The Real Deal

By Damon Lee

What's the most important ingredient in building a custom pickup? Perseverance! Of course, the quantity you'll need that quality in depends on your skills, your pocketbook, and how much spare time you've got. In other words, if talent, money, and time are in short supply, you'll likely need a mother load of perseverance to see a project through to completion.

Bill Haskins is obviously a man with an abundance of patience and perseverance. We know that not because he's inept or dirt poor, but
because it took him 11 long years to finish his custom '58 Chevy Apache pickup. Not only that, be he kept the project alive despite two coast-to-coast moves-from California to Maryland and back again- and the birth of his two children, Ryan and Rachel. And while Bill most certainly had his doubts along the way, his ability to stick-- Page 50 -- with the project paid off with the fine finished product you're looking at now.

Like most vintage pickup projects, this one had humble beginnings. "I bought the truck in 1990 for $800, " Bill says. "At that time it had house paint on it to keep it from rusting. It was a Custom Cab with a stepside bed on it."Beginning the buildup at the bottom, Bill had a Volare front subframe installed, the frame rails boxed and C-notches cut to provide plenty of clearance for the Currie 9-inch rearend. The frame was powder coated red, plumbed with stainless lines from Pure Choice, and fitted with a '72 350 built using an Isky cam, World Products heads, Edelbrock induction, and Billet specialties brightwork. Eventually it would get rolling on  17x8- and 17x10-inch Intro Pentia wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich rubber, but not before Bill had to pack up and haul the pickup back East.

"In 1993 I was transferred to Baltimore, Maryland, and i moved the truck with me," Bill says. After getting settled, Bill got back to tinkering
on the truck. "While attending the swap meet at Carlisle (Pennsylvania), I found a guy who had a short-wide Fleetside bed and he wanted to trade for a stepside. Then I put the truck in a body shop, and after six months of work I was transferred back to Los Angeles. The body shop put the truck primer so that i could move it back to L.A."You would think that Bill might've had smooth sailing once he got settled again in California, but that wasn't the case. "I had a guy in Lake Elsinore work on it, and he basically
-- Page 52 --   ruined all the work from Baltimore," Bill explains.

"After six long months I finally took it away from this guy. At this point I had to take the truck back down to bare metal. I then took it to
Lanzini Bodyworks (Huntington Beach, CA), where the bodywork and paint were completed."Lanzini's application of the PPG Ferrari Rosso Corsa (translation: bright red) paint capped off an assortment of body modifications, from shaved trim and filled seams to a smoothed grille,
shaved front bumper, and rolled rear pan from RB's Obsolete. Then the Chevy was sent off to Ron Mangus at Custom Auto Interiors, where a Glide seat and the rest of the cockpit were stitched in tan leather and the floors covered in squareweave carpet. Other indoor amenities included VDO gauges, Vintage Air climate controls, a Flaming River tilt column, and a sound system comprised of Sony, Alpine, and Boston Acoustics components.

As you might imagine, the past decade has not only given Bill plenty of time to test his perseverance, but also ample opportunity to
reflect on his efforts. "After ten years, I've learned that in this type of project it's hard to keep motivated," Bill says. "I also have done many things twice, since a newer or better product would come on the market. Having two children and moving from one coast to the other
definitely slowed the progress, but it was worth the wait. I also want to thank my wife, Sharon, and children Ryan and Rachel, for their
patience and understanding for my late nights and endless weekends."I finished installing the Bruce Horkey bed wood kit at 3:00 in the morning before the Goodguys Del Mar Show, where I got a CLASSIC TRUCKS Top 5 Pick," Bill continues. "After ten years, i was extremely
happy to finish my truck and get a Top 5 Pick at my very first show. "And that's not all. One of the truck's next appearances was the annual Show & Shine put on by Brothers Truck Parts, where it won Best of Show. Top that off with a CLASSIC TRUCKS feature, and you can see that Bill's persistence and perseverance have paid off big time in the long run. CT

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Coast-To-Coast Custom
After two moves, two kids and ten years, this Chevy is finally finished
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Coast-To-Coast Custom