Chris Driscoll’s Larger Than Life 1959 Apache 3800 Makes House Calls
When Chris Driscoll stumbled upon an eBay listing back in 2016 for an original, one-owner ‘59 Apache 3800 service truck located California, he knew he had to have it. But he didn’t have an eBay account and another bidder ended up buying it out from under him before he had a chance to sign up. A week passed and the same truck popped up for sale in Nevada. Lightning rarely strikes twice, and Chris knew he couldn’t sleep on this one again. He made arrangements with the seller and the title to the truck was soon in his name.
Chris continued the journey when he reached out to Brian Zaccardi of Phoenix, Arizona. Brian dragged Chris’ new acquisition from Reno back to his shop to begin the nearly 3-year transformation. And what a transformation.
The Zaccardi Built boys delicately removed the body from the original chassis to preserve the years of history highlighted in that beautifully worn paint and hand lettering. Originally purchased by Mr. Herschel Wong, this truck served as the delivery and service vehicle for his HVAC and refrigeration business in Ukiah, California. Judging by how well the truck was preserved, it was obviously well loved over the years, as it was in use for decades before being retired from active duty. As far as Chris can tell, all of the paint is original except for some new sheetmetal inside the bed that was necessitated by the new chassis.
After the cab and bed were set aside for safe keeping, Brian got busy assembling the custom chassis from Porterbuilt Fab. It was designed and constructed with all of the features Chris had in mind. Air ride, accommodations for those big, custom cut Lowboy Motorsports 24” Alcoa wheels, modern suspension components, and an up-to-date, reliable driveline. He wanted a truck that could be driven comfortably from coast to coast and that’s what he got. A 2009 6.0L LY6 with a mild cam provides plenty of power to push through the 6L90E transmission. Tubular front control arms and 4-link suspension out back matched up with Slam Specialties bags all around make the ride as plush as the powerplant. Vintage Air climate control keeps the cab temps just right, no matter what’s going on outside. Classic Instruments gauges monitor the happenings under the hood with 21st century precision. An updated seat and upholstery were reconfigured to fit Chris’ taller-than-average stature while an Ididit tilt column makes entry/exit much easier than with the original column.
Between 2016 and 2020, the build was progressing steadily at the Zaccardi shop. Life events and slow downs came and went along the way, but such is life with any project. Throughout the various phases of the build, Brian and Chris took old Herschel to quite a few big shows out west. Dino’s Git Down and Lone Star Throwdown to name but a couple. Chris is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, so you can only imagine the level of commitment and anticipation he went through before his truck was delivered and actually sitting in his own garage in early 2020. Traveling to shows on the other side of the country only added to the incredible story of Mr. Herschel Wong’s work truck turned fun truck.