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.