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