In these days of retro designs, what was out of style is in again, and certain generations of trucks are coming back to dominate the custom truck scene. One of these body styles that seems to have taken off in recent years is Chevy's '73-87 square-body.
Rich Childers of Chesapeake, Virginia, owns one clean example in this '75 C10 longbed. It is something he decided to build because there aren't too many built, square-bodied longbeds out there, and he wanted to do something to catch an enthusiast's eye. Rich started out by dropping the old Detroit iron a total of 10 inches with a mix of Belltech spindles, a bridge notch, an AIM four-link with a Panhard rearend and Firestone 'bags. Toxic shocks smooth out the bumps, and the C10 rolls on 18x7-inch Colorado Custom front wheels, wrapped by modest Michelin P225/45R18 rubber, and rear Colorado Custom 20x9.5s with fat Dunlop P295/40R20 meats.
Under the hood sits a massaged 355ci V-8, which was built by Richard Midyette of Chesapeake, Virginia. With ported DART heads, new internals that boosts compression to 9.0:1, and the Comp Cam camshaft, the engine stirs with a nice lope which is only somewhat discernable under the whine from the Pro Charger blower pumping out 10 pounds of power-enhancing boost. Feeding the monster is a Holley 650-cfm carb, which gets it juice from a 15-gallon fuel cell that is set in the bed. The burly V-8 barks through JBA headers and Flowmaster 2.5-inch exhaust. An output of 512 pavement-pulverizing ponies flow through a TPI 700-R4 transmission with Corvette internals, a 2,500-stall converter, and on through a 12-bolt rearend with Posi-traction assist. The 3.42 Richmond gears make sure that the truck makes the most use out of its 500 lb-ft of torque.
Since the powertrain was squared away, Rich went to work on smoothing the body lines. Starting with shaving off unnecessary protrusions, he removed the stake pockets, fuel-filler door, and emblems. The tailgate was filled, and the bumpers were brought in closer to the body. A billet grille adds a dash of custom elegance. The installation of a Gaylord's lid was the final step before Harry Hennis of Chesapeake, Virginia, shot the PPG Blue Pearl basecoat. Next, a tasteful application of PPG Orange Pearl flames were added, highlighted with PPG Emerald Green pinstripes.
As for the interior, Rich junked the stock seats in favor of a set of Cavalier Z24 buckets, covered by Wills Upholstery out of Norfolk, Virginia. Matching 3-inch Deist seatbelts keep the passengers in their chairs, whenever Rich decides to dip into the throttle. After building a custom speaker box for the Kenwood components, Rich painstakingly swathed the whole interior in Enduratex's Endurasoft upholstery in Dove Gray and finished it off with gray, cut-pile carpet. When cruising the streets, Rich checks up on the truck's vital signs through a comprehensive Auto Meter gauge package in the original instrument panel, which is covered with billet brightwork and accented by a Billet Specialties 14-inch billet steering wheel. Rich also built a custom center console, which houses a B&M Shift Improver Kit and air gauges and carries the exterior color scheme into the cab.
When he's not taking trophies at shows such as Cruisin' Ocean City, East Coast Nats, and Carlisle, Rich is busy enjoying his ultra-satisfying creation. He's quick to point out that his wife Meg and friends Harry Hennis and Richard Midyette helped to make his longtime dream of being square a reality. After his positive experience building a custom Nova, Rich decided to build this longbox nearly two years ago, and he hasn't checked the rearview since. If you happen to see Rich cruising around town, be sure to wave and enjoy the long, low appearance of his special C10, but don't ask him to race unless you want to hear the truck scream or get a better look at those Euro tails.