LSA Supercharged Chevy 1500: Pushing The Limits In Papi’s Old Pickup

Make what you will of them, but never underestimate a memory’s ability to be utilized as a source of power. Experiences like buying that first car or pickup truck, driving your dream machine, spending time turning wrenches with a role model, or finding excitement behind the wheel of an unlikely automobile can all be a catalyst for automotive inspiration. 

Certain people require acute memories. Others just a bit of inspiration from bygone shop shenanigans. Then there are people like Anthony Pinto III, who takes immense joy in driving the old pickup truck he inherited from his father.

A family heirloom of sorts. One that was never intended to be fully outfitted with aftermarket mods, but wound up boasting as much go-fast fun as the bankroll could budget out at the time.

A Father-And-Son Bond Built Around An Old Work Pickup Truck

Ever since Anthony was a small child, a distinct love for anything fast and loud made him smile. What began with a crushed soda can on the back of his bicycle tire and baseball cards in his spokes was soon accompanied by getting up at three in the morning to sell car parts at the Pomona Car Swap Meet with his stepfather.

Massive chromed-out superchargers jutting forth from two-toned hoods, the rumble of lead sleds and gassers rolling in alongside lowriders, carbureted engines firing on all eight cylinders, slowly filling the air with the distinct scent of soot-rich exhaust fumes… It all left an impression on Anthony Pinto III that is still with him even today.

Although they may not have been of the same blood, Anthony’s stepfather was as big of a part of his world as any boy could imagine. Together, the two would spend endless hours working on cars, the young child absorbing everything that his stepfather had to pass on as they turned wrenches in tandem.

It was during Anthony’s high school years, that his father decided that it was time to procure a more reliable work truck. Something that could double as a shuttle to get Anthony both to and from school, and still haul an engine in the back at the same time. A vehicle like a 2002 Chevy Silverado 1500 base model with zero frills and even fewer go-fast aspirations. 

A look at the LSA supercharger from Boost District stuffed inside of Anthony’s 2002 Chevy 1500 pickup truck.

Performance Pontiacs, An SS, And A Series Of Unfortunate Events

After passing his driving test while behind the wheel of his father’s old 1500 daily beater at the age of 16, Anthony forgot about the beat-up old GM truck and focused on far faster and more fun automobiles. By this point, the pickup had experienced significant front-end damage from a collision with a K-Rail, crushed quarter panels, brakes, and suspension that bordered on being labeled as dangerous, and 250,000 miles on the dash. The family workhorse was on its last leg, everyone knew it, and no one wanted it.

By this point, it was 2014, and Anthony had just taken possession of a 2006 Pontiac GTO. Aftermarket parts like cam kits, suspension modifications, and tuning all took place. It was this GTO that ultimately led to Anthony’s introduction to the entire Holden Community, and all of the crazy builds coming out of Australia. 

After some substantial windshield time with the GTO, Anthony sold it in 2017 in favor of another Holden half-breed: The unassuming, yet super-swift Chevy SS sedan. After starting a role at LS and LQ engine supercharger specialty shop, BoostDistrict, Anthony’s sedan quickly evolved into the brand’s fully-built, 900 horsepower Chevy SS products, and services catalog. The vehicle garnered a ton of attention everywhere it went. At least, all the way up until 2021, when a hapless driver didn’t see Anthony’s SS until it was entirely too late. 

His prized performance vehicle was destroyed via a red light rear-end collision, Anthony returned home crestfallen. Just a few short months prior, he had discovered that his father had been diagnosed with lung cancer. Everything had been a blur since, for within just a couple of months Anthony’s father passed away, leaving behind a void that no amount of tears could fill.

As his belongings were divided up amongst the family, a discussion began over what to do with the beat-up old work truck parked outside. The pickup had originally been intended for Anthony’s sister, but being that she didn’t have the time to repair or maintain the roughshod wreck, the vehicle was passed over to Anthony instead.

Augmenting The Unknown

 When Anthony’s Chevy SS was totaled later that same year in September of 2021, he took it as an omen. It was time to start a new project. One that would honor the man who taught him to care for cars and embrace car culture. Not once had Anthony considered doing anything with his old man’s truck. Routine maintenance and moving bulky items around was its intended purpose from day one and would have continued to be thus if that SS sedan had not been squashed at that stoplight.

By November of 2021, Anthony had begun to tinker with his father’s old pickup truck in a big way. He decided to throw it in the body shop and drop some decent coin on the Silverado, with the intent of changing everything on the truck save for the original paint scheme.

While the wreck of a rig was in the body shop, a full HD conversion front end was sourced, along with a custom-designed hood from Street Concept1Cosmis Racing XT-206R 22-inch wheels, new headlights, taillights, and a full Brian Tooley Racing Stage 2 PD cam kit to freshen up the top end. Naturally, the biggest change of all was the addition of that LSA supercharger, which with the help of the rest of the BoostDistrict team, was installed and ready to rock in time for its chance encounter with LSX Mag at LS Fest West 2022.

Although power is in ample supply now, with the “500” mark covering horsepower and torque equally, there has not been any need for much change concerning the transmission and rear end. Outside of the addition of some Belltech shocks and springs and some stopping upgrades from EBC Brakes, the remainder of this ride remains bone stock and ready to rock.

Stock Pickup Truck Feels For All The Right Reasons

Anthony says the overall lack of handling mods causes the vehicle to drive like a 20-year-old pickup, just like how he remembers it performing during that driver’s test all those years back. A Chevy truck build that takes pieces from multiple vehicle styles and cultures, then adds a little flash, along with a splash of modern feel for good measure.

At the end of the day, Anthony Pinto III has exactly what he always wanted. He just never really knew what it was until he lost everything. Part street truck, part daily driver, this rig is a rolling homage to the man who unknowingly left a legacy in the hands of his son when he passed away.

Perhaps someday Anthony will complete a full tear-down of his dad’s old Chevy 1500 pickup with his child. Then maybe, just maybe, he might hand his kid the keys for their driving exam, thus keeping the legend of Papi’s old pickup truck alive one generation at a time.

About the author

Micah Wright

Raised on LEGOs by grandfathers who insisted on fixing everything themselves, Micah has been a petrolhead in training since age four. His favorite past times include craft beer, strong cigars, fast cars, and culinary creativity in all of its forms.
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