Barbecue Recap and Project Update

The barbecue on Saturday, May 14th at Stevinson Chevrolet in Lakewood, CO was a terrific opportunity to finally meet the folks who have volunteered their resources and expertise to help in the completion of the Captain Hays Apache truck. It is obvious how much this project means to all of you. For instance, Stacy Morton huge water slides for sale, of the Friends of the 133rd, drove almost four hours from sunny Saratoga to rainy Lakewood with her mom and sons. Gary Puls and Wayne Feltz also made the long trek south from Wyoming just to meet everyone. If you would like to see more pictures, please click here to see the slide show of the event.

During the next two weeks, D&D Performance in Longmont will be installing the engine and transmission while Thomas Sweet of Dynamik Auto Soundz will be installing the sound and security systems. D&D Performance will also be celebrating its 10th anniversary with an open house and car show on Saturday, May 21st. They will be raffling off a transmission that has traveled all the way from Mexico, Missouri and was specially built in memory of Captain Hays, with all proceeds going to the Bruce Hays Memorial Scholarship Fund at WyoTech. Specialist Charles Dunsmoor, along with Pearl Motor Co., Danny Cuno, Melody’s, and Hervil’s Automatic Transmission Service, helped in the completion of the transmission. If you would like to purchase a raffle ticket for $5, please contact Rob Davenport at moparob@juno.com.

The truck will be at D&D Performance until the week of May 30th, when it will be shipped back to Stevinson Chevrolet where our technicians will be busy installing the steering components, wiring harness, instrumentation, heating and air conditioning, wipers, and suspension. The truck will reside at the dealerhips until the end of July when it will return back to Gary Puls and WyoTech for the finishing touches.

Once again, thank you to everyone who came to the barbecue and to everyone who has supported the Captain Bruce Hays Apache Project.

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It’s Official!

 

The Apache on a Trailer

Captain Hays’ 1959 Chevrolet Apache Pickup is on its way from Laramie, WY to Stevinson Chevrolet in Lakewood, CO, courtesy of Jim Bonanno and Fleet Car Carriers. Jim graciously offered to transport the truck to Stevinson Chevrolet just in time for the barbecue scheduled for Noon on Saturday, May 14th. If you have not RSVP’d, please email Patty Ford at pford@stevinsonauto.com. Hope to see you all there!

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Wonderful Article Courtesy of StreetSideAuto.com

We here at the Captain Hays Apache Project are grateful for the support from Craig Schmutzler and StreetSideAuto.com, an online supplier of performance parts and accessories. Their staff is comprised of real hands-on All-American automotive enthusiasts who take both pride and pleasure in providing best-in-class support and service to their customers.

Craig is the son of an Air Force veteran, and when he learned of the project, he sprang into action. Not only did he graciously offer us a $500 gift certificate and an ongoing 10% discount toward any parts we need to restore the Apache, Craig is also spreading awareness about Captain Hays’ story through StreetSideAuto.com’s Facebook page and this wonderful article published on their blog. We encourage all of you to click on the link, read the article, and check out StreetSideAuto.com. A hearty thank you goes out to Craig Schmutzler and everyone at StreetSideAuto.com!

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Meet-and-Greet Barbecue Date Set

It’s official!  The barbecue is set for Noon on Saturday, May 14th, at Stevinson Chevrolet in Lakewood, Colorado.  If you are planning to attend, please RSVP to Patty Ford at pford@stevinsonauto.com by May 9th. The Captain Hays Apache truck will be there, along with the Stevinson technicians and staff who will be working on the project. Please plan on spending a couple of hours having lunch, viewing the truck and discussing the project.

The truck restoration is making progress.  Last week the cab went back on the frame at WyoTech after it was taken off to be painted.  The color is a GM color, #39 Indigo Metallic, and the bed spears on the side of the truck will be a yellow, exact color to be decided.  We’ve uploaded more restoration pictures to the website, which you can see on the 1959 Chevrolet Apache page, courtesy of Gary Puls, the Street Rod and Custom Fabrication Coordinator at WyoTech.

The engine mounts and transmission cross member have been fabricated and installed.  Before the trip to Denver, the technicians at WyoTech will be pulling the cab one last time after the floor around the transmission cover is relieved for clearance.  A notch will be made for a cross member for driveline clearance, the engine and transmission will be pulled and the bare metal on the frame will receive a coat of epoxy.  The fender wells and core support will go on for the last time as well, and the doors will have latches and handles to keep them secured on the trip.

