1959 Chevrolet Apache
Newest Hersti AutoShop creation looks like factory made concept car. Inspiration of this Apache truck came from ’56 Chevy.
Words Jarmo Markkanen Photos Toni Lindström
Timo Hersti has been customizing cars almost 40 years. His strenght is vision. Many car builders
can weld, but the outcome really doesn’t look the same as Timo’s. It is all about his personal
-Ideas just come. No idea where from. It can be a photo or car I saw many many years ago. I also
improvise a lot during the building. And then some day all the pieces go together in my head,
mind, says Timo and continues: like the colour combination, I have dreamed about it years and
years, but now I finally just got a project where to put it.
Timo does no sketches at all in advance, simply beacuse he can’t draw!
Starting point with Apache was to put in it a rear end of a sedan. Then he found ’57 Oldsmobile
rear end from a yank yard while visting in US.
Timo wanted to have 1958 or 1959 pickup, because he had already made one cutom from a 1955
model in the past. Timo started to work with the project and the plan was to make it for himself.
But the plan changed when Kaitsu Vuorio walked in his Hersti AutoShop and asked if Timo had a
any car for sale. Timo had only unfinished Apache project and visio, Kaitsu said right away I want
Apache was bought already year 2017. Timo started rust work back then and collected parts and
pieces during the years, like rear and front end, grille etc. Mainly he concentrated on customer
works, but things changed when Apache became a customer work.
Apache’s grille is from ’56 Plymouth. The upper ”lip” from Apache was still kept and painted with
same colour as the car. Turn signals are original, but put in the new location. Headlamps are
Roof was chopped two inches to give some extra ”spice”. Many people doesn’t even see it unless
it stands beside original car! Rear window is also original, but shortened two inhces in the middle.
Roof dimensions are the same as original and rear window is located same place as original,
measured from top of the roof. Kuttilan Autolasi made the front window to sit perfectly to
Body lines go smoothly like from the factory, but to achieve that it needed a lot of work, because all the parts are from different cars!
Olds fenders needed more metal to be welded in below part, because it is much narrow than
Apaches tall fender. From tail lights about one meter to front direction is from Oldsmobile and all
the rest of the side bed was made from straight steel by hand. Rear bumber came from ’56 Olds.
Inner section of the bed was improvised from straight steel like inner walls, wheel mudguards,
rear wall iof the cabin etc.
The bed hatch was made to open and it needed customized hingers and locks. Final touch to the
bed hatch was Nomad style pressings.
Rear colour combination is from original 1956 Chevrolet paint offerings. Factory double colour
paint borders are made nicely by 1956 Chevrolet side mouldings, chrome lists. Colour factory code
is 717, Crocus Yellow ja Laurel Green.
Inside the same theme continues. Dashboard is from 1956 Chevrolet, all the original knobs and
switches are new. Hersti is excellen with details. Look how smoothly dash cornes are made to
continue on the Apache doors. The custom upholstery is made from original 1956 Chevrolet
materials by Lasse Vänttinen, from Verhoomo Prima. Design is made by Lasse, too.
Carefree cruising kilometers are secured with new, modern engine and drivetrain: fuel injected
LS1, 4L60E four speed automatic and Ford 8.8 rear end. Front end is Mustang II with rack and
pinion steering gear.
Timo wanted the engine compartment and fire wall to look clean. Brakebooster is located under
the cabin and all the wireing is hidden in tube that goes inside front fender, fusebox is under the
Air Lift suspension is installed in all four corners and can be controlled with remote box. Air tanks
and compressors are hidden under the car. Apache have front disc brakes and drums in rear.
Work keeps Timo busy also in the future. Next in line are two complete customer restoration
projects, ’59 Buick ja ’57 T-Bird. Next his own projects are ’57 Chevy convertible and ’57 Chevy 2d
HT, which will be, some day, full custom. During the summer Timo was driving Vintage Gasser
Brutus Pontiac, group car with his fiends.
Apache won Pickup ja Van -gategory in Tampere Hot Rod Rod & Rock Show and was picked to Top
10 in FHRA American Car Show in Helsinki.
Timo wanted concept car, factory appearance, all tough Apache is heavily customized. One of a
White wall tires and and steel wheels with ’55 Olds hub caps.