Like many of us, Bob Aldrich always dreamed of one day building his very own custom truck to share with his family and friends. Recently, he was looking for a clean starter truck that would make a perfect canvas to make a truly unique custom classic pickup. After attending several local car/truck shows, Bob liked the looks of the 1940’s and 1950’s era truck body styles and began to turn the gears in his head. He made a deal on a ’59 Apache from a good friend, Bob Richardson, and his newly found truck was on its way home in Wichita, Kansas.
With the truck safe at home in the garage, Bob began planning his vision for the build. Before long, he contacted Lonny Moore, the owner of Lonny Moore’s Rod & Customs, and made the plans to start to do a couple simple changes with modifying the shaved doors back to stock with the original handles. But as most of us have experienced, the little changes always turn into bigger changes and eventually turning into a full-fledged show truck.
While the truck was in the shop, this gave the opportunity to search for his wheels. Instead of going with something modern with a big-inch look, Bob wanted a clean classic directional wheel. A set of Colorado Customs Slater 18” billet rims up front and a set of 20’s out back wrapped in Michelin Pilot tires (255/55R18 front and 275/40R20 rear) were chosen to achieve that clean, classic look he was after.
A new Pete & Jake boxed frame was the next new item ordered for Bob’s Apache to give added strength and the ability to lower his truck with modern components. With the frame portion wrapped up, it was time to focus on the motor that would drive this beast. Again, he wanted something modern for the drivetrain. Bob and Lonny came up with a new Blueprint 355 crate motor that would make any of us gear heads grin. A set of Speedway stainless headers along with a custom bent exhaust allowed the motor give out maximum horsepower.
Now that Bob’s truck could drive on its own power, the truck was brought Scott Downey at Downey Custom Interiors so the interior could get a full custom treatment along with an updated sound system. The custom 2010 Camaro bucket seats were wrapped in a beautiful leather. Classic Customs gauges were installed to replace the stock ones. A custom carpet was laid down over the floor to tie in the full package.
Bob wasn’t done there. It was very important and heart-felt that he show his support and respect to our men and women in Law Enforcement, who not only put their lives on the line daily, but all too often have given their lives so we all may have a safer community in which to live and raise our families. A “Thin Blue Line” was added to the rear window and additionally painted the “Chevrolet” on the tailgate a matching blue just to say thank you.
Looking back at the finished product, Bob feels he achieved what he set out to accomplish with a classic truck with unique classic styling features and would like to thank his lovely wife Donna for her support with his project, as well as Lonny Moore and his crew, Scott Downey with helping him on the build and helping make the journey go as smoothly as possible.
BOB ALDRICH • ‘59 APACHE
- Blueprint Engines 383 stroker small block
- Holley Sniper fuel injection
- Taylor spark plug wires
- Speedway headers
- Custom 2-1/4” stainless steel exhaust
- Magnaflow mufflers
- Pete & Jakes chassis
- Ford 9” rear axle with 3.50 ring & pinion
- 4-link rear suspension
- Coil-over suspension, front & rear
- Paint by Joe Dela Rosa at Moore’s Collision, Wichita, KS
- Pinstriping by Nadene Ward
- Gas filler relocated to inside bed
- Smoothed firewall
- Interior by Scott Downey
- Nu Relic power windows
- American Auto Wire harness