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Retro Truck
By Larry Edsall

Give a late-model pickup that retro look
For 1960, Chevrolet introduced a new generation of pickup trucks, the half-ton Apache C10. Gone were the traditional-style fenders, replaced by a body dominated by a hood that stretched across the full width of the truck's face, a face that included eyebrows above headlights set into the ends of the grille. Though the eyebrows would be trimmed back over the years, the design continued through 1966

Dan Fairbanks of Germantown, Wis., never owned one of those 1960-66 Chevy trucks, though he grew up with them and loved the design. But he also appreciated as the power windows, antilock brakes, airbags and other features on trucks he drives as president of Innovation Mold, which does plastic injection molding of ventilation fans, lawn mower parts, plastic parts for hand tools and other such products.

What Fairbanks wanted as a way to give his new truck an old look. After several years of development, Innovation Mold launched a subsidiary, Retrokits, to produce fiberglass panels that fit over the factory body panels of a 1988-98 Chevy full-size pickup so it looks like a 1960 or 1966 model.

"I drive mine to the gas station and it always draws a crowd," says Fairbanks, whose company has 18 full-time employees.

Retrokits panels attach over a truck's sheetmetal with 3M automotive adhesive. Once in place, they're there for good.

A full body kit includes front and rear fenders; roof; hood; grille shell and grille; headlamp rings and brackets, hardware and electrical plugs; fiberglass rear and steel front bumpers with mounting brackets and glue and applicator, and runs $3,995.

A front clip, which includes only those parts used on the front section of the truck, is priced at $2,995.

Retrokits offers full installation service that runs between $5,000 and $20,000, depending on whether a truck needs extensive bodywork (rust repair) and whether you want Retrokits to paint the truck.

Fairbanks hoped to have a 1955-57 Chevy retro kit in production by now, but instead is working on '60 and '66 kits for people with modern extended cab or Fleetside body styles.

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