BEN ADLER’S ’59 CHEVROLET APACHE COMES OUT OF THE AWARD-WINNING JP RACE CARS IN PORTLAND, MICHIGAN. With its patinaed exterior hiding a host of restorations, it’s not difficult to see why this Apache claims the title of Hometown Hero of the Month.
Starting under the hood, the Chevy houses a West Coast Engines 383-ci stroker motor with competition Prosystems carburetor. Dyno tested to
480 hp, this performance powerhouse also features a 3-inch dual exhaust with Black Widow mufflers, making it sound as mean as it looks. The four-speed Saginaw transmission and Hurst shifter allow Ben to rip through the gears and get the most out of his setup.
The ’59 features a static drop suspension, sitting 6 inches off the ground and providing a remarkably smooth ride. The Chevy now features a 1985 Chevy truck frame, powder coated and modified to accept the 1959 Apache body. Rear leaf springs and coil springs, as well as front and rear shocks, brakes, brake lines and the upper and lower control arms have all been replaced with brand-new gear to help this Chevy put power to the pavement. A Hellwig sway bar means that Ben doesn’t sacrifice any maneuverability among the host of suspension upgrades.
The interior has been entirely reworked with a TMI Products’ custom brown hound’s-tooth bench seat. Custom carpets by Universal Interiors set off the new upholstery. A new Hurst shifter, ididit chrome steering column, red instrument gauge cluster, pedals, handles and cranks top off the interior. A portion of the Chevy’s bed has been removed so that it’s just more than a foot longer than a short bed.
Despite the copious amount of work that has gone into bringing this Chevy to modern standards of performance, this sleeper might fool the untrained eye. Original glass and window seals reveal the ’59’s age, with distress clearly present. Moreover, while the exterior features new lights and a modified oak bed, the weathered paint and patina add character. Still, smatterings of modernity are apparent, like the 20-inch Rambler Wheels from US Mags wrapped in Nitto tires.
As Ben has put it, this Chevy has gone from a troubled past, gathering rust in Appalachia, to a “wicked fast, eye-catching resto-mod.” Inspired to make the most of each moment from his own experiences with adversity, this ’59 Apache is obviously one of a kind.