The Eleventh Hour


Man, this C10 has had a hard life! This ’69 Chevy has been in my pos­ses­sion for more than 12 years. It came from a for­mer free­lancer in Ari­zona. Back then, it was a longbed gar­dener truck, and the bed was so used the ribs were al­most smoothed com­pletely out of the sheet­metal! I had the idea of build­ing it “poverty” style—flat paint, white bumpers and trim, steel­ies, and such. Of course, that has been done a hun­dred times now, and my plans were thwarted be­fore I even got started.

My friend Tony who used to work for Air Ride Tech­nolo­gies (now RideTech) took a seat next to me at SEMA, and one beer later this truck was to have the very first full tubu­lar sus­pen­sion kit that left his shop. We left the cab on but stripped the en­tire frame of its rust and riv­ets, chopped about 20 inches out of the back, and bolted up the new sus­pen­sion. The Air Ride kit, SSBC brake kit, a few odds and ends from CPP, a new LMC short­bed, and every­thing out­side of the frame was brand-new. We sanded the truck down and shot the primer you see in one day at Paint N Place. It went to a few shows and cruise nights like this, but the fac­tory 250 I-6 and three-on-the-tree were in rough shape. Even­tu­ally, the truck was parked—for a long, long time.

Fi­nally, a cou­ple of years ago, I dragged the truck out of the weeds and vowed to give it some much-needed at­ten­tion. We did a small-block 383 and 700R4 swap with the help of Blue­print En­gines and GearStar Per­for­mance Trans­mis­sions. Ex­haust was han­dled by Gib­son. We even tack­led the rust re­pair on the floors and rock­ers with the help of LMC. You’ll never guess what hap­pened next: the truck has now been sit­ting for a long time.

While I have yet to even un­cover it, I have been slowly col­lect­ing parts and for­mu­lat­ing a plan to get the truck on the road once and for all. We are work­ing with FiTech for an EFI swap, and the truck will then of­fi­cially be a run­ner. Clas­sic In­stru­ments gauges com­bined with a Clay­ton Ma­chine Works dash bezel will keep track of the vi­tals. From there, we will be up­dat­ing the RideTech sus­pen­sion with all-new soft parts and elec­tron­ics, giv­ing the al­most-new tubu­lar com­po­nents a much-needed up­date. We’ll sneak in a few other sur­prises as well, but that’s what I need to ac­tu­ally start driv­ing the thing again. I’m ex­cited about that, and I’m ex­cited to get some good old C10 tech into the mag­a­zine for your en­joy­ment.

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