Shortly after the BBQ, the truck will be transported to D&D Performance in Longmont where the engine, transmission, interior and stereo will eventually be installed.  May 21st is D&D’s 10th Anniversary Open House and Car Show from 10 AM to 2 PM where the Apache truck will again be on display.  It turns out the transmission that Charles Dunsmoor so graciously built could not be used in the truck, but D&D will be raffling it off to one lucky winner on the 21st with all of the proceeds going to the Captain Bruce Hays Scholarship fund.  For more information, contact Rob Davenport of D&D Performance at moparob@juno.com or 303-776-5628.

I look forward to seeing everyone at the barbecue on Saturday, May 14th!

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Kent P. Stevinson

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April Truck & Auction Update

The Friends of the 133rd Auction, held on April 2, 2011 at the Elks Lodge in Laramie, Wyoming to benefit the Captain Hays Apache Project, was a great success.  With the help of many generous donors and more than 60 participants and bidders, over $13,000 raised!

Due to the overwhelming response of generous donors, cash donations are no longer needed for the Apache truck restoration.  Donations are now being accepted for The Bruce Hays Legacy Scholarship which has been created at WyoTech in Laramie.  We’ve made donating easy through PayPal which is now set up on our Donations page.  All donations are tax deductible and will be applied toward scholarships for returning veterans and their children who are enrolled at WyoTech, in the name of Captain Bruce Hays.  The scholarship fund is getting a boost with a donation of over $14,000 from Friends of the 133rd thanks to the hard work of Stacy Morton, founder of the non-profit group.

On the restoration front, WyoTech is in the process of finishing the frame of the truck.  The frame should be completed on or about May 13th when I will be picking it up from WyoTech to bring it down to Colorado to Stevinson Chevrolet in Lakewood so the restoration can begin.  Stevinson Chevrolet has tentatively scheduled a barbecue on Saturday, May 14th, and everyone will be invited to gather over lunch, view the progress, and talk to those involved in turning Captain Hays’ dream into reality.  Details will be posted on the website once we know the truck will be ready on the 13th.  Everyone who has contacted us will receive an e-mail with the event details and will be asked to RSVP so we know how many to expect at the barbecue.  If you want to be included on the e-mail invite, please send us your e-mail address at contact@haysapacheproject.com.

While cash donations are no longer needed for the truck restoration, parts donations and kind thoughts are always appreciated!  If you have a part you would like to donate, please send us an e-mail at parts@haysapacheproject.com.

Keep checking the website to remain current on the project, and once again, many thanks to everyone for your generous offers of support.

Signature
Kent P. Stevinson

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Generous Donation from Chevrolet and Chevrolet Certified Service

The Captain Hays Apache Project is pleased to receive a parts donation worth $5,000 from Chevrolet and Chevrolet Certified Service. This generous donation towards the project will be used to purchase Genuine Chevrolet Parts including a Ram Jet fuel injection and a 4L60-E Four Speed Automatic Transmission, as well as related components.

This donation epitomizes the nationwide outpouring of support this project is receiving. Thank you to Chevrolet and Chevrolet Certified Service.

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Big Thanks to LMC Truck!

We would like to give a big thanks to LMC Truck for their help with this project. LMC (www.lmctruck.com) carries a large selection of parts & accessories for vintage Chevy, Dodge, Ford, and GMC trucks and SUVs, and combined with their great service, they are a great resource for the restoration community.  LMC has graciously offered us a sizable discount on parts to be used in restoring the Apache in honor of Captain Hays.  As most of you probably know very well, finding parts for such a rare and special vehicle can be a tedious and sometimes disheartening task.  It is only through the help of LMC Truck, people like you, and all the other gracious sponsors of this project, that we are able to complete this project for Captain Bruce Hays.

Thank you

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Apache Project Progress

I want to give you all another update about the progress we are making with Captain Hays’ pickup. Here is an exchange I had with Gary Puls up at WyoTech:

Good morning Kent,

We just finished an interview/photo shoot for the Casper Star this morning that should run this weekend. 

Hey, I have to tell you that your people are on the ball. I have had communication with Mike and Darren today, you have a great team! 

Just a quick update on the cab/etc. We are planning to have the cab primed again by tomorrow. Most if not all of the rust repair should be finished today, including that ugly rust-through above the windshield. It’s going well!  

Caleb agreed to assign an instructor from another department and his duty will be to work (under my supervision) on the truck full time with help from student volunteers, Wayne and myself. That is good news that will help keep this moving along and get the chassis/cab/etc to you asap! 

Thanks again and see you soon,

Gary

———————————

Gary,

Thanks for the update and please tell Galeb thank you for providing additional resources for this project.

I got another call today from a guy wanting to help on the interior so we are putting our list together for the “Colorado Team” and are looking forward to helping out as well.

