An ’85 Chevy C10 pas­sion goes up in flames


In 1960, Chevro­let in­tro­duced the pickup into the mod­ern era with the C/K and C10 mod­els. The most com­mon was the C10, a ½-ton truck with a 6.5- or 8-foot cargo box. The C10 was com­pletely new and boasted a bet­ter weight dis­tri­bu­tion via in­creased load ca­pac­ity of the front axle, which made the Chevy more durable and ef­fi­cient. For 1973, dur­ing the third gen­er­a­tion of the C10, GM in­tro­duced an all-new, clean-sheet re­design that ran through the ’87 model.

Chris Men­del of Me­tairie, Louisiana, de­vel­oped a pas­sion for the Chevy C10 at just 12 years old. “I re­mem­ber go­ing to truck shows with my dad,” Chris tells Truckin. “It was the square­body C10 truck that al­ways stood out to me.” Al­though he didn’t have the funds to pur­chase his first Chevy C10 un­til he turned 30, Chris quickly made up for it by de­vel­op­ing a sta­ble of seven C10s rang­ing from ’70 to ’85 mod­els.

Chris had an ’84 and an ’85 Chevy C10 stored in a rented garage when the power un­ex­pect­edly went out. Once the power came on, the garage door mo­tors kept run­ning and caused a fire to start. Both of his trucks were burned to the ground. At this point, Chris de­cided he wanted to pur­chase an­other ’85 model, so he be­gan his search.

Chris’ good friend Jeff An­drews was in the process of build­ing an ’85 when Chris made a pur­chase of­fer. It wasn’t an easy thing for Jeff to part with, but Chris ended up with the clas­sic ’85. Jeff had done all the heavy work, in­clud­ing adding a su­per­bright DuPont Viper Red paint and cus­tom air-ride sus­pen­sion.

Once Chris took pos­ses­sion, he de­cided to up­grade the mo­tor. The 350 was built and in­stalled in the Chevy, and pol­ished stain­less steel nuts and bolts were re­placed in ev­ery spot. Chris added a set of In­tro Vista wheels to give it a more cus­tom look, step­ping out from the orig­i­nal feel.

Chris wishes to thank his good friend Jeff An­drews for his per­fec­tion of the orig­i­nal build as well as good friend Keith Fox from whom he pur­chased his very first C10. A spe­cial thanks goes to Chris’ fa­ther, El­roy, for all the love, sup­port, and in­flu­ence he pro­vided.

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