After building some outstanding resto-mod muscle cars, Don Gasiunas has headed off into new territory these past six years. Don likes to call his new iterations Pro-Tour Rat Rods, which sound like a contradiction in terms but perfectly describes his latest build, this 1963 Chevy pick up dubbed Grand Slammed.
After cutting his teeth on “RUSTORED”, a 1950 Chevy pickup, a new idea took shape. Don envisioned something longer to get away from the short bed every one else was doing. His overriding criteria was, “Not been seen before”.
The result is Grand Slammed, this long box ’63 Chevy pick up. Though unique, it still had to hold general appeal and be understood at first glance. Don moved from imagination to eBay and went hunting eventually spotting the truck that matched his idea perfectly. The natural patina was perfect. All the original equipment ordered on the truck was still intact and functional.
The ’63 Chevy had spent its life inland in California as a garbage truck for a 2000-acre ranch. With the long bed, the truck measurers 19.5 feet long and when lowered, it appears even longer. Don Gasiunas applied all the touches from the presious projects .. but upped things several notches. The overall criteria still included modern technology and handling, but this time with a lot more horsepower and sophisticated handling.
After exhaustive research on frame technology, Gasiunas chose a PorterBuilt drop system where all the math and geometry had been gasiunase. Upper and lower A-arms are also by PorterBuilt and include drop spindles for desired stane all the way down to the ground. The system also included a power steering rack.
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Breaks are Wilwood 6-piston, 14’’ rotors all around peering out from behind TSW 18 x 7 front and 18x 9 wheels out back. Tires are Mickey Thompson 245/45/ 18 fronts and 255/45 x 18 rears. The old Chev steering column was handily replaced with an Ididit unit in matching cream paint with a Lacarra Banjo steering wheel.
Out of the box, the supercharged all aluminum LS-A delivers 556 HP with 550 lbs. torque. This one was tuned to 600HP providing intense power to weight ratio for the 3200 pound pick up.
The exterior was left untouched, for Gasiunas, the main appeal of the whole truck is the undisturbed, all natural patina finish that was 53 years in the making. Nothing was “optimized’’ or touched up.
For a long view in the dark at speed, SICK H.I.D. headlights replaced the shy old originals. Distinctive beer bottle gas “cap” and pissed=off breather duck are Don’s trademark finishing touches. With a nod to NASCAR, a custom made air spoiler was added. Lift gate actuators are by Dakota Digital.
The interior was totally blasted to the bare metal and refinished in stock colours doe a totally modern look. The original bench was re=packed and covered in genuine Italian leather.
With his wry sense of humor, Gasiunas showed up unannounced with the truck at an exotic car show featuring Lambos, Porches, Ferraris, etc. To the consternation of the organizers, all eyes went to the truck parked off the side. Some viewers were confused but the majority were very admiring.
On another occasion, a police cruiser with two officers inside followed Gasiunas for miles until it pulled along side at a traffic light. Don was asked to roll down the window.
Officer A: ”Sir.. I am having a discussion with my partner. Are you going to finish this truck?
Don: “It’s finished.”
Officer A to officer B: “See? I told you! You owe me a beer.”