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.