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1959 Chevrolet Apache Burned to the Ground in Camp Fire, Now It's a Slammed Cruiser

Seeing a derelict classic come out of long-term barn storage is the coolest thing if you're into cars with patina and rust. But what I love more about cars like this is that they make awesome rat rods. Nothing says "sleeper" better than a seemingly rusty vehicle with modern underpinnings.
1959 Chevrolet Apache rat rod 7 photos
1959 Chevrolet Apache rat rod1959 Chevrolet Apache rat rod1959 Chevrolet Apache rat rod1959 Chevrolet Apache rat rod1959 Chevrolet Apache rat rod1959 Chevrolet Apache rat rod
This 1959 Chevrolet Apache is one of those cool hot rods. And it comes with a touching story because this truck wasn't saved from a barn. While most rusty classics rot away in carports and junkyards, this Apache is one of the many vehicles that burned to the ground in Camp Fire.

The deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California's history, Camp Fire, destroyed much of the town of Paradise and the communities of Concow and Magalia in November 2018. It caused more than $16 billion worth of damage and took the lives of 85 people.

The Apache is one of the many vehicles that burned in the fire. But unlike other cars that were destroyed beyond recognition, it got a second chance at life thanks to Jason, who turned it into a beefed-up, slammed cruiser.

No more than a scorched carcass when it showed up for sale in the area, the 1959 Apache still wears its scars on the outside. Its body panels are still twisted due to the heat, and it was never repainted, but it's a completely new vehicle under the shell.

Not only does it ride on a custom chassis and an air suspension, but it also hides a significantly upgraded LQ9 engine under the hood. Originally designed for Cadillac in 2002, the 6.0-liter V8 found its way in a variety of GM-made SUVs and trucks and generated up to 345 horsepower and 380 pound-feet (515 Nm) of torque in stock form.

But this V8 has been rejuvenated with a bunch of race-spec components, to the point where it's more like an LS3, according to the owner. How powerful it is? Well, we don't get precise figures, but let's just say that this truck spins its rear wheels in third gear.

It's fast enough to outgun a modern muscle car, and it sounds like a full-blown hot rod when the gas pedal hits the floor.

Yup, this truck has it all. A crazy story behind it, an ambitious owner who now uses it as a daily driver, and it's proof that any old vehicle can be saved, no matter how bad it is, with the right amount of passion. This Apache is living the American dream. And it's probably what junkyard finds dream of becoming one day.

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