A Toast to What’s Important in Life
THERE ARE CERTAIN THINGS THAT GIVE OUR LIVES PURPOSE. No matter what fate throws at us, these “things”— whether they’re people, places or objects—give our lives meaning. Family ranks right up there as one of the most important, while community, career and passionate interests rank pretty high as well. When you’re able to combine the aspects that give your life purpose into a single goal, well, that’s the best of all worlds. Keith Rozelle can definitely attest to the importance that family has in his daily life. “I’ve always been a car guy since I was little,” he says. “I grew up in Arizona, and my dad was always taking me to the drag races every year when the pros came into town. I have a picture of me in John Force’s Coca Cola car before anyone even knew who he was 30 years ago.”
Keith’s story is probably familiar to most motorcrazed guys who grew up with cars on the brain and were lucky enough to have someone to guide their fascination in a positive direction.
Keith is 42 now and has a family of his own, but back when he graduated from high school in the ’90s, his love of fast, cool cars was continuing to peak. “Back then, mini-trucks were huge. I had a 1974 Datsun B210. I instantly cut the coils, lowered it and put a gigantic stereo system in it. My dad thought I was crazy.” As you can see, those days of glorifying low-to-the-floor classics haven’t forsaken Keith. If anything, he’s pushed the limits further. “I still love the look of a truck laying on the ground, and now that I’m older and can afford a little more than when I was a 19-year-old kid, things have gotten more interesting.”
“Interesting” may be an understatement. Actually, it is an understatement if you apply it to the truck that he owns today. The truck has the familiar power, agility and sound of raw aggression that he was exposed to watching drag races with his dad, and it has that
low-slung style that shaped his taste in custom vehicles when he was younger. “I wanted to build something nice,” Keith says. “I’ve always loved the smooth look of the 1967-72 C-10s. As a family, we all agreed that we wanted a timeless truck that we could keep for a long time and enjoy taking around on the local car show circuit.” Keith; his wife, Athena; and kids, Carson and Brooklyn, enjoy going to car shows together. It’s become something of a ritual for them. They look at all of the vehicles, not just the trucks, and have gathered ideas from street rods, muscle cars and smooth lowriders, which are apparent when giving their truck a once over. Not so long ago, the hunt was on for a second generation C-10. Luckily for the Rozelle family, Keith happened upon one that was clean and in good running condition. “I drove it around for a year or so, then I met Nate Porter of Porterbuilt. We were
originally talking about just ’bagging it to simply put the truck on the ground. That’s all that we had discussed. That plan didn’t last too long once he started working on it.” A straightforward ’bag job is definitely not what Keith ended up with, but he’d be the first to admit to being happy about how things turned out. A custom chassis with front and rear Porterbuilt Dropmember systems came together complete with complementary Wilwood brake upgrades and an Accuair-powered air management setup. Keith realized he was deeper in the build than he had first anticipated, but he was pleasantly content with it all the same. With Nate Porter on the job, Keith was able to rest easy knowing that the truck was going to sit right, while being safe and reliable enough to take his family for extended cruises. “I work in the air-conditioning business, and my shop is in the same building as Fat Fender Garage. I started going into the shop and chatting with Jason Noel and the other guys there more frequently as the chassis was coming together at Porterbuilt. When the time was right, he checked the truck into their care. It was at Fat Fender
Garage where everything else on the truck developed into what it is today, with the exception of the interior and stereo work, which were skillfully tailored by Unique Car Audio. “I got to see the progress on the truck daily, and have since become pretty good friends with Jason and Nate, along with their talented teams. These guys didn’t hesitate to go the extra mile.”
Throughout the two-year process Keith and family witnessed the progression of a machine that became much more than a just vehicle. Sure, they have an amazing specimen to take to shows, but their truck carries more weight than that. “We named the truck after my late grandmother, Elaine,” Keith adds. “The colors we picked for the truck, we feel, are timeless and elegant, which are words that perfectly describe Elaine Koblinski as a person. She will always be in our thoughts when we spend time together at car shows or at home in the garage with the truck.”
As a car guy from the start, and now a family man, the things that Keith cherishes in life have manifested in the form of one beauty of a C-10. Some might not see every nut and bolt that was replaced throughout the course of the build, and some might not know the full story of the truck’s namesake, but that’s OK. He didn’t build it for anyone other than those closest to him.
SEAN WARN OF UNIQUE CAR AUDIO NOT ONLY WIRED UP ELAINE’S SOUND SETUP, BUT ALSO RESURRECTED THE INTERIOR TO AN ALL-TIME LEVEL OF GLORY ONE STITCH AT A TIME.
JL AUDIO AMPS AND
SUBS HAVE BEEN NEATLY TUCKED AWAY BEHIND THE SEAT FOR FULL-BODIED SOUND FROM A CUSTOM COMPACT ENCLOSURE.
THE INTERIOR SPACE HAS BEEN UPGRADED WITH STEERING FROM SO-CAL SPEED, DAKOTA DIGITAL HDX GAUGES, ICE-COLD AC AND A KENWOOD HEAD UNIT TO CONTROL THE TUNES.
THE FOAM ON THE FACTORY BENCH SEAT WAS RESHAPED AND COVERED IN SUPPLE BLACK LEATHER WITH CONTRASTING GRAY STITCHING.
THE 2015 LS3 GIVES KEITH THE POWER HE WANTS AND A LOOK THAT BRINGS A SMILE TO HIS FACE EVERY TIME HE POPS THE HOOD.
NATE PORTER’S HANDIWORK IS ON DISPLAY UNDER THE BED FLOOR. A CUSTOM CHASSIS AND REAR DROPMEMBER KIT ARE JUST TWO OF THE HIGHLIGHTS LOCATED WHERE MOST EYES DON’T SEE.
THIS CHEVY’S BED ACTUALLY HAS MORE BELLS AND WHISTLES THAN MOST PEOPLE WILL NOTICE AT FIRST GLANCE. IT FEATURES ROUNDED CORNERS, AN ACTUATED BED THAT ADJUSTS UP AND DOWN AND A CLASSY CUSTOM FLOOR.