Reborn: 1961 Suburban Apache 10

I was at Ray Evernham’s AmeriCarna car show with some pals from my car club at the end of last November when my phone starts buzzing in my pocket. I pull it from my pocket and see “Billy B. Suburban” calling. Side note, 90% of the contacts in my phone are some concoction of a first name followed up by some classic vehicle make or model. I pick up and without much of a greeting, Billy says, “I’m coming your way, are you buying this 1961 Suburban or what?

I hadn’t talked to Billy about this Suburban in over a year, now he’s calling and telling me I need to tell him in the next 5 hours if I want ‘free’ delivery from Arizona to North Carolina. Pressure!! So, I made a decision; I called my wife to ask her for my decision. Lucky for me, she’s my biggest supporter and told me to build it. That’s how I came to start the build on this survivor 1961 Suburban Apache 10 with factory 283 c.i.d and a powerglide! This posting is the start of the documentation on this build/journey. This is a story of all the parts, research, labor, unbelievable amount of curse words, broken shit, sleepless nights, empty bank account and fun in the fast lane!

I agreed to purchase the Suburban on November 24th and by December 1st it rolled off the trailer and in my shop. Upon initial inspection I felt comfortable with my decision to purchase the project, but knew I would have my work cut out for me. It was honest, but outside of the body, it needed everything. Really, like everything… I felt comfortable in my skill set to build out the vehicle since I have a deep understanding of the 1964 – 1966 Chevy C10. Once I saw the torsion bar front suspension and frame, a hot flash sucker punched me in the gut and all I could mutter was SHIT!

Over the next few articles I’ll write about all the trails and tribulations I’ve faced as a weekend warrior whom is trying to balance this build, home renovations/projects, becoming a new dad and whatever else jumps in my head while I type. I’m not saying it’s going to be a good story, but if you’re a car guy or gal, you’ll laugh and likely say aloud, “been there” a few times. Point is, you won’t learn anything because I’m not special. However, this will be a fine illustration of what all of us DIY people are all about, blind ambition!

In the next article I’ll discuss the elimination of the torsion bar front suspension, upgrade to Ridetech coilover suspension, 4 wheel disc brake conversion, 12 bolt swap, sandblasting and POR15 coating the frame. I’ll also discuss the fucking struggle I had trying to make my stock 15″ steel wheels fit after I had them painted by Fox Custom Paint in Sailsbury, NC. Holy shit, what a nightmare!


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