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Ride­tech Pulls To­gether An­other 48-Hour Build

Street Trucks - - DOMINO - TEXT BY KEVIN WHIPPS PHOTOS BY RIDE­TECH

ANY­ONE WHO’S TURNED A WRENCH ON A CUS­TOM TRUCK CAN TELL YOU THAT MAK­ING A RIDE THAT YOU’RE PROUD TO OWN CAN TAKE YEARS TO AC­COM­PLISH. Be­tween tun­ing the sus­pen­sion, tweak­ing the in­te­rior and find­ing the parts to make it all hap­pen, you eas­ily have months of work. The paint and body­work alone can quickly turn days and weeks into years. So when the Ride­tech crew de­cided that they wanted to build a ve­hi­cle in 48 hours, the world said they were ridicu­lous. But not only did they do it, they did it again, and this year, at the 2017 Bar­rett-jack­son auc­tion (Jan. 14-22, Scotts­dale, Ari­zona) they did it a third time. And boy, it was a doozy.

Let’s break down one of the ob­vi­ous things about this right off the bat: the time worked on the truck, from start to fin­ish, was 48 hours—just not straight through. “We wanted to have some­thing to show to ev­ery­one over the span of a week,” says Steve Chrys­sos, mar­ket­ing man­ager at Ride­tech. “We wanted to take that 48-hour times­pan and break it down in six-hour in­cre­ments.” By do­ing that, not only could they livestream the event to peo­ple across the world, they could also show off the build to at­ten­dees while it hap­pened. Since the plan was to sell the truck at the auc­tion once they were done, po­ten­tial buy­ers could see the build in progress—a rare feat for sure.

To make this all hap­pen, a lot of pieces had to be in place, both lit­er­ally and other­wise. Weeks be­fore the event, Chrys­sos and the team at Ride­tech were sourc­ing parts from across the coun­try, co­or­di­nat­ing in­stall­ers and mak­ing sure all of their ducks were in a row be­fore a single bolt was turned. In the end, more than a few com­pa­nies came on­board the project, in­clud­ing Amer­i­can Au­towire, So-cal Speed Shop AZ, Hush­mat, MSD Ig­ni­tion, Kicker Stereo, C&R Rac­ing, Vin­tage Air, Forge­line Wheels, BFG Tires, Fitech EFI, Op­tima Bat­ter­ies, Pre­stone, Detroit Speed, Ring­broth­ers, No Limit Engi­neer­ing, Cur­rie, Classic In­stru­ments and Baer Brakes.

Then there was the de­ci­sion to be made about the kind of ve­hi­cle to start with. Ride­tech does more than just trucks, so there were tons of op­tions to pick from, but it also had ve­hi­cles on hand to choose from. So where to start? For Ride­tech, the an­swer was clear. “The truck phe­nom­e­non is un­de­ni­able,” Chrys­sos says. “It just flat-out makes sense to spend money on th­ese things.”

Which brings us back to se­lect­ing the truck it­self. At first, the idea was to pull some­thing out of its R&D di­vi­sion. Af­ter all, it has three sec­ond-gen C-10s in its fleet, so it made sense. But then they got to talk­ing to the crew at Bar­rett-jack­son about the sit­u­a­tion, and they came across an­other op­tion. As it turns out, Bar­rett-jack­son had a pris­tine ’68 GMC right there in Scotts­dale to work with. The color wasn’t par­tic­u­larly pop­u­lar among those in­volved, but it was a known quan­tity. They didn’t have to go hunt­ing for trucks, hop­ing that they weren’t packed with Bondo. In­stead, this was a nicely done up truck that just needed a few tweaks. “It was too easy to not use that truck,” Chrys­sos says.

There’s one other thing that should be men­tioned, be­cause it’s com­pletely dif­fer­ent from the way most trucks are built. In those sit­u­a­tions, it’s usu­ally ei­ther a few guys and/or a shop that do all of the hard work through­out the process. Maybe the build shuf­fles from lo­ca­tion to lo­ca­tion while things are com­pleted, but gen­er­ally it comes down to a team of peo­ple who come to­gether to make some­thing hap­pen. At its core, that’s what hap­pened here, but it wasn’t just parts from var­i­ous com­pa­nies as­sem­bled by me­chan­ics; the own­ers and CEOS of those com­pa­nies turned the wrenches them­selves. That’s right, the Vin­tage Air unit was in­stalled by the vice pres­i­dent of Vin­tage Air, and so on down the chain. That’s im­pres­sive.

Once all of the parts were as­sem­bled and the truck was se­lected, it was time to head out to the an­nual Bar­ret­t­jack­son auc­tion at West­world in Scotts­dale, Ari­zona. Day one fo­cused on a few dif­fer­ent com­po­nents, in­clud­ing the Classic In­stru­ments gauges, Amer­i­can Au­towire wiring kit and the Vin­tage Air air­con­di­tion­ing unit, as well as some gen­eral tear­down. By day two, progress was made: The en­gine bay was blacked out to match the new look planned for the ex­te­rior, and a C&R Rac­ing ra­di­a­tor was pre­pared. Day three brought in the Fitech EFI unit and a start to the sus­pen­sion, which, of course, in­cluded a Ride­tech Street­grip sus­pen­sion, Cur­rie rearend, Baer brakes and tons of other good­ies.

At this point, things got in­ter­est­ing. There were a lot of peo­ple in­volved in this build, for ob­vi­ous rea­sons. Six hours a day is a very small amount of time to get things done, and it wasn’t like the dead­line could be pushed up.

