No ships in the bottle: Project 51 leaves the garage

I’ve always found ships in bottles quite interesting. Manufacturers spend hours and hours creating something that, once completed, cannot be touched or used for anything other than a display piece. And they have a brilliant hand technique; The hinges of the mast are sufficiently obscured by the distortion of the glass to make it appear as if the magic had placed the ship in its glass chamber.

In the new ‘Internet age’ of car manufacturing, many projects are bottle ships, only existing in carefully controlled and distorted environments. I’m sure we can all think of a crazy project that didn’t travel more than five kilometers from where it was built. Sometimes they just went to a dinosaur to figure out a crazy horsepower number before going back to the garage indefinitely.

They are amazing as objects, but do they actually work? Often, we don’t really know.


I do not exclude from this analogy. Until now, my truck existed almost exclusively in my garage, and I controlled who and how it looked. Through my own photography, I’ve been able to cleverly hide any flaws that I don’t want people to see until I finish addressing them. I wouldn’t call myself a hack; I’ve tried very hard to do things thoroughly. However, as I have said many times, I am completely new to it.


Today I am proud to say that it is time to leave the project 51 bottles, if only for a short time.

Friends with low trucks in high places


An important part of any project is knowing your limitations, and I try not to go too far in the ‘buy not built’ argument. Do what you can, pay for what you can’t – that’s fine and there’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Challenging yourself to the point of despair can only be sustained for a one-time period. Eventually, excessive challenge can kill a build on a vine.


Personally, my truck wiring challenge was not something I wanted to take on. How can I learn to do this? Probably. Will I enjoy it? Very unlikely. Luckily, a good friend of mine, Jeff Vibro, would happen Love Wire


In the automotive space, there are several claims to Jeff’s reputation. The first is his black-on-black GMC Sierra.


About three years ago, Jeff’s General V Chevy truck became the fastest of its kind in North America. Fully equipped, it descended a quarter mile at 137 miles per hour (220km / h) in 10.16-seconds.

This is a significant achievement for a car weighing 5,800 pounds. Yes, 5,800 pounds – 2,630 kilograms – Americana.


Today, Jeff is better known for his store IssyFab Speed. When Covid Molly did well for many of us, Jeff kept his head down and took the initiative to make hot rods all the time in Woodstock, Ontario.


Before Issyfab officially became a business, Jeff worked at a GM dealership and later at a well-known hot rod store. As a licensed mechanic and skilled fabricator, he combined the two with his new venture. Today he specializes in making reliable, turn-key hot rods.

Use ‘It’s a hot rod’ Flying at Issyfab is not an excuse. Every car Jeff leaves the store has been built with long-term reliability in mind.


Conveniently, Jeff is also the person who built my chassis in 2014. Here the Sierra project is under its cab and fender before the photo enters.

From the start, if the truck had to go anywhere other than my garage, it would go to Jeff.

Easy breathing


The main goal of this tour was to bring back some of the parts I had left in my garage when Jeff picked up the truck a few months ago. Of course, I had to take some pictures too, and how could I not see what he did ?!

The first area of ​​focus has been the engine bay. Jeff went through and took one and started the radiator on the hard line. We both agreed that the under-hood should be kept as tidy as possible, and Jeff made a great start.


Less exciting but very important items have also been added, including liquid dipsticks, coil packs and other necessary sensors and connections that are only acceptable for working on previously driven vehicles.

Jeff gave the car a one-over-one general, making sure everything I installed was done in such a way that it wouldn’t bite me on the road. Walking under the truck for the first time was quite strange which had previously been seen in a vine just below it.


Once convinced that I had done a satisfactory job, Jeff proceeded to install my American Autoware chassis shoe. Each sewing of the wires of this truck will be brand new. In fact, despite being older than any vehicle I own, mechanically this truck will basically be factory fresh.


Needless to say, the thought of a truck returning home Running Very exciting.

Sail set


When I was ready to inspect Jeff’s truck, I wasn’t ready for other people to see it. Issyfab has become a popular destination for local self-portrait photographers.


Long ago, I started seeing the truck in the eyes of others on social media. In this case Cody BD (Wabisabi_Media) and Dave Levitt (Devlevitphotography).


As I mentioned in the first chapter, I controlled the media of this truck almost exclusively. I’ve done it all since its inception, so it was a whole new experience for other people to photograph it.

As much as this truck is a project for me, I don’t like to look at other people’s truck details that I find so appealing to me, like I’m working on my own cool-aids.

Multiple layers of paint, pin-stripping, valve caps, decorative gas caps and more. I expected the items to be picked up, but it was easily overlooked when viewing the truck as a complete package.


At the moment, covid-related backorder items are a slight hindrance to progress. However, the delay gave me time to fix the rusty bed that had been lying in my backyard for a long time. Summer here in Canada is fast approaching, and I can lose my mind if I can’t at least drive this truck to the end of my road and back before the fall.


Blix will also be very disappointed if I don’t get it done. And a frustrated doggo is not something my conscience can tolerate.

Dave Thomas
Instagram: stanceiseverythingcom

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