Gary & Cindy Giovanni’s ’56 Chevy Modern Pro Street … South City Style

By Rob Fortier   –   Photography by Tim Sutton

If you’ve been a reader of Classic Truck Performance for any length of time you know that we/I have special relationships with quite a few builders, and none more so than Bill Ganahl et al. at South City Rod & Custom (if you do a genealogy test, I’m convinced somewhere down the line Ganahl and I are related!). When SCRC had just finished up the Tidwell ’40 Ford and Gary and Cindy Giovanni’s ’56 Chevy, I texted Ganahl and told him I wanted both shot for the cover. His answer: “No, no you don’t.” My response is not worthy of print.

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02 Rear End 1956 Chevy

Read More: Show and Go

Ganahl’s reasoning for his unwillingness to comply was not due to any lack of quality or craftsmanship or anything like that, rather it was a color issue. If I recall, Ganahl commented on the fact that while both trucks were painted by Compani Color using BASF/Glasurit greens, the actual greens were so close yet so far apart that they’d never photograph well together. When he put it in those terms, I understood where he was coming from, but I didn’t back down, as I was certain the lens of Tim Sutton could prove him wrong—but it wasn’t an easy job!

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06 Passenger Side 1956 Chevy

But let’s not lose focus of the topic at hand: Gary and Cindy’s ’56!

“This pickup came to us as a stalled father/son project that owner Gary Giovanni finally realized wasn’t going to get finished with his busy work schedule.  We picked up the mantle and knocked it out, trying to stay true to the vision that they started with, but with a few changes along the way,” Bill Ganahl says.

“For starters, the truck already had the Weiand-blown small-block Chevy with the March pulley system and billet valve covers, so we chose to push the Pro Street theme but pull it back a little into what could have been a late-’70s style. We opted for the polished Halibrand-style wheels by Billet Specialties and we ran the Pro Trac meats on the rear to give it a period look.

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07 Custom Chrome Small Block 1956 Chevy

Read More: Legacy Series: Pat Ganahl’s ‘56 Ford F100

“The color on this pickup came from a factory mid-’60s Mopar that was in painter Joe Compani’s shop for some repairs. I loved the color and had been pushing it for Greg Tidwell’s ’40 pickup, but when we ended up going with a slightly different green on the ’40, Gary and Cindy jumped at the chance to use it on their own truck. I scoured the SMS upholstery catalog looking for complementary cloth for the interior and found a mid-’60s Biscayne swatch that just happened to match the color perfectly, so Chris Plante, of Plante Interiors, stitched it up with some black leather.

08 Custom Uphostlery 1956 Chevy

“Other details on the truck are staples of the South City style, including understated modifications like the modified rear bumper, both tucked and shaved, a completely modified front grille, custom taillights and brackets, shaved and smoothed tailgate and latches, and all gaps and seams reworked.

17 Owner next to 1956 Chevy

Read More: Deep Blue Bel Air With Big Block Performance

“With the TCI chassis as a foundation, the stout small-block backed by a 700-R4, and a 3.73 geared Ford 9-inch rear, this little truck is both quick off the line and easy to cruise at speed on the freeway. The Vintage Air A/C keeps it comfortable and the Classic Instruments gauges look nice and original but are reliable.” Look for it on the mean streets of Half Moon Bay where Gary and Cindy will be cruising … if/when he gets a little time off from work!

Click on this issue’s cover to see the enhanced digital version of Gary & Cindy Giovanni’s ’56 Chevy Modern Pro Street … South City Style.

ctp january 2024

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