Antique Apache | 1959 Chevrolet Apache Fleetside
Photography & Interview Luke Ray.
This article first appeared in Fuel Magazine issue 24.
We spend a lot of time with the guys from Antique Tyres in Melbourne. Ben and the crew offer a premium service and there’s always a happy ‘Antique’ face at an event or show. So when I saw Tony’s Apache during a recent visit I was intrigued to ask him a few questions about it.
Who are you and what do you do for a living?
I’m Tony Eisner, I work in sales at Antique Tyres.
Tell me about your first love for cars.. right back when you were young. What inspired you?
When I was fifteen, the owner of the local servo had a 1956 Chevy with a big block. He locked up the servo at 9pm every night. When he left he’d give it heaps and I’d always be there to see it.
What was your first car?
A 1955 Chevrolet four door with a 327 V8. It had chrome wheels, a black tuck and roll interior. It was metallic blue. I was aged seventeen and nine months and I felt like king of the neighbourhood.
How many cars have you had?
1955 Chevrolet four door, 1955 Chev station wagon, 1955 Chev Sports Coupe, 1956 Chev pickup, 1957 two door, 1952 Chev two door fastback, 1952 sedan delivery, 1936 Ford roadster hot rod, 1949 Mercury two door custom, 1950 Ford two door Club Coupe. To list a few...
What else are you in to?
Bikes and anything old! I’m a mad collector.
What are we looking at here?
1959 Chevrolet Apache Fleetside.
When and how did you come to own it?
I had a 1956 Chevy pickup years ago which I had to sell when we had our first child. I’ve needed to scratch that itch ever since.
In what condition was it when you bought it?
Pretty much the same condition as you see it now.
Can you run through what you did during the build?
At first I just wanted it on airbags, sitting on the sills, so a 10” notched four bar rear end was first, followed by a Jag front end and I changed the dash from left hand drive to right. Then came a Holden 2nd gen six litre with 6 speed auto. I went down the modern and comfortable route from then on with options like smart start, digital dash, electric windows, central locking, reverse camera, heated seats, sat nav, full sound system, fridge, air con, power steering and modern fog lights.
The interior style is diamond and tuck and roll using crushed red velvet and burgundy vinyl. Wheels and tyres are of course from Antique Tyres; Coker 225/75/15 on the rear and Coker 215/75/15 on the front, 15x7 chrome rims and spider caps on the back and 15x6 up front.
Do you take the car to events? How is the social scene that goes along with owning a classic?
People just love the truck. They smile and either wave or give me the thumbs up all the time. The scene at the moment is mad about pickups in general.
Working on my two door 1950 Ford Club Coupe.