The first time we laid eyes on “Sitrus”, we were immediately taken back by the incredible orange patina. After that, stepping into the rest of the details only made sense. Joe Kleeman started the build only 4 years ago.
Joe works selling powder coating and liquid coatings to industrial manufacturing customers and one day, a customer drove up in a bagged 1951 GMC, and Joe was stunned. Quickly falling in love with 47-55 trucks, Joe became good friends with him and his newly found friend gave up the dirt on this orange ’47.
After that Joe made what we think are all the right decisions when it came to the build. Steve Thompson with Thompson’s Garage designed and built a fully bagged chassis with ford 9” rear end, and Wilwood disc brakes.
JTR Performance built an LS3 6.2L with a BTR stage 3 cam. Joe paired this monster with a Tremec 6 speed manual. Sitrus is grounded by a set of 20” Detroit Steel Wheels and Diamondback Tires. And the interior was custom built to accompany the exterior by Auto Kustoms and includes a billet dash piece by our friends at LS Fab. Joe also took the time to have the Firewall shaved and bead rolled.
Since getting the truck on the road, Joe has built a life long friend ship with Jason Meredith (the customer that found him the truck) and they travel to shows all over the country together. Some of Joe’s favorite shows include Goodguys, SETN, Smoky Mtn Nationals, AD Nationals, and of course Dino’s Git Down.
Joe’s been a car guy since he was kid and was influenced by his father, Jerry Kleeman, who always had hot rods or race cars in the garage. Together they built a bagged ’91 S10 that Joe drove all through high school. Joe now daily drives a 2022 Suburban but is also building a 1949 Chevy pickup for his father.
Shoutouts to his dad, Jerry Kleeman who helped build it, Jason Meredith who found it, Steve Thompson who build the chassis, and JTR Performance for the engine work. Be sure to check out more of this beauty on Instagram @jjkleeman.
Article by Brian Holzli
Photos by Brandon Egan with Blu Dot Photography