OL’ BLUE

The Road­ster Shop’s Pro­to­type Pickup

Street Trucks - - CONTENTS - TEXT BY KEVIN AGUILAR PHO­TOS BY ROBERT MCGAFFIN

FOR RELEGATEDYEARS ON TO END, THE TRUCKS SHAD­OWS HAVE OF BEENTHE CLAS­SIC AU­TO­MO­TIVE SCENE, BUT THINGS HAVE CHANGED SINCE PI­O­NEER­ING COM­PA­NIES LIKE THE ROAD­STER SHOP HAVE GOT­TEN INTO THE MIX. The com­pany has be­come a main con­tender in the hot rod and mus­cle car move­ments, as the tal­ented crew has been able to pro­duce unique rides that have made bold state­ments on the show cir­cuit. It can be quite a feat to leave a mark on the cur­rent scene. Com­pe­ti­tion is stiff, with mul­ti­tudes of big name com­pa­nies fund­ing wild ve­hi­cles, but the Road­ster Shop has stayed on top by keep­ing up with trends like the cur­rent pop­u­lar­ity of clas­sic trucks. team Though­has beenthe Road­sterserv­ing clas­sicShop truck fans well by pro­duc­ing stun­ning, high-end Fast Track chas­sis, they de­cided to step up their game in the seg­ment.

A few years ago, they added a more mod­est chas­sis called the Spec Series to their lineup. The chas­sis for the 1967-72 C-10 soon be­came one of their hottest sell­ers. They wanted to ex­pand by of­fer­ing the same fea­tures to they Spec the got series oth­erto work chas­sis gen­er­a­tions, cre­at­ing­for 1973-87so a square­body Chevy C-10s. To get the ball rolling, they brought in a truck to pro­to­type a frame. It so hap­pens that the Road­ster Shop’s part owner, Phil Ger­ber, is a big fan of third gen C-10s. He’s had his fair share of trucks and has even had a few ’bagged ver­sions. He will at­test to some of the is­sues of­ten as­so­ci­ated

THE COM­PANY HAS BE­COME A MAIN CON­TENDER IN THE HOT ROD AND MUS­CLE CAR MOVE­MENTS, AS THE TAL­ENTED CREW HAS BEEN ABLE TO PRO­DUCE UNIQUE RIDES THAT HAVE MADE BOLD STATE­MENTS ON THE SHOW CIR­CUIT.”

with ’bagged trucks, like their knack for lean­ing heav­ily from side to side when go­ing through cor­ners, and their in­abil­ity to hold down trac­tion with high-power driv­e­trains. Nev­er­the­less, the Road­ster Shop team was up to the chal­lenge of cre­at­ing an airbagged chas­sis for trucks that could make them han­dle like sports cars and lay body hard on the pave­ment when parked.

Phil is par­tial to blue-and­white trucks of this era and pre­vi­ously owned a Subur­ban in the color scheme. So he got to work scour­ing the in­ter­net for a blue-and-white short-bed third gen Chevy C-10. Luck­ily, he struck gold in Phoenix with this ’77 with just the right amount of patina. The truck was solid, so Phil made a deal with the owner and hauled it to the Road­ster Shop’s head­quar­ters in Mun­delein, Illi­nois.

Once at the shop, the truck was 3D scanned to mock-up a new frame and sus­pen­sion to get this C-10 down on the ground and help oth­ers do the same. With the data loaded on a com­puter, the team spent sev­eral months mock­ing-up and de­sign­ing a chas­sis that could not only drop these trucks to all-time lows, but also make them per­form like track stars. Once a fi­nal de­sign was drawn, it was time to test it in a sus­pen­sion pro­gram to sim­u­late how it would fair un­der driv­ing con­di­tions.

Mod­el­ing com­po­nents on a com­puter is a more pre­cise way to de­velop them, but the prod­ucts still have to be tested in real-life con­di­tions be­fore they can be sold to cus­tomers, which is where Phil’s truck came into the pic­ture. The Road­ster Shop

team ba­si­cally presses the “print” but­ton for the ma­jor­ity of the com­po­nents that are cut out on a CNC laser ta­ble and as­sem­bled. Since the team has al­ready cre­ated sim­i­lar chas­sis, this one was a snap to put to­gether. With the frame con­structed, the front con­trol arms and Wil­wood Prospin­dles were bolted up with a set of dou­ble con­vo­luted Fire­stone airbags in the mid­dle. For steer­ing, a mod­ern rack-and-pin­ion makes turn­ing easy, while a sway bar min­i­mizes body roll. Out back, a Ford 9-inch rearend is sus­pended by a 4-link with Fire­stone sleeve-style ’bags. Stop­ping power is de­liv­ered by a set of Baer 14-inch disc brakes with six-pis­ton calipers up front and 12-inch disc brakes with four-pis­ton calipers in the rear.

Though the truck’s orig­i­nal 454 was still run­ning, Phil de­cided to make some up­dates. Since he deals with Texas Speed and Per­for­mance of­ten for other Road­ster Shop projects, he felt com­fort­able with hav­ing them build the run­ning gear for his per­sonal truck. Striv­ing to get the

PHIL IS FULLY CASH­ING IN ON THE FRUITS OF HIS LA­BOR, AS THE SQUARE-BODY SERVES AS HIS DAILY DRIVER.”

big­gest bang for his buck, he de­cided to go with a fully built GM LQ9. Even though this was a mod­ern setup, Phil wanted it to have a vin­tage look. It was dressed with 327 small-block valve cov­ers, Edel­brock car­bu­re­tor-style in­take man­i­fold, Ac­cu­fab 4150 throt­tle body, retro air cleaner with

K&N fil­ter and a set of ex­haust man­i­folds from Speed­way. The ac­ces­sories are driven by a kit from Weg­ner Mo­tor­sports, and the en­gine is kept cool with an AFCO alu­minum ra­di­a­tor with Spal elec­tric fans. A chrome-moly drive­shaft de­liv­ers power from the 4L65 ATD trans­mis­sion to the rearend, which has 3.90 gears and Ea­ton True­trac dif­fer­en­tial.

Once the chas­sis and driv­e­train were as­sem­bled, the cab was prepped, which meant the floor needed to be cut to en­large the trans­mis­sion tun­nel. Then the bed was mea­sured to cut the floor for the kick-up in the rear frame that al­lows the axle to travel up­ward. The huge gap in the bed floor was cov­ered with a cus­tom set of wheel tubs, and a notch cover with a raised Spec logo was also added. Then, the floor

was coated in spray-on liner for good looks and dura­bil­ity. Up front, the orig­i­nal fend­ers, core sup­port, grille and hood were reat­tached.

The orig­i­nal hood hinges were used, and a cus­tom set of in­ner fend­ers was cre­ated by re­shap­ing flat sheet me­tal. To com­plete the look, a set of the Road­ster Shops’ new OE1 wheels in 20x9.5 and 20x10.5 was in­stalled. They are wrapped in Miche­lin Su­per Sport tires with cus­tom white lines.

At this point, all that was left to ad­dress was the in­te­rior. Like the ex­te­rior, Phil de­cided to keep the ma­jor­ity of the orig­i­nal equip­ment be­cause it was in de­cent shape and the worn look added char­ac­ter. New car­pet was laid to ac­com­mo­date the floor mod­i­fi­ca­tions, and a dash pad re­placed the old, bro­ken one. The gauges were up­dated with ver­sions from Dakota Dig­i­tal, and the throt­tle pedal was re­placed by one made by the Road­ster Shop.

For crea­ture com­forts, a Vin­tage Air Sur­e­fit kit was in­stalled along with a Kicker PXI50 head unit, two MB Quart 6-inch speak­ers and a Kicker sub­woofer and amp. Phil and the

crew went a lit­tle over­board in de­sign­ing a few parts like the de­frost vents and kick panel speaker cov­ers, but they were def­i­nitely a nice touch.

With ev­ery­thing at­tached and on the new frame, this truck was com­plete. The chas­sis worked well, and after thor­ough test­ing, the Road­ster Shop added it to its lineup of top-notch prod­ucts.

As you can see, Phil de­cided to leave the truck mostly as he found it, with just a few, taste­ful mod­i­fi­ca­tions to make it stylish and func­tion like a mod­ern cruiser. One of the things he digs most about his truck is its patina; he cer­tainly doesn’t have to wipe it down as much as some of the other ve­hi­cles in the Road­ster Shop sta­ble.

Just be­cause this truck was cre­ated by the Road­ster Shop team don’t think for a sec­ond that it’s some show cir­cuit queen that only stretches its legs for shows and events. Phil is fully cash­ing in on the fruits of his la­bor, as the square-body serves as his daily driver. It also goes to show that even though the Spec Series chas­sis is an en­try-level prod­uct, Phil has no prob­lem putting it to use on his per­sonal truck.

It’s great to see peo­ple like

Phil use their re­sources to push the en­ve­lope for trucks, and it re­in­forces the fact that trucks are at the fore­front of the clas­sic scene. We can’t wait to see what the Road­ster Shop team comes up with next. Next month, we’ll take an in-depth look at how the Spec Series chas­sis for this truck came to­gether and thor­oughly ex­am­ine all of its fea­tures.

IT’S LIT­TLE DE­TAILS LIKE THIS BADGE THAT MAKE A WELLROUNDED CUS­TOM TRUCK.

THESE KICKASS KICK PANEL SPEAKER COV­ERS WERE CUT OUT ON A CNC MA­CHINE TO FUNC­TION WELL AND LOOK GOOD.

THOUGH THIS TRUCK HAD A NUMBERSMATCHING 454, PHIL WANTED A MORE MOD­ERN POWER PLANT AND HAD TEXAS SPEED AND PER­FOR­MANCE BUILD A 580-HP LQ9. IT WAS OUT­FIT­TED WITH VINTAGESTYLE IN­TAKE AND 327 SMALL-BLOCK VALVE COV­ERS TO PULL OFF A RETRO LOOK.

PHIL LIKES THE STYLE OF THE OLDER STEELIES, AND TEAMED UP WITH FORGE­LINE MO­TOR­SPORTS TO CRE­ATE EN­LARGED VER­SIONS IN ALU­MINUM.

BE­SIDES THE AD­DI­TION OF A FEW KEY AC­CES­SORIES, NEW CAR­PET AND DASH PAD, THE IN­TE­RIOR LOOKS THE SAME AS WHEN IT WAS PUR­CHASED.

A CUS­TOM NOTCH COVER AND SET OF WHEEL TUBS COV­ERS UP THE FRAME KICK-UP AND 22-INCH REAR WHEELS.

THIS TRUCK WAS CRE­ATED TO PRO­TO­TYPE THE ROAD­STER SHOP’S NEW CHAS­SIS LINE, AND AS YOU CAN SEE, THE CHAS­SIS AL­LOWS THESE TRUCKS TO LAY THE BODY PINCH ON THESE C-10S.

BE­CAUSE THIS TRUCK LAID BODY ON LARGE WHEELS, THE STOCK IN­NER FEND­ERS HAD TO BE SWAPPED FOR A CUS­TOM SET MADE BY THE ROAD­STER SHOP TEAM.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.