Home Featured Trucks Space Cowboy – Josh, Amanda, & Hayden Mason’s ’78 Silverado

Space Cowboy – Josh, Amanda, & Hayden Mason’s ’78 Silverado

by Scott Mason

Some people call Josh, Amanda, and Hayden Mason’s ‘78 Silverado the Gangster of Love. They call it Grumpy.

Sometimes you just know it when you see it. While I was wandering through the maze of stunning trucks and shooting photos at the Southeastern Truck Nationals, I stumbled across Josh, Amanda, and Hayden Mason’s ‘78 Silverado. Show coverage photography is fast-paced. With 1,000+ trucks to photograph, it’s generally click-click-next. But I stopped a little longer than normal and captured more photos of their truck than I typically would. Maybe it was the fact that they were parked in what was arguably the most photogenic parking spot in the entire show. Maybe it was the nuclear blue and white color combo or the perfect ride height. Maybe it was the honest-to-goodness small block Chevy under the hood. Or maybe that it’s simply one of those trucks that has bitchin’ curb appeal. Whatever it was, I knew it as soon as I laid eyes on old Grumpy.
Wait. Who or what in tarnation is a “Grumpy”? When they bought this project-in-process, the previous owner had installed a camshaft in the 350 with numbers that fell somewhere near that of the illustrious 3/4-race spec. The idle quality was obnoxious. Since the truck is blue and Amanda’s nickname is “Smurf”, the truck was christened “Angry Smurf”. After the decision was made to toss in a more cruise-friendly cam, the name just didn’t fit, hence the change to “Grumpy Smurf”, or simply “Grumpy”. According to Josh, “I decided on the name Grumpy because of the mild cam I picked out. I thought Grumpy was the perfect name because most grumpy people have a mild attitude with life.” Class dismissed.
After working on and tinkering with many other hobby vehicles they had previously owned, the Mason’s decided on a squarebody to build as a family. They spent hours upon hours searching for one that would be the perfect candidate. “We looked at multiple trucks and spoke to tons of people. We thought we had found the one. But after a 14-hour round trip to South Carolina, we came back with an empty trailer.” The all original ‘77 they had their hearts set on buying was full of rust.
That very afternoon, on their way home to Harvest, Alabama, they received a message from their friend, Austin Blicharz, about a project truck that he had lost interest in – a ‘78 Silverado that was torn apart and in a million pieces. The next day they took a 35-minute trip to look at what they deemed “a puzzle without the box”. After deciding it would be the perfect truck for their family project, with trailer in tow, they made two trips to cart home the truck and all of its pieces and parts. Then reality set in. For two days, Josh couldn’t even go out to the shop. “I was having second thoughts. Maybe I bit off more than I could chew.”
After much conversation, they decided to move forward with the build. “I had a vision to build something with an old school flavor with a touch of new school. I put a lot of thought into details that I thought would stand out.” And stand out it is what it does very well.
“We had many long days and nights, lots of sweat, and the typical frustrations of putting everything together. We made multiple 2-hour trips to our buddy, Tony Vaughn’s house for parts.” And even under all the mildew and dust we can’t believe the 20-year-old paint was in such great shape and shined the way it does.
After 7 months of hustling, they finally had the quality truck that they had dreamed of for years. Grumpy’s debut at the Southeastern Truck Nationals brought home trophies for ‘73-80 Best in Class along with Bullock’s Bodywerk’s pick of the show. Amanda said it well, “Since SETN, it’s been crazy. None of us thought Grumpy would be getting the attention it has gotten. We are just along for the ride!”

But this was definitely a team effort of friends and family. Josh and Amanda, along with their son Hayden, enlisted the help from a brother and close friends. They speak very highly of and tirelessly thank Michael White, Jonathan Day, Jonathan Hall and Jody Jackson for all of their help. Without them, Grumpy wouldn’t be where it is today.

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