’61 Chevy trucks,” says Randal.

He used the cab, hood, and doors from the fire truck. He purchased bedsides from a guy at a Turlock, California, swap meet, and had already been in possession of a shortbed frame that he immediately modified to make sure the truck would lay out (one of the many benefits of basically hoarding cool parts as a career).

Because this Apache was used as a fire truck for many years, it also had many holes drilled into the roof and the dash of the cab for various lights, switches, and different functions over time. Flanagan replaced the roof skin first, and then decided to incorporate a ’59-’60 Impala dash (something he’s had a longtime love affair with …). He had to cut the dash down and modify a few areas to make it fit properly between the pillars.

Some say LS is the way to go; but in our opinion, nothing really beats the tone and nostalgia of rolling a classic chevy small-block in these timeless machines!

The truck was originally a small window cab, so in true cannot-leave-anything-alone fashion, he cut and made all the necessary modifications to transform it into a big window cab.

Next up came all the body fab, including lowering the rear fender wells by 4 inches along with more bodywork, then paint, and then creating the ’61’s new interior. For paint, Randal says he had always been a fan of the Chevy truck color Neptune Green. ADCO in Glendale, Arizona. helped him come up with his own unique a variation of that color. He used it for the exterior, along with a Toyota white that he had previously used on his 1955 Chevy truck build.

As he moved onto the guts of the truck, his love of old-school classic cars and hot-rods convinced him that putting diamond-tuck upholstery on a bench seat was the only way to go. Throw in the glass, add in the wheel and tire choices, and a bunch more blood, sweat, money, and more sweat (because no one is crying here), and you get the masterpiece created before you now.

Build Specs


Randal Flanagan

  • 1961 Chevrolet Apache 10 Kustom
  • Wickenburg, AZ


  • Custom fabricated front frame section
  • 1967 Cadillac rear frame section
  • 113-inch wheelbase
  • Slam Specialities SS-7 airbags front and rear
  • ASCO valves
  • AVS Controller
  • Dual Viair 480C compressors
  • 5-gallon air tank
  • Built by: owner Randal Flanagan


  • 1968 Chevrolet 327 V8
  • 9 to 1 Compression
  • THM 350 B&M transmission
  • Lokar shifter 32-inch
  • Driveshaft by Phoenix Rack & Axle
  • Speed Pro CS-1014R camshaft
  • 204/214 Lift w/ 420/443 Duration
  • Edelbrock EPS Intake manifold
  • Demon 1901 625 Carburetor
  • Speedway Clipster 1-5/8-inchHeaders
  • GM HEI Ignition
  • Custom fan shroud
  • 390 Rear-end w/ Locker
  • 2.5-inch Custom exhaust w/ Flowmaster Mufflers


  • Tires: BFG Silverton Bias ply 3-inch whitewall
  • Front: 6.40 x 15-inch
  • Rear: 7.10 x 15-inch
  • Wheel Finish: Chevrolet OEM Steel 6 lug


  • 1961 Chevrolet Grille Surround w/ 1960 center
  • Rear fender-well openings lowered by four inches
  • Custom Neptune Green & Toyota white / black single stage
  • Pinstripe in grey / neptune green by Ron Hernandez of Glendale, AZ
  • Body By owner Randal Flanagan


  • Chevrolet Square Body Truck Bench seat
  • White DBL Stitched diamond tuck vinyl
  • Speedway Gauges
  • Chevrolet 1960 Belair steering wheel
  • 1958 Biscayne horn ring
  • Diamond tuck headliner
  • Custom ‘59 Impala Dashboard
  • Custom pedals
  • 1955 Chevrolet dash emblem
  • Upholstery By Tino’s Upholstery in Glendale, AZ