Next Generation Hot Rodder – Anthony Lawrence and his 1959 Chevy Apache
One look at Anthony Lawrence’s 1959 Chevy Apache will tell you that the next generation of hot rodders has things under control. The truck has everything a vintage truck should have in stance and form combined with the modern touches of EFI, overdrive, and suspension.
Of course, Anthony is quick to credit his dad, Dwayne, for his passion for hot rods as he’s had a ringside seat in watching and helping his dad build about 50 cruisers from his shop, Dwaynebilt Hot Rods. Of all those builds that came through the shop, there was never a 1959 Chevy Apache, which happened to be Anthony’s dream truck.
In 2016 Anthony finally found an Apache to build and the father-son duo got busy on the project in the early winter. The truck was stripped down to the chassis and a Nova front suspension and four-link rearend setup were grafted in place. The rear rails were C-notched to make way for the low stance Anthony craved, which came courtesy an Air Lift system.
The body was stripped down, including removing all of the original trim for a clean slate. The rear bumper was tucked in, yet Anthony wanted to keep the original character of the truck up front and opted to paint the bumper and grille in a satin black, which matches the 20-inch Coys wheels. The bed wood also received a satin black finish after being raised six inches and the body was finished in a subtle PPG Boxwood green by NXS Automotive in Jeffersonville, Kentucky.
With plans to rack up some miles, Anthony scored an LS1 out of a low-mile 2000 Camaro. The engine received a thorough clean-up and a custom exhaust by Joey’s Exhaust, but remains essentially stock. Lucas Performance put a custom tune in the ECU to manage the factory EFI as well as the 4L60E transmission.
The interior remains sparse, which is expected in a ’59 pickup, but received updates with Dakota Digital instrumentation and a smoothed dash. A tilt column was added and topped with the original steering wheel, which looks great with the classic diamond pleated bench seat sewn by Clint Vice at Stitches Upholstery.
With on-again, off-again work on the pickup due to real jobs and budgets, the build still took less than two years. Anthony is quick to point out that he learned a lot from working with his pop and earned a new respect for hot rod builders in general. The whole process has been a great adventure and dream come true and now he gets to enjoy the fruits of their labor!
Photos by Steven Bunker & Todd Ryden