The World of Wheels car show is a Chicago-area event that truly lives up to its name. This auto celebration is now in it's 52nd year and attracts all earthly species of rolling, engine-powered machinery.
The show took place over the weekend at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont and no matter an enthusiasts' taste, all were sure to find something that tickled their vehicular fancy. More than 500 custom cars, traditional rods, classics, trucks, motorcycles and race cars were on display coming in all shapes, conditions and styles.
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We zeroed in on two in particular, both 1950s Chevy haulers. While each was quite different in appearance and overall presentation, a shared trait couldn't be denied: they both were one of a kind and deserving of a closer look.
1957 Chevrolet, "QuickSilver" Alan Beers, Owasso, Okla.
Parked near the pinnacle of custom-truck perfection was this 1957 Chevrolet, dubbed "QuickSilver." Alan Beers of Owasso, Okla., purchased it in 2007 near San Antonio.
"It was a primered cab and bed sitting on the frame and nothing else," Beers said. The crew at Hot Rod Garage, in Sand Springs, Okla., was responsible for the transformation. Hours upon hours were poured into extensive body modification and transformation.
The firewall was smoothed, the cowl was moved forward 3 inches, the roof was chopped 3 inches, a roll pan and tailgate were created and the entire bed was fabricated.
Another subtle visual element is the flush-mounted windshield. Eight months were needed to design it and ensure it fit just right.
Underneath all that massaged metal and glass is a custom chassis. Power is sourced from a 540-cubic-inch Chevy big-block V-8, responsible for 650 horsepower. A stacked Crower Intake gives off a nostalgic flair but has been updated to electronic fuel injection for modern reliability.
One truly exquisite feature is the taillights. "They're designed to have the same spirit of the 1962 Impala," Beers said. "The entire piece is machined out of aluminum."
More metal was cut for interior components such as the steering wheel, gauge panel, and gas and brake pedals. The project was completed last March and "QuickSilver" has been displayed at shows in Michigan, Oklahoma and Tennessee, with more in the works. The truck also earned its way into the Great 8 as a 2013 Ridler Award finalist.
"It drives just like a Corvette -- tight and nimble. All it takes is a little touch of the gas and it wants to go!"
1959 Chevrolet Apache Fleetside Halo Supercars, Benton Harbor, Mich.
At first glance, this 1959 Chevrolet Apache Fleetside has all the makings of a worn out, tired shop truck. A closer inspection reveals it packs plenty of modern tech and trick features.
Tommy Z Designs of Troy, Mich., put together the design while Halo Supercars of Benton Harbor, Mich., completed the overhaul.
The vehicle was acquired at a Michigan estate sale. After a three-month build, the final rig debuted at the 2013 SEMA show in the Pirelli Tires booth.
When the vintage vehicle was acquired, it was coated in a multitude of faded colors and rusty patina. The overhaul crew liked the specific look of the roof and matched the rest of the body to its specific hue and condition. A buff primer was used to mimic the faded yellow look and sprayed on and weathered.
A 450-horsepower LS3 V-8 engine was sourced from a 2011 Camaro and installed under hood. The truck rides on tubular control arms, adjustable coil-over shocks and a front clip from a 1979 Monte Carlo.
Tucked behind the massive 22-inch and 24-inch Forgiato wheels are 15-inch brake rotors paired with eight piston calipers. The well-worn cabin was left as found, save for new digital gauges, a modern steering wheel and column and late-model Kia seats.
Halo LED headlights are installed up front, yet the vintage 5¾-inch stock headlight size was retained.
As the Chevy was intended to show off Pirelli's latest rubber creations, a custom tire rack was installed in the bed. The frame displays tires upright and easily slides in and out for easy loading and unloading.
The Apache is being exhibited at this weekend's Detroit Autorama, after which it'll be given another total overhaul.
When this pickup emerges from its second overhaul, we're told it'll be in gleaming, showstopping condition.