Remember if your team needs anything at all just ask.

Thanks

 KPS”

We have also received more offers to help. Curt August has some half moon Apache hubcaps he has offered to donate, and Tina Rinehart, a veteran of the US Army who served as a mechanic, has offered her mechanical expertise. Thanks to both of you!

Kent Stevinson

 

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Project Update 3/22/11

Hello everyone,

I just wanted to take this opportunity to give you all a quick update on the progress of the restoration. The Apache has been disassembled. The group up at WyoTech in Laramie, Wyoming is currently working on the body of the truck. The Colorado Group is waiting for the frame and engine to arrive at Stevinson Chevrolet in Lakewood, Colorado, so that restoration and reconditioning can begin. Once those components arrive, we will begin contacting those of you who have offered parts and services for the Apache. Once again, thank you all for your generous outpouring of support.

In the meantime, here are a few photos of the progress we have made thus far, clean master including a picture that Captain Bruce Hays took of his Chevrolet Apache when he bought it.

Thank you,

Kent Stevinson

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Welcome to the Captain Hays Apache Project

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and the other people who have come together to be part of a wonderful project in the name of Captain Bruce Hays.

My name is Kent Stevinson, and I am the President of Stevinson Automotive here in Denver, Colorado.  I, like a lot of the rest of you, saw Mr. Dave Delozier’s story on KUSA, the NBC affiliated station in Denver, and was taken aback by his story regarding Captain Hays.  Dave’s story was, to say the least, a call to action to see what we could do to help right a wrong that had been done.  When I heard that Captain Hays not only lost his life in action but that someone had the guts to steal $17,000 that was to be used for the restoration of his 1959 Chevrolet Apache Pickup, I just couldn’t sit on the sidelines and do nothing. So I contacted Mr. Delozier, and he put me in contact with Lt. Colonel Ray Kent and Stacy Morton with the friends of the 133rd based up in Laramie, Wyoming.  I called Ray and told him who I was and that I wanted to help with the restoration, and we agreed to meet up in Laramie at WyoTech. Since I am in the car business and collect and restore vintage automobiles, I was simply ready to go up to WyoTech and bring the truck back to Denver and start the process of the repairs.

Well, when I arrived at WyoTech Thursday, March 10th, I was introduced to two very fine and competent gentlemen: Mr. Caleb Perriton who is the Director of Education and Mr. Gary Puls Coordinator – Street Rod & Custom Fabrication.  Let me tell you – these guys are top notch and it is great having them and some of the students doing all the bodywork on Captain Hays’ pickup.  We saw just how much work had been done so far, and I was very impressed what Gary and his crew have accomplished to date.

So here is where the rest of us come into play (The Colorado Group which is everyone outside the WyoTech Group).  After talking with Gary and the WyoTech group, we decided that Mrs. Hays’ best option would be to have a truck that her and her family could use all year long.  What I mean is that, in an original 59 Pickup there would be a 6 volt system and probably a 6cyl Thrift Master engine in it.  While that works, our thinking is that with more modern components, which would consist of a Chevy small block engine and the like, it would perform much better and would be less costly to the Hays family in the long run. Stacy Morton has passed on to me several e-mails from various people from different states offering to donate items and money to help with this project.  Since I have become the overall coordinator I had my people develop a web site which is www.captainhaysapacheproject.com, and that way all of the current list of people, and any of you out there that want to be involved, have one place to go and see just how things are going on a weekly basis.  What you will see on the site are different headings that you can use for however you might like to get involved, or just to watch what a great group of people across this great land are doing for a family whose father and husband gave the ultimate sacrifice, so the rest of us could live free.

So for the volunteers that have already sent in your donation ideas, I will ask you to hold on for just a little longer until we get the chassis and cab down here to Denver and located in our Chevrolet Dealership. Since we now know where to begin “our” side of the restoration I will be reaching out to some of you sooner because we now know we will be going with more modern components, and we will be building this truck from the ground up since its original shape was at best, in somewhat poor condition.  But with that said, that allows us the opportunity to do this thing right, from the start.

So in closing, we will be posting updates every week to our progress and needs, so stay tuned.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone who has expressed interest in helping out with this wonderful task.  I always say there are just a few Golden Moments in our lives that we really can make a difference, and I feel this is one of them.

Again thanks everyone for reaching out and let’s have a great time with this.

Keep an eye out for some future Items to come on the web site:

  1. Pay Pal donation area
  2. Colorado BBQ meeting at Stevinson Chevrolet when we get the cab and chassis in Denver.
  3. An area to show where everyone’s donation went, ie, parts on truck, cash etc.

Bye for now,

Kent Stevinson

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