WEEKS BE­FORE THE EVENT, CHRYS­SOS AND THE TEAM AT RIDE­TECH WERE SOURC­ING PARTS FROM ACROSS THE COUN­TRY, CO­OR­DI­NAT­ING IN­STALL­ERS AND MAK­ING SURE ALL OF THEIR DUCKS WERE IN A ROW BE­FORE A SINGLE BOLT WAS TURNED.”

Af­ter all, it was set to go across the block in just a few days. Al­though the scope of the build might seem small at first, things were get­ting more com­pli­cated. Cur­rie and Baer teamed up to in­stall the rearend, and since they were con­vert­ing every­thing to disc brakes, new brake lines were also run up to the front to en­sure that aged lines didn’t com­pro­mise the sys­tem. But there was an­other prob­lem first dis­cov­ered on day three. Most GMC trucks came with a leaf spring rear sus­pen­sion, so that’s what Ride­tech pre­pared for the build, but this truck had been con­verted to a coil-spring setup some­where along the way, so the team had to im­pro­vise. It was well within the realm of their ex­per­tise, so solv­ing the prob­lem wasn’t a big deal, but it’s those lit­tle flies in the oint­ment that have the po­ten­tial to ruin an en­tire build.

In that same vein, there are al­ways things that come up at the last minute that you just can’t plan for. Usu­ally they re­quire a quick trip to a lo­cal hard­ware store, but that wasn’t easy for the team to man­age for mul­ti­ple rea­sons. For­tu­nately, two com­pa­nies saved the day. United Pa­cific In­dus­tries sup­plied a few parts for the build, and SO-CAL Speed Shop Ari­zona also de­liv­ered parts, usu­ally with per­fect tim­ing. Big ku­dos go out to those two for com­ing through in the clutch.

By day five, the crew had turned a corner. The rear sus­pen­sion was done, as was the Fitech EFI sys­tem and the No Limit fuel tank and cap. The Kicker stereo was ticked off the to-do list in ad­di­tion to the Ret­rosound kick pan­els, and Hush­mat came in to in­stall a full kit to keep the noise lev­els down in the ’68. The C&R Rac­ing ra­di­a­tor was in­stalled, all of the flu­ids from Pre­stone were filled, the Lokar ped­als were in­stalled, the wiring was com­pleted, and the Op­tima bat­tery was in­stalled with a Detroit Speed bil­let hold­down—point be­ing, things were go­ing well.

THE IN­TE­RIOR WAS POL­ISHED OFF AS WELL, AND THE LIT­TLE DE­TAILS STARTED TO FALL IN PLACE LIKE THE DOOR HAN­DLES, MIR­RORS AND SO ON. EVEN THE BIL­LET HOOD HINGES FROM RING BROTHERS WERE IN­STALLED. THINGS WERE LOOK­ING UP.”

Day six brought more of the same. With the Forge­line wheels and BF Goodrich tires in­stalled, the truck was low­ered off the jack stands for the first time in al­most a week. The in­te­rior was pol­ished off as well, and the lit­tle de­tails started to fall in place, like the door han­dles, mir­rors and so on. Even the bil­let hood hinges from Ring Brothers were in­stalled. Things were look­ing up.

Or they were un­til the af­ter­noon turned the tra­di­tion­ally per­fect Scotts­dale weather into a full-on rain­storm. That pushed back the ex­haust work a bit, and as day seven rolled in, the floor of the build space was still soaked. “The wrap guys, be­ing the last in line, re­ally got it the worst,” Chrys­sos says. “They were work­ing in a mi­nor lake.” Eawraps, the com­pany in charge of the vinyl wrap job, came in to lay a cus­tom matte black vinyl over the top of the truck, then sep­a­rated the black from the green with a single orange stripe. “I would ab­so­lutely think twice about putting one of my hot rods back into paint jail know­ing that this is a vi­able op­tion,” Chrys­sos says. That

THE ORIG­I­NAL TRUCK WAS AT A GOOD START­ING POINT, BUT IT DEF­I­NITELY NEEDED SOME IM­PROVE­MENTS.

FIT­TING THE SMALL-BLOCK V-8 WITH A FITECH FUEL-IN­JEC­TION SYS­TEM ADDED AN EX­TRA LEVEL OF RELIABILITY TO THE TRUCK.

A CUR­RIE REAREND WAS PAIRED WITH THE RIDE­TECH SUS­PEN­SION AND BAER BRAKES, MAK­ING FOR A KILLER COMBO.

BE­TWEEN THE KICKER STEREO SYS­TEM AND THE AMER­I­CAN AU­TOWIRE HAR­NESS IN­STAL­LA­TION, THERE WAS A LOT OF WORK TO BE DONE UN­DER THE DASH.

DO­ING A WRAP IN A CROWDED AREA CAN’T BE FUN, BUT WHAT MAKES IT WORSE IS DO­ING IT IN RAINY AND FLOODED CON­DI­TIONS.

TO FILL THE NASTY GAP LEFT BY THE FAC­TORY AIR­CON­DI­TION­ING BOX, THIS CUS­TOM

PLATE WAS MACHINED AND ENGRAVED TO COM­MEM­O­RATE THE BUILD.

THIS CUS­TOM GAS FILLER COVER WAS MADE JUST FOR THIS BUILD, AND IT DOES A GOOD JOB OF HID­ING THE ORIG­I­NAL HOLE WITH­OUT RE­QUIR­ING PAINT.

TH­ESE BIL­LET HOOD HINGES BY RING BROTHERS CLEAN

UP THE MAMMOTH FAC­TORY MODELS NICELY.

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