US Forest Service Tribute Shop Truck for only $450

Story and Pictures by Andy’s Pinstriping

“I have a friend in Seattle that was doing some pre-Spring cleaning and needed to make some room for a new project so he called me. The offer was too good to pass up.  I was told that if I could find a way to pick up an old 1963 Chevy truck that i could have it. I had to fork out $350.00 to have it delivered from Seattle to my door step and after looking at the truck, I realized that was a great deal!

 Andy's Pinstriping Shop Truck is a 1963 Chevy C10

This is what I started with. A good original truck with a bad 90’s Teal paint job…but I saw potential. I did some research as well and found out that this truck started life as a Forest Service truck, so sentimentality kicked in as I had a beloved uncle that was a Ranger all his life.
All of a sudden, an idea was born…

Obviously, it had a height issue that needed to be addressed ASAP!  This is after the front went down about six inches.

Andy's Shop Truck gets the hot rod stance

This is what it looked like after the back went down about eight inches…it’s still drivable and didn’t cost an arm and a leg to lower. I do want to install an air ride suspension one day…when funds allow!

As with any project that I immerse myself in, I like to go in with a plan so I called my buddy Ryan Hadden and had him sketch me out an idea that I had.

Ryan Hadden's car drawing of a US Forest Service Shop Truck

The dirty work always seems to be the fun part for me. I enjoy the sanding and prepping part. The best part about this paint job was that it was going on my “shop truck” so quality wasn’t an issue. It was actually difficult for me at first as I am normally spraying five thousand dollar paint jobs and this one needed to be lesser quality for the look I was going for.

Teal paint has been sanded down, ready for red base coatRear shot of paint prep work for Andy's Pinstriping Shop Truck

Instead of using a hundred thousand dollar spray booth and expensive automotive paint we used my dads open air shop and some cheap tractor paint from Cal Ranch…again, it would all help with the look. The ground coat for this truck is Red Oxide primer. I thought it would look really good when the top coat was sanded through  and it was exposed.

Laying down red oxide base paint on US Forest Service shop truck

My goal was to create a Forest Service truck so I needed Forest Service Green…the problem that I encountered was that tractor paint does not come in this color so I put my thinking cap on and came up with a solution. I bought a gallon of Ford tractor White and two quarts of John Deere Green and mixed until I had the shade I needed.
On a side note, I painted this entire truck for less than $100.00

US Forest Service green paint gets sprayed on Andy's Shop Truck

I knew that the artwork I did on this truck would either make it or break it. My goal was not to make this truck look like I just painted it to look old, I wanted people to look at this truck and think they were seeing an old Forest Service truck.

Old weathered look achieved with a broom

I started by masking the shield and painting it Olive Drab. It’s really kind of a bad shot but after the Olive Drab dried I put a sheet of Friskit Film on and began three hours of X-ACTO knife cutting to create the logo. It was exhausting but well worth it in the end when I covered it up with Ivory White.

The logo outline is masked off first

These were the colors used in 1963. After unmasking and spending another couple hours sanding and distressing, my logo’s started taking on a personality of their own.

 Finished US Forest Service Shop Truck logo weather and all

Here are a few shots of my truck in front of American Fork City’s Monument to Veterans.

Andy's Pinstriping Shop Truck in front of the American Fork, Utah Veterans Memorial Cemetery

I still have many more things to do to this truck. I will be painting the interior white like it was originally, and my cousin Jared is making a new wood bed for it. I have a lot more distressing to do on the exterior paint to make it look weathered and I just ordered a set of government stencils so I can put the fleet numbers on the tailgate and the GVW numbers on the side.

Andys Pinstriping US Forest Service Truck costs $450

So to recap, I started with a truck that was originally a Forest Service truck…sometime I suspect in the 90’s it received the hot rod treatment of the time (yuck)…so now I  have created a so called hybrid, a hot rodded truck that has a work truck appearance. If any of you see me at the shows this year come on up and say high and as always, if there are any paint, body or fabrication questions please shoot them my way. I would love to help you out!


Thanks Andy for sending this story and pictures.  Can’t wait to see this truck progress.  I’d personally love to see some white walls and maybe some painted white wheels.  Either way, it looks awesome.  And shoot, for $450, this thing has huge bang for the buck style going on!