Reader’s Rig: James Calloway’s ’66 Chevy Custom

I know a lot of people who seem to be getting frustrated with social media, and are voluntarily avoiding the pages that bring them grief. However, some readers are still fans of those social pages and even find some good when they visit certain ones. The latter brings us to James Calloway and his ’66 Chevy.

“After searching for months on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, I located a 1966 Chevrolet Custom Cab long-bed Fleetside with a big back glass that had very minimal rust and body damage,” James states.

When asked why this Chevy, he told me that he had a ‘63 Chevrolet K20 Fleetside right after he graduated high school. He loved that truck but life got in the way and it was put on the back burner. James told me, “when I finally had time to mess with it, the frame and body were so far gone it was pretty much scrap and I let it go. I always wanted another one but this time, I wanted one with the big back glass, the updated ’64 through ‘66 cab, and Custom cab trim. I also wanted an updated drivetrain and being a diesel mechanic by trade and having several first- and second-gen Cummins-powered trucks, I knew what I wanted.”

66 chevy

Simple and functional.

The body of this ’66 Chevy was in good shape for being built in 1966. It still wears the original paint and trim, and rust is very minimal. He plans to keep the patina look as he feels it adds character. The body was scuffed and shot with Poppy’s Patina satin clearcoat. He also replaced the factory wood bed floor with new red oak and polished stainless steel strips and bolts.

After putting a few more miles on it, he plans on adding A/C and a free spin hub conversion. “Other than that, I plan on driving it around and taking it to a few truck shows this year,” James quips.

Under the hood is a ‘96 12-valve Cummins swap, with a few air fuel control (AFC) mods, a fuel plate, governor springs, and a FASS Fuel Systems lift pump. Stainless injection lines and a hybrid HX35 can be found on top of the three-piece manifold. It has Pusher intake pipes, and a Mishimoto intercooler and aluminum radiator. Underneath is a 5-inch stainless MBRP exhaust. “I’m running an NV5600 from a 2002 Dodge with a South Bend clutch. It has a Dana 60 under the front with a posi and a Dana 80 under the rear; both have 3.54 gears and Mag-Hytec differential covers.

“I wanted an updated suspension that rode well, so I started with a second-gen Cummins frame and made it fit the Chevrolet body,” James affirms. “I then added a 4-1/2-inch Skyjacker soft ride suspension lift with Bilstein 5100 shocks and steering stabilizer, Longhorn Fab traction bars, BD Diesel steering box brace, and a third-gen track bar conversion”.

The interior of this ’66 Chevy was cleaned up and James replaced the carpet and sun visors. He also located a set of factory buddy bucket seats and had them recovered in Saddle to match the visors. It also has an Ididit tilt steering column and a Borgeson steering shaft. Classic Instruments gauges give James easy engine monitoring. Everything was all tied together with a Painless Wiring harness.

Do you want to see more Reader’s Rigs? If you do, click here. This column is dedicated to showcasing what you guys and girls are driving and I need your help to give the Reader’s Rigs the props they deserve. If you would like to share yours, I want to hear about it — I can never get enough. If you want to see your truck featured as a Reader’s Rig, send a few pictures of your truck showing the engine, interior, and exterior, along with all of the pertinent information about it and I’ll make you internet famous. You can send your submissions to

More Sources

About the author

Randy Bolig

Randy Bolig has been working on cars and has been involved in the hobby ever since he bought his first car when he was only 14 years old. His passion for performance got him noticed by many locals, and he began helping them modify their vehicles.
Read My Articles