Today it is the norm to order a pickup or SUV with built in 4 wheel drive, but this hasn't always been the case. For General Motors there was a time when if they wanted to sell an "all terrain" or "go anywhere" type of vehicle they had to go to an outside supplier to help them make it happen. In 1942, NAPCO, Northwestern Auto parts Company of Minneapolis, MN, began selling their Powr Pak 4x4 conversion to Chevrolet and GMC owners as well as owners of other makes. NAPCO had been in business since 1918 and were completely focused on projects commissioned by the United States government where their products were tested and used for Military use only. After WWII the Military's priorities changed so NAPCO changed its focus and engineering and manufacturing expertise onto producing goods for the private industry, which included its famous NAPCO Powr Pak 4x4 conversion. The date of first Powr Pak conversion is unknown, but we do know that by 1954 NAPCO was very busy supplying its conversions to Chevrolet and GMC dealers and owners across the country. 1959 would be the very last year for the NAPCO 4x4 conversion as GM redesigned their powertrain and in 1960 would begin to offer their own 4x4 vehicles so the NAPCO conversion would then be obsolete. The Chevrolet Apache is already a stellar truck, but to have an Apache with an original factory installed NAPCO 4x4 conversion makes it over the top cool.
Offered here is an example of one of the very last NAPCO conversions produced within the last two years of production: a 1958 Chevrolet Apache 3200 step-side with the famed NAPCO 4x4 conversion. Dubbed the "Mountain Goat" these NAPCO 4x4 trucks were said to be capable of going anywhere. The NAPCO slogan proudly stated: "Now you can have a standard Chevrolet four-wheel drive pickup featuring the traction power of a tank, or, at the flip of a finger, a smoother riding high speed over the road truck." This 1958 NAPCO Apache has been treated to a full ground up, body off restoration. Not a penny was spared with this restoration as every nut and bolt is nothing short of better than new condition. The Galway green and Bombay Ivory paint gives a quiet sophistication to this workhorse and the restored original bumpers, grill, side spears, oil bath filter, lighter, 2-speed wipers and heavy-duty factory radiator and proper decals speak to the high restoration level this truck boasts. The nicely detailed interior has a handsome grey colored seat, AM radio and heater / defroster, while the dashboard displays the all-wheel-drive operating instructions. Under the hood the Thriftmaster 6 shows hardly a trace of use and the same goes for the 4 speed manual floor shift transmission, and all stickers, hoses, clips and tags appear just as they did when the truck left the dealer in 1958. Over $20,000 dollars has been spent on the mechanicals alone. Most importantly this truck still retains its original NAPCO axles and original 4 wheel drive model 23 transfer case. It runs and drives fantastically well and is ready for show or to be driven over a mountain as it was intended. Contact us today for more information.