November 12, 2021

Vintage-Nitro

Still car-crazy after all these years

Tailgate view of the '59 Chevy Apache Fleetside 4X4

1959 Chevrolet Apache 31 4X4

One of the entries at Charlie Craig’s 2021 car show was this 62-year-old Chevy pickup. It is a true survivor, with what appears to be the original interior, engine bay and four-wheel-drive package.

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Unfortunately, the owner wasn’t present, so I can’t give credit where credit is due. Nor could I get information other than what I could glean from inspecting the truck.

1959 Chevrolet Apache 31 4X4 pickup

Although the ’58 and ’59 Chevy trucks were nearly identical, the trim and paint suggest this is a ’59 model. It has the Napco Powr-Pak four-wheel-drive package installed.

NAPCO Four Wheel Drive Option

Napco produced four-wheel-drive packages for other manufacturers, but they primarily supplied kits for Chevy and GMC trucks. Interestingly, Napco offered upgrade kits that could quickly convert Chevy and GMC trucks into a 4X4 in a matter of hours.

I can’t say whether the Powr-Pak option on this truck was installed at the factory or added afterward.

The truck appears bone-stock, although it looks so clean I suspect it has been restored at some point. Yet the driver’s seat cloth has some damage hinting it is original. Some of the paint on the fender emblems looks faded, so they appear to be original as well.

283 Chevy Small Block V8

There is a small block Chevy in the engine bay. The ’59 Fleetsides came with either a straight-six or a 283 V8. Considering everything else on the ruck looks original, I’m betting the engine is a 283 from the factory.

All in all, this is an excellent rendition of the Chevrolet Task-Force line of trucks from the late 1950s.