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Old 03-28-2011, 08:21 PM   #1
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Retro-Tech- 77 Cheyenne gets retrogrades

Retro is a culturally aged style, or trend from the overall postmodern past, that has become functionally or superficially the norm once again.

Tech is the process by which we modify an item to meet current technology standards

With the objective to apply a culturally aged style, or trend to meet current technology standards, my 1977 Chevy Cheyenne pickup is undergoing a transformation to become “Retro-Tech”


To acquire an optical perspective on several proposed retrogrades, a visual aid would be implemented. A vast quantity of data was transferred between myself and Eastside Design Lab’s lead Technical Artist Joseph Durant. Patience and persistence persevered as Joseph analyzed the quantum level of revisions required to complete his digital task.

The project will be approached in multi phase segments. Each segment will be documented in depth and posted here on 67-72chevytrucks.com as well as www.73-87chevytrucks.com. Once the process is completed each phase will be submitted to Travis Noack for future Tech articles in Street Trucks magazine.

The initial stages of the transformation were accomplished with the contemporary fuel injection system that was included with the Ramjet 350 and 700r4 upgrade. The increase in performance, efficiency and reliability offered by this GM crate motor are documented in my article titled “77 Cheyenne meets Ramjet 350”

More recently, the suspension went from Groovin 70’s to Y2K compliant with a totally tubular package provided by Ride Tech Suspensions. The installation of the Cool Ride system with StrongArms, Musclebar, and Airbar components are covered in my article “DO NOT OPEN- Air Ride Technologies inside” and documented in printed media by Travis Noack in the July 2010 issue of Street Trucks magazine.

With a vision to integrate a digital interface powered by a high speed ECU viewed through a transflective display, the suspension system is currently downloading the Ride Tech e3 revision. This LevelPRO electronic control system features digital ride height sensors that intelligently utilizes both air pressure and ride height information to accurately adjust vehicle suspension level on demand. An article following that process can be viewed here “e3 Level Pro + Big Red x4 ≈ 77 Air Square” with the print version scheduled for an upcoming Tech segment in Street Trucks Magazine.


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Old 03-28-2011, 08:48 PM   #2
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Re: Retro-Tech- 77 Cheyenne retrogrades

The current suspension segment is near completion, so the next phase will be super-facial. This is a visual enhancement that includes, contemporary headlights and driving lights for optical clarity, combined with a reproduction 73-74 grill and bumper revision.



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Old 03-28-2011, 08:53 PM   #3
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Re: Retro-Tech- 77 Cheyenne retrogrades

The parts have started to arrive so it's time to offer a sneak peak. I recently had a conversation with Tim Christian of Top Banana Restoration Parts. He knew I was searching for a an NOS 73-74 Chevrolet grill, and he gave me the inside scoop on a new product coming to the market.

Top Banana has spent several months and a lot of bananas to bring a "GM Restoration Parts" certified 1973-1974 Chevrolet Truck grill, complete with the correct bowtie installed.

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Old 03-28-2011, 08:58 PM   #4
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Re: Retro-Tech- 77 Cheyenne retrogrades

I have known Tim to be a really stand up guy with a great reputation for quality parts and service. Could he really pull off a replacement grill that would meet the stringent standards enforced by GM? Having seen my fair share of so called reproduction parts, I reserved judgment until the grill was in my hands.

My trusty shipping delivery guy made his daily stop last week and brought me several boxes. Many of them were torn, dented, crinkled and crushed. On top of the stack of beat up boxes in its place of prominence was a clean crisp box with no visible signs of damage.





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Old 03-28-2011, 09:10 PM   #5
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Re: Retro-Tech- 77 Cheyenne retrogrades

As you might imagine the adrenaline was flowing in anticipation of the contents inside. Would I be greeted by a pleasant surprise, or sadly disappointed. I opened the box and slowly slid the grill out. The smile on my face was quickly replaced with a grin.

The packing was designed extremely well, and did a superb job of safely defending the parts they protected from the shipping goons. I took the packing off of the grill to partially revel a true automotive masterpiece.

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Old 03-28-2011, 09:16 PM   #6
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Re: Retro-Tech- 77 Cheyenne retrogrades

It takes a lot to impress me with truck parts, but I am truly impressed. I closely inspected the grill and was stunned at the quality of the product. I compared it to a used grill I keep hanging in my garage and can honestly say this is better than OEM.

I was not able to properly capture the overall quality with several failed attempts. It may have been the battery dieing a slow death in my camera, or possibly me shaking from excitement. I'm going to blame the camera and try again later. In the meantime enjoy the one closeup that did come through with clarity.

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Old 03-28-2011, 09:28 PM   #7
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Re: Retro-Tech- 77 Cheyenne retrogrades

Progress has been limited on this projects due to scheduling conflicts. It seems someone put a real job in my way, and unfortunately it has taken a priority. In the meantime I have been digging through my parts stash to see what I have to go with this install.

Knowing that quality headlight bezels are not reproduced for the 73-87s, I found a pair on eBay a while back and picked them up. They don't match each other, or the color of the grill surround at this time. I plan to change that once I get a color match of the grill.

I need to look at my NOS trim inventory and see if I have the upper and lower grill pieces. It's would be a travesty to put this nice shiny pieces together with old trim. I need an NOS 350 emblem too.


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Old 04-10-2011, 07:51 PM   #8
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Re: Retro-Tech- 77 Cheyenne gets retrogrades

I dug a little more and came up with a few crusty parts that I will need for the install. These are 73-74 center brace, along with left and right support brackets. Also pictured is a era correct hood latch. This one is designed for external release. I plan to modify it to an internal release for security purposes.

They look rusty, but are in excellent condition considering their age. These will make a trip to the bead blasting cabinet before receiving a fresh coat of satin black.


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Old 04-10-2011, 08:08 PM   #9
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Re: Retro-Tech- 77 Cheyenne gets retrogrades

The bumper and headlights will be shipped this coming week. Hopefully they will arrrive in time to let me do a mock up.



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