Blake Stoner '49 Chevy Truck
Don't be afraid to succeed
Everyone has their own idea of who is or isn’t a celebrity. For most folks its movie stars and pro athletes, but for the majority of Motor Market readers, I would wager Troy Trepanier, Roy Brizio and Dave Kindig rate higher. These are guys who took the leap to start their own shop; they’re making ends meet (and then some) doing what they love and making automotive dreams come true for enthusiasts everywhere. Most of us don’t have the stones to quit our jobs in favor of wrenching all day, even if we think about it every morning when the alarm goes off.
Blake Stoner, a young guy in small-town Iowa, is living our dreams. He stands at the helm of a budding shop and cranks out pavement-scraping pickups daily with the occasional off-the-wall classic car thrown in for fun. We’re a little jealous of Blake, what with his carefree attitude and can-do record; it seems he’s primed for the spotlight.
Blake’s favorite way to spend a weekend is cruising back roads scouting vintage tin. Hopping a fence to look behind a barn isn’t out of the question either; smooth-talking Blake has yet to meet a farmer who didn’t like him. This ’49 was found in a barn, as cliché as that may sound, wearing the red paint you see today. It’s not the stock hue, likely laid down 20+ years ago, but it was overall in nice shape. The original frame was retained, blessed with a weld-in Mustang II front suspension system from Street Rod Engineering with a four link locating a built Ford 9” rearend out back. AirLift Performance gets the nod for all bagged projects at the shop, so a quartet of 2500lb bags were pressed into service and controlled by the 3H management system, Bluetooth’d to Blake’s phone. Height and pressure info plus the ability to adjust is as easy as sending a text! Schwartz Performance supplied the 14” disc brakes on each corner, which you can hardly see behind those 22” rollers. Detroit Steel Wheels custom-cut the 22” smoothies to mimic ’73-’87 GM wheels for a deceptively stock look, then Diamondback tires complete with a custom orange line in place of the popular red, were stretched over.
For motivation (and burnouts) an LS engine was fit to the chassis and dressed with an Inglese 8-stack injection system. In addition to the neato intake, a lumpier cam from Comp Cams was slid into the engine and the whole works is run by a TCI EZ-EFI system. Blake spent lot of time and effort under the hood refining the look, achieved with an All American Billet front accessory drive, new coil covers, wrapped headers and a plethora of small details. The stock firewall was axed in favor of a Stoner-fabbed version which frames the engine pretty as a picture, as well as allows it to sit just where Blake wants it in the chassis.
Inside the cab, Boss Custom Interiors stitched up a bench seat and laid fresh carpet to offset the wholly upgraded dash. One of the few sheetmetal surfaces to receive new paint, the dash has been fitted with the brand new HDX series of instruments. These techno-wonders allow Blake to change the lighting color as often as his socks (or more frequently, if needed), plus allows for mucho auxiliary readings in the full-color TFT message centers. The AirLift 3H controller can also be found on the dash, easily accessible in the event of a dead phone battery.
Stoner Speed Shop finished this truck in time to get to the 2016 SEMA Show, where it was posted up in the Precision Replacement Parts booth; that’s right, an inside spot! Built to drive (read: thrash), the ’49 has made skid marks across most of the country, making the Power Tour Long haul, followed by a trip to The Back to the Fifites as well as Goodguys Des Moines. I’m sure ol’ Blake is just getting started enjoying his ’49; one thing is for sure, the red hauler is an excellent calling card for this up and coming builder.