Connor Crews’ 1998 Chevy C1500

By Rob Fortier   –   Images by Jeff Hamm

“When someone asked me what my dream car or truck was, I wanted to be able to show them a picture of my ’98 Chevy OBS!” 17-year-old Connor Crews told us. Man, when I was 17, my dream car was an ’83 Porsche 911 SC—something I could literally only dream of! So, to not only have that vehicle so soon after being able to legally drive in the first place, let alone being able to claim that you built it yourself … well, that’s quite an accomplishment!

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03 Rear view of red 1988 1998 Chevrolet CK with custom wheels

Read More: Tre5 Customs-Built OBS Chevy Truck

Connor and his father, Charles (whose main job is managing Classic Car Studio in St. Louis), have a side gig they’ve aptly named Crews Originals. In the short span of seven months (beginning in October 2021) they transformed the younger Crews’ dream ride into the killer OBS pictured here. And it didn’t take a whole lot to make that transformation happen … at least not with the combined father-son skill sets!

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05 Side view of red 1988 1998 Chevrolet CK urban setting

“I bought the truck in 2020 when I was 15 years old; I’ve always had a love for custom cars and trucks,” young Connor told us. “Since I was little, I have been riding around in lowered trucks and custom cars with my dad and uncles. I’ve been around this industry my whole life; always seeing what everyone else could do and has. So, when I was finally old enough to start looking for my first car/truck, I already knew what I wanted: a red ‘88-98 standard cab shortbed. When I found the truck, it was not red—it was black and not a V-8—but it only had 76,000 miles so that was the selling point, but I knew I had a lot of work to make it a cool daily driver. During this time COVID hit and we didn’t have much going on, so we decided to dive a little deeper into the truck than we first thought.

06 Bright red interior door panel of 1988 1998 Chevrolet CK

“So, we brought the truck from our home shop down to Classic Car Studio where my dad and I ended up going crazy. We ended up doing a full frame-off build in little over five months (paint and body, custom interior, suspension, motor, and so on). I had always loved red interiors and that was what I wanted to do, but it had to match the exterior color, so we painted all the interior plastics with basecoat (same color as the exterior) and sprayed matte clear on them, so they would match perfectly. We have tons of hours in the paint- and bodywork. The truck is a custom-mixed BASF red that we sealed with five coats of clear!

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08 Close up of red dashboard and steering wheel in 1988 1998 Chevrolet CK

Read More: Gary Brown’s Full-Attitude ’57 Chevy

“Like I said, the truck was originally a V-6 work truck, so we got a full wiring harness from a V-8 truck and swapped it all over. The engine is a Chevrolet Performance 350 with a (vintage, side mount) Whipple supercharger and a 4L60 behind all of that. I have taken it to countless shows all over the country. When I was 16 years old I took it to SEMA 2022 and competed in Battle of the Builders, Young Guns, and got Top 10. I am the youngest person to ever compete in Battle of the Builders.

10 Modernized control panel in red 1988 1998 Chevrolet CK

“I’ve met a lot of very cool people through that experience and hope to inspire this generation to get into the industry!”

11 Engine bay of a customized red 1988 1998 Chevrolet CK with open hood

Additionally, the chassis has been updated and dropped accordingly using Belltech springs and AZ Pro Performance spindles with a quartet of Billet Specialties 20-inch Speedways rounding out the stance perfectly. Lastly, the interior was brought up to Connor’s standards with the addition of a Snowden red leather–wrapped bench seat. Accents were added in the form of a Billet Specialties steering wheel and LG Billet shifter and dash knobs/accessories, while a Kenwood double-DIN with Kicker amps and drivers add the appropriate sound source for a 17-year-old’s dream truck!

13 Rear view of the bed and interior of a red 1988 1998 Chevrolet CK

Seeing what Connor and Charles’ Crews Original has done with this debut project, we can’t wait to see what’s in store next!

Click on this issue’s cover to see the enhanced digital version of Connor Crews’ 1998 Chevy C1500.ctp may 2024

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