National Lampoon's Vacation has to be about the best movie ever. You know, the one where Chevy Chase takes a vacation with his family to Wally World in their brand-new station wagon. What starts out as a simple and well-drawn-out plan turns into a living nightmare in every way, shape, and form of the word for the dimwitted Clark W. Griswold.
From dead dogs and grandmas to midnight skinny-dipping rendezvous with a random Ferrari-driving blond to a security guard held at BB gunpoint, things couldn't have gone any worse for Griswold, but through all of it he eventually accomplished his mission, to go to Wally World. Although it's not the exact storyline of Dennis Cohea's '71 C10, it does somewhat mimic the Griswold vacation's ill-fated fortunes.
Four years ago Dennis set out to restore his newly purchased '71 C10. He wasn't looking to build anything over the top, although he did want something with an edge to it, but all in all, basically a simple restoration. For the next few years he shopped the truck out to some local shops for various jobs, but each time it was pretty much the same broken promises, poor work, and sometimes no work at all for weeks.
Fed up, but not willing to quit, he decided it was time to find another means to an end. The solution came from the Sport Trucks by Dean shop in Moorpark, California. When Dennis got to talking with Sport Trucks' owner, Dean, he told Dennis straight out what was wrong and what needed to be done, and if he wanted they would finish the truck for him. Having already gone through Plan A, B, and C, Plan D sounded like a pretty good proposition, so Dennis ran with it.
The beaten and battered '71 Chevy rolled into Sport Trucks by Dean's doors and went under the knife for full reconstructive surgery. Like a lot of builds, the suspension was taken care of first. Dennis wanted to give the truck a defined look by slamming it on the ground with air. Using Air Ride Technologies airbags and Air Ride's Ride Pro system, Sport Trucks laid the truck out on the ground. To get the truck down a few inches lower, they installed McGaughy's drop spindles and C-notched the frame's rear. Complementing the new stance are Billet Specialties 20-inch Vintec rollers. In the front the Billet Specialties 20x8-inch rims are wrapped in BFGoodrich 245/40/20, and out back the 20x9 1/2-inch rims are tucked inside BFGoodrich 295/40/20 rubber. For stability in the corners Sport Trucks installed front and rear CPP sway bars.
Dennis kept things as simple as you can get in terms of the drivetrain. Under the hood rests a new GM Performance Parts ZZ4 350 crate motor backed by a Turbo 350. Sport Trucks installed the crate motor right out of the box. They ditched the factory look by throwing a couple of cases full of billet products at it. Up front Sport Trucks replaced the V-style belt system with a Billet Specialties Tru Trac serpentine system. They then installed a Billet Specialties grooved air cleaner and valve covers along with various other billet parts for some more bling. Lastly, Rewarder headers replaced the exhaust manifolds, and Muffler Time in Camarillo, California, installed a one-off exhaust system.
For the interior and exterior, things stayed true to the storyline: simple yet defined. Campbell Auto Body in Moorpark, California, took the rusted body under their wing and massaged the dents, dings, and rust holes back to perfection. They also shaved the filler neck and relocated the gas tank between the framerails using a No Limit tank. Then the body was sprayed in PPG Indigo Blue, and the top of the cab was sprayed PPG White. The bed was sprayed in dark blue Line-X to match the exterior paint. Superior Interior in Camarillo stitched up the black vinyl and gray tweed interior. Matching the black vinyl is a Billet Specialties Vintec steering wheel wrapped in black leather. As for the remaining interior pieces, Campbell Auto Body painted them Indigo blue.
Just like the Griswold's ill-fated trip, Dennis' journey started out a little shaky, but he kept moving along with the build until he finally got to jump behind the wheel and take off. However, I wonder if he'd ever strap grandma to the top of the cab or just throw her in the bed! CCT
Check out the ