By Rob Fortier   –   Photography by Tim Sutton

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again has applications in practically everything we do in our daily lives…and sometimes, it even rings true for these old trucks we often devote our lives—and untold amounts of money—towards! Case in point: Adam Simms 1953 Chevy Advance-Design 3100.

Now, while Adam persevered and ultimately avoided a “three strikes and you’re out” scenario, he didn’t actually start with a pickup, per se. Back in 2005, when his quest to build what he envisioned as the “ultimate Chevy truck from the ’48-53 era” began, his first step to the plate started with an AD Series Suburban! The shop tasked with the chopping and sectioning and all the major metal re-working Adam desired apparently went at guns a blazing but, unfortunately, without any ammo, as the pieces of massacred metal were never able to be put back together. Strike one.

With the initial game plan shelved, Adam decided on lightening the workload to a certain degree by going with a half-ton pickup instead. This time around the Napa, CA, resident relied on Phil Ferrari Hot Rods in nearby Rancho Cordova for round two, which not only went beyond the initial customizing phases, it encompassed the complete RideTech-equipped chassis retrofit, big-block Chevy/4L80E transplant, and everything else necessary before being sent off to paint and upholstery.

Before applying the custom-mixed PPG Burgundy paint, Vintage Color Studio’s Darryl Hollenbeck (Concord, CA) meticulously gapped the truck from the front gravel pan to the rear mini rolled pan and everything in-between; he also extended the front stake pockets in the bed (after he welded it together as a unit) into the splash pans below, filled in all the cab seams, and lengthened the rear leading edges of the rear fenders even with the aforementioned roll pan. From there, it went to Chris Plante at Plante Interior in Santa Rosa for what Adam describes as a McLaren slash Bentley SUV influenced interior—which as you can see, is as impressive as the exterior paint job it complements. With accent-painted Foose five-spokes and flawless chrome/stainless accents, phase two was a success and in 2017, Adam debuted the Chevy at the Grand National Roadster Show, where it was received in award-winning fashion, deservedly.

Unfortunately, the story doesn’t quite end there—upon its return home after a few months on the road hitting major events on the West Coast, a not-so-minor mishap occurred during transport and required a trip back to Vintage Color Studio for another complete paint job! Fortunately, since 2018—knock on wood—Adam has been “without incident” with his Chevy pickup, hitting it out of the park at every show since!

Modern Rodding Magazine