Just before we ended this year’s coverage of the SEMA show we got a chance to talk to Chance Blevins of Blevin’s Auto out of Brooksville, Florida. They debuted at this year’s show with one hell of a Chevy truck build.
Blevins gave us some history on the evolution of the family-run shop, “Blevins’ Auto started out as an upholstery shop. My dad had been doing that for 17 years and then it kinda went hand-in-hand where people were trying to find a one-stop place instead of having to move a project to three or four different places to get work done. This was the first truck that we completely built, ground-up, in-house.”
The truck’s owner is a linebacker coach for the New Orleans Saints and was a key player in giving Blevins’ Auto a shot at proving its metal when it came to full restorations.
“He gave me the shot and he’s happy with how the truck turned out. We’re going to be doing future projects with him, hopefully something that we can bring to next year’s show that’s a little more over the top,” Blevins told us.
Blevins wanted to make sure that the businesses’ debut was something that would catch everyone’s attention and this ground-up build is certainly nothing short of that. With that, Blevins is a hungry builder and isn’t just sitting on the laurels of this great success.
“I want next year to show our progression, we may do a car to show people that we can do it all. We also want our next vehicle to feature more of our own custom touches. This truck was definitely a cool way to debut our style by building our vision of a cool shop truck.”
The build was turned around in eight or nine months. “It wasn’t too bad, the truck originally had QA1 shocks on it, but the owner started looking at other trucks and decided he wanted it to sit lower so we changed out the static suspension for air ride.”
Our friends at Spectre Performance also saw the potential and flare that Blevins’ Auto exhibited and quickly got on-board to showcase their fine intake pieces that capitalize on the limited amount of engine bay space afforded by Advance Design trucks. While the firewall-to-radiator space is limited, the hood clearance in these trucks affords the ability to “build upwards” and Spectre’s custom intake plenums paired with the LS3 motor took perfect advantage of the unique space restraints.
The LS3 features an LS6 camshaft, 94-mm throttle body, and is mated to a 4L60E transmission. The truck sits on a Fatman Fabrications chassis, Air Ride offers a chassis-specific kit that married the foundation perfectly. A 4-link rounds out rear suspension. Highlighting the exhaust system, Blevins ran Borla 2 1/2-inch stainless exhaust and XPS mufflers. The rearend is a Ford 9-inch with a 3.73 gear ratio.
Most of the truck features the original sheet metal, according to Blevins the bed and the rear quarters were the only aftermarket body components. Blevins’ crew was able to salvage everything cab-forward bringing those panels back to pristine condition.
The wood bed and stakes are made out of red oak, but Blevins sanded the grain and added blue paint to add subtle coordination to the rest of the truck. “Out in the sun you can see it way more, but the wood grain features a blue tint to it,” Blevins said.
The interior of the truck features peanut butter-brown leather complimented by faux ostrich leather to add some luxury flavor, in Blevins words, “We wanted to give it a little kick.” Dakota Digital VHX gauges give some modern illumination and further compliment the truck’s overall color scheme.
We look forward to seeing more full restoration and customization work coming out of Blevins’ Auto. There’s is an amazing story of constantly evolving and taking steps into new territories to become the best in the industry. From starting out as a credible hot rod upholstery shop to coming out swinging at this year’s show as a full restoration shop–Blevins’ Auto is an inspiring example of giving it your all in the name of pursuing growth and greatness.