OWNER: Jimmy Neld
RIDE: 1979 Chevy Luv
HOMETOWN: New Waterford, Ohio
Getting featured in the pages of Mini Truckin' magazine is a highlight in a minitrucker's lifetime, but getting featured twice is one of those rare instances that can be as rare as seeing Hayley's comet.
For Jimmy Neeld from New Waterford, Ohio, getting that second feature wasn't all that hard. That's if you don't consider long endless hours in the garage, countless sleepless nights, or the commitment to tear down and completely rebuild a perfectly good show truck all that hard. You may remember first seeing this 1979 Chevy Luv in the August 2008 issue of this very magazine back when it was white with green stripes, sported black wheels, and had less heavy modifications. Shortly after the first photo shoot, Jimmy decided it was time to completely blow the truck apart and start over. Knowing that he wanted to extend the uniqueness of his truck this go around, Jimmy started with a complete game plan. The first step was to take the truck from a frame-dragger to a body-dragger. This was done via 31/4-inch stock-floor bodydrop. Being the air suspension was already dialed in, other than a few small tweaks, it was pretty much left alone. But that's where the similarities stop.
When it came to the body, Jimmy knew he had some big plans to go all out. He had already shaved the door handles, marker lights, door locks, side vents, taillights, and rear bed seams so the body was already fairly smooth. But Jimmy decided to ditch the front bumper, which made the front end just as smooth as the rear. The firewall was also shaved while the new sheetmetal floor was installed. The driver door received a full 90-degree suicide treatment, while the passenger door was left with the stock set of hinges to give it that "Z" look. The paint was stripped down and prepped for the new coat of custom-mixed green metallic PPG paint. Knowing that a solid green truck wouldn't have the "pop" he wanted, pinstriping was laid on the hood, tailgate, and cab corners, and a mural was added to the driver-side rear bedside to spice things up.
Moving inside, the dash was completely shaved and smoothed along with the rest of the interior panels. A custom gauge panel was built for the front of the center console, while plenty of 3-D graphics were molded into the doors and console. The graveyard mural from the bedside was carried to the interior and covers just about all the painted interior panels. The seats were wrapped with black and green tweed with green piping. New black carpet rounds out the interior details and makes for another complete makeover that Jimmy accomplished in almost record time. Under the hood saw some changes as well. With the bodydrop, the inner fenders had to be cut out and they were replaced with new tubs. The battery was also relocated to the rear under the bed to help make the engine bay as clean as the rest of the rebuild.
When asked what, if anything, he would have done different this time around, Jimmy said he would have considered a righthand-drive conversion. Other than that, Jimmy is pretty happy with this newly updated version of his Luv and as his tag reads, it's "NOT A S10", which some old timers mistake it for on a regular basis. Be on the lookout for a set of 20s on the rear and a few other subtle changes this show season. For more info on the current mods, check out the Lowdown.