Honolulu, Hawaii, Federal Express courier Michael Ganade received a life-changing telephone call about four years ago from friends informing him their uncle was selling his '68 Chevrolet C10. Typically, the C10 longbed was used to haul a fishing boat to and from the docks. But it had been stored for several years, and Michael thought, "I'd never owned anything larger than my '91 Nissan 300Z Turbo. The concept of rebuilding a vintage truck was somewhat foreign!" When Michael first saw the truck, he had a healthy load of doubt.
The engine didn't run, and there was plenty of body rust! However, there were two attractive selling points that piqued Michael's interest. First, the old Chevy came equipped with a 350ci small-block and a three-speed column-mounted shifter. Secondly, the selling price was affordable. Michael knew nothing about restoring old trucks and began researching '67-72 Chevrolets. Based on what he read in several books, he decided this was an excellent investment and "hurried to the bank."
Michael and friend Jimmy Recolan towed the C10 to Jimmy's house, where it sat in storage. Two months later Jimmy got the truck up and running. Michael states, "Our first priority was updating the original drum brakes to discs. We telephoned Dave Clark and Stan Hammond at Early Classic Enterprises (ECE) and purchased an ECE four-wheel-disc brake conversion kit-which coincidentally interfaces with a McGaughy's master cylinder and McGaughy's power brake booster."
Along the way, Michael converted the truck's hubs from six-lug to five and rebuilt the entire suspension, adding a 4/6 ECE front- and rear-spring drop kit complete with ECE 2.5-inch dropped front spindles, a front anti-sway bar, a rear Panhard bar, and a set of KYB gas-charged shocks.
Shortly after the truck was a driver, Ganade discovered that parallel parking his long-wheelbase C10 in Honolulu's small spaces was a sweat-inducing chore. "Parking was almost impossible! I developed a cramp in my arm the first day I tried parking in front of my house. Next we installed a late-model GM truck power-steering unit and the problem was solved!"
Michael credits his uncle Gary Saruwatari for rebuilding the 350ci V-8. Although internally stock, the Mouse motor features an Edelbrock Performer intake and 650-cfm Edelbrock Performer carburetor, a set of engraved Billet Specialties valve covers and K&N filtered air cleaner, a DUI electronic ignition with an ACCEL coil and spark-plug wires, a Jeg's 100-amp alternator, Zoops engine pulleys, a pair of Doug's Headers ceramic-coated tri-Y headers, and a pair of Flow Master series 40 mufflers dumping into a 2 1/2-inch custom exhaust system. Behind this is a Centerforce-equipped Richmond six-speed transmission activated by a Hurst shifter. The final link in the '68's powertrain is a Drive Line's of Hawaii custom- fabricated driveshaft.
"With the engine and drivetrain complete, we were ready to tackle the bodywork and paint. After calling several body shops in the Honolulu area, I met well-known hot rod builder/painters Bob Bardo and Debra Suzuki of B&B Auto/Bardo's Hot Rod Company. They de-chromed the body and filled the body seams prior to applying the Sherwin Williams Titanium Gray metallic."
When the fenders and bed were reassembled, Ganade installed a set of 20x8-inch and 22x10-inch Boyd Coddington Timeless-6 billet wheels wrapped with a set of P245/40ZR20 and P285/30ZR22 Faulken Radial Rubber. Also on board is a No Limit 19-gallon diamond plate-aluminum fuel tank residing beneath a one-piece tilt tonneau cover.
As he was redoing the interior, Michael updated the dash using McGaughy's billet dash trim and Auto Meter Ultralite gauges. Also on board is a pair of '91 Nissan 300Z bucket seats trimmed in black, an ididit billet steering column, a Billet Specialties steering wheel, and an Eclipse audio system.
"During the past four years I've met many people who've contributed their time, dedication, and friendship to the building process. I'd like to thank the following: Uncle Gary Saruwatari for helping me purchase my truck and for rebuilding my engine; Bob Bardo and Debra Suzuki for the great paint and bodywork; Dave and Stan at ECE; Derek Tanaka for all his help; my stepfather Alan for the great stainless steel fabrication; and Ed Cubacugan for help with the suspension
The experience has been a radical and reflective ride. Through these friendships the process has been quite an education. And now I'm going to enjoy cruising the island in my '68 until the wheels fall off!" CCT