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Where do you find your inspiration? What started you on your car-building journey? For each and every one of us car-lovers, the answer to these two simple questions will always be our own. The motivation we have to turn something old and worn down into a beautiful, custom machine comes from a unique place within us.
What if you used your skills to spread a message?
For many of us, the custom car is all about how it makes us feel. The pride, the challenge, the feeling of success. And what do we do with that? We take them to shows, flaunt our talent on the streets and bask in the glory of what we’ve achieved – even if it’s a smug smile when we’re cruising around town.
For Juliette Baylon, her 1967 Chevy truck project is so much more.
The story behind the 1967 Chevy truck
Juliette has always liked the older items – her house was built in the 40s and is filled with mid-century furniture. When it comes to cars, the classics are a particular favourite, including the old-school trucks.
‘They definitely don’t build them the same anymore.’
In December 2012, Juliette’s sister, Monica, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It was a shock to the whole family and a turning point in their lives. What followed was a 2 and a half year fight against cancer, one that was unfortunately lost. Monica passed away in June 2015, leaving her family devastated and heartbroken.
A project was born
Juliette started to rebuild an old 1967 Chevy truck in memory of her sister. Starting with very little mechanical skills, she’s been teaching herself and receiving mini tutorials and advice from a friend.
‘I was frustrated and had no idea how I could make some sort of difference to spread awareness.’
When she sees the colour teal, it means so much to her, but the hardest part is realising that a lot of people don’t recognise it’s for ovarian cancer. Juliette’s plan is to paint the truck teal and use it as a mobile billboard.
But that dream is still a long way off
So far parts of the truck have been sandblasted, the insides and jambs have been painted, Juliette’s managed to do some bodywork on the fenders and doors and the radiator supports been painted teal. She also found a bench that already had teal upholstery and will be the perfect addition to the truck once it’s finished.
‘For some reason, a previous owner has welded the bolts so it’s taken a lot of effort and elbow grease to take it apart but it’s honestly been so rewarding.’
Although feeling like she’s achieved a lot, there’s still a long road ahead for Juliette. She needs to replace the rockers and has a few spots of rust to deal with before getting to the heart of the truck – the engine. She’s been doing her own research and teaching herself about engines and transmissions so she can get it running.
And once she’s managed all that, there will still be more bodywork, wiring and then finally painting.
‘My truck isn’t a beauty but it eventually will be and I think that’s a nice part of it too. Some cars are written off because they aren’t shiny or perfect but they deserve to be fixed and saved too.’
It’s the beginning of a long journey and one that has already taught Juliette so much. She hopes to inspire others to do more and get involved in what they’re passionate about – and if that helps save lives, then all the more reason to do it.
If you want to keep up with Juliette on her amazing journey, then follow her on Instagram. Share this story on Facebook and become part of something bigger. If you want to become involved in Juliette’s project and find out how you can help, drop a comment below.