Jason Hare's

1961 Chevy Apache

"Big Red"

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09 May 2005

From Jason: 

      This is my '61 Chevy Apache known around here as Big Red.

      I found this truck sitting behind a local dealership in Spartan, Wisconsin. I thought it was a pretty cool truck but they said it wasn't for sale and at the time, it didn't have a motor in it. The engine was sitting on the shop floor of the dealership. Well I'd stop back from time to time to give the ol' "what choo gunna do with that truck" speech. They kept saying they were gunna fix it and drive it.

      Well one day I stopped in there to drop off a transmission that a buddy of mine had done for them. When I got there, before I could even ask if they were ready to sell the truck, I got the "You still interested in that truck or what?" Well, obviously I was "Like ... ahhhh yeah ... for sure ... but what are you asking for it?" I couldn't see paying that much for it so I used my salesman skills. (Keep in mind it was once said I could sell ice to an Eskimo and I had to prove that right that day.) I went to the bank and found I had exactly $1100 dollars in there. I cleaned out the account and went back to the dealership and told them "This is what I have for tax, title transfer ... out the door." After some jaw-jacking and me sticking with my $1100 offer for everything, they finally gave in and the truck was towed to my buddy's house.

      All I needed then was a motor. Turned out, I had a buddy with a 350 just waiting for my truck. It was a slightly-built Goodwrench 350. We popped that baby in there in a matter of three hours, prolly cuz we had to run to the parts store three times to get the right motor mounts. The old ones were shot. Then we had to rob the distributor for the old motor cuz I didn't feel like rewiring for the rest of my weekend.

      We got the motor in there and I was amazed this truck ran sooo smooth down the road. I couldn't believe it! My friends all say it runs as good and smooth as a new Tahoe does. I have to agree!

      Well, I had the truck on the road about a week and the motor ripped the transmission to shreds. The turbo 350 is a good tranny but was no match for the 350-plus horse motor. So, we took Big Red down to my buddy's (you know the one who builds transmissions) and he got her all healthy again. Sadly, the engine is once again blown. Guess maybe this truck likes to eat motors for breakfast? Either way -- maybe its a sign? I'm thinkin' it's time for a big block. In its defense, it did die in Chevrolet fashion -- blew a rod or something while beating a big block Ford in the mud and unlike the Ford, I drove my truck home -- knocking and all!

      The truck is no slouch either. She hangs with the best of them and will pass pretty much anything on the road except the gas station! Apparently my truck and the gas stations like to visit each other often but hey, who can put a price on driving a truck that you really don't see anyone else having

      It's still the sweetest ride in this town regardless of what some people think. This truck is equipped with everything you could possibly want in a 4 x 4. It's sitting on a '77 Chevy frame, power steering, 4-wheel disc power brakes, heavy duty front and rear leafs, Rancho suspension, nice wheels and 33's. And the best part is everything works! Even the heater!

      Man this truck is just my dream come true. I had thoughts of selling it but it only takes me driving it down the road about a mile to clear all that up!

      Please include my truck to the gallery so others may see.

Jason Hare
Arcadia, Wisconsin

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