Sometimes a little Bad Is Good
There’s a certain advantage to growing up around automotive shops. The knowledge gained from being around shops can possibly be an overload at an early age and might steer you away from the family business, but on the other hand, if you embrace it, it can propel you to learn and go further than you ever thought you could. Jason Froelich’s parents started Classic Collision back in 2000 in Canton, Ohio. As Jason got older, he became the collision repairman and his brother Chad was the painter. With Jason’s parents in the process of retiring soon, Jason and Chad will be taking over the shop and thrust into taking over the business.
“At first, the plan was to design it patina-style but that really wasn’t his style.”
Of course, when you spend your childhood and teenage years working on vehicles for other people, you get that itch to have something special yourself.
“I’ve owned a few things before in the Ford family, like a Ranger and Bronco,” Jason tells us, “but I’ve never really had anything classic.”
A friend called him one day to inform him of a farm truck sitting in a yard for sale. Apparently, the owner’s wife wanted it out of the garage so she could park in there, and Jason was able to procure the 1966 GMC 1000 shortbed pickup for a mere $1,500.
Although there wasn’t much rust on the truck, it was in pretty poor shape. It seemed like it had just sat there without anyone caring for it. That was about to change when Jason finally took possession of the GMC. Jason got right to work, gutting the stock suspension out of the classic. The rearend, rear leaf springs, and shocks were removed and replaced with a full air suspension system, bringing the stance right to where it belongs—on the ground!
With the suspension components completed, Jason used his bodywork expertise to add new metal and secure the body. At first, the plan was to design it patina-style but that really wasn’t his style. Once the body was straight, his brother Chad went to work blending a concoction of AkzoNobel Blood Reaper Red and Blood Reaper Brown for a paint almost impossible to duplicate. Jerry Dow from Lay’n Licks came in to drop down some stellar pinstripe very subtly throughout the body.
“I’ve owned a few things before in the Ford family, like a Ranger and Bronco, but I’ve never really had anything classic.”
Now that everything was coming together brilliantly, Jason could no longer roll with the stock motor. The stock straight-six was removed from the GMC and a built 327, removed from a ’68 Chevy Camaro, was modified by adding Comp cams and headers and then dropped under the hood. In the rear, Jason added an ash wood sanded bed that he smoothed and then burnt with a torch. The wood was sanded down again and stained before Jason sanded and cleared five times to achieve the smoothed look. The wood was cut all the same size for a symmetrical look, different from original wood beds on these trucks.
GETTIN’ INTO THE GUTS
As interior isn’t one of the things Jason excels at, he enlisted Sean O’ Neill at Spotlight Customs to handle the guts. A bench seat was wrapped in distressed leather, along with the door panels. Dakota Digital gauges in red were added to the dashboard for a cohesive look. Brown carpeting was laid down to go with the dark color flow. The dashboard was brought back to Chad, where the exterior color was duplicated. Jerry Dow once again added more pinstripe on the inside to match the exterior.
Jason decided he wanted a sound system that not only handled the sounds and power he wanted, but also flowed with the clean style of the pickup. A Kenwood head unit was installed in the dashboard and Jason wired up a full Kenwood system with 6.5-inch components in the doors along with the highs. A set of 6×9-inch Kenwood components was built behind the seats on the corners. Jason built a custom box behind the seats that housed the 10-inch Kenwood subwoofer, as well as a custom amp rack.
EVIL RUNS IN THE FAMILY
Just like Jason, his 12-year-old son Dawson is learning the business more each day.
“Dawson got his toes wet by welding and priming,” Jason says. “He welded the holes shut for the mirrors, welded all four stake pockets, and primed the door jambs before his arms got tired.”
As a single father of two children, Jason makes sure to involve his kids in everything he does to make sure they understand his heritage. Jason wants to thank his parents for their guidance and love, as well as his brother for all his help on the build. Evil Ways has broken some dreams at shows, but Jason remains humble and the pride he takes in his builds shows in everything he does.
NORTH CANTON, OH
1966 GMC 1000 SHORTBED
CLUB AFFILIATION: EVIL
- Front Suspension: custom sectioned crossmember, CPP modular drop spindles, Michigan Metal Works upper and lower control arms, painted Continental ContiTech 2,600-pound airbags, CPP 5-lug disc brake conversion
- Rear Suspension: Thor Bros 4-link and Watts link, 10-inch step notch, Continental ContiTech triple bellow 2,800-pound airbags, two Viair 485c Platinum compressors, AccuAir e-Level management, two 3-gallon polished stainless steel air tanks
- Engine: built 327, ported and polished heads, Edelbrock intake, Holley carburetor, big cam, custom-painted finned billet air cleaner, chrome and finned brake master cylinder and brake booster, aluminum radiator
- Transmission: 700r4 with shift kit, custom-made crossmember
- Rearend: GM 10-bolt posi
- shaved cowl vents, mirrors, antenna, stake pockets, tailgate chains, custom tailgate latches, custom rear rollpan done by owner and son Dawson, AkzoNobel Blood Reaper Red and Blood Reaper Brown paint done by Chad Froelich and owner, custom pinstripe by Jerry Dow of Lay’n Licks
- Interior: distressed leather seat and door panels, CNC stitched with red stitching, Snowden seat foam done by Sean O’ Neill of Spotlight Customs, brown carpeting, Intellitronix red digital gauges, custom tinted gauge bezel, shaved ashtray and heather control panel, Billet Specialties Chicayne steering wheel
- Stereo: Kenwood receiver, four 6.5-inch Kenwood components, two 6×9-inch Kenwood speakers, one 10-inch Kenwood subwoofer, two Kenwood amplifiers
Wheels & Tires
- Wheels: 20×8.5 and 22×11 American Racing Nova with custom-painted centers
- Tires: 245/30R20 and 315/25R22 Pirelli P-Zero
My sons Logan and Dawson; my parents for letting me use the shop; my brother Chad; Paul Saturlee; United Sales; AckoNobel; Michigan Metal Works; Thor Bros; Spotlight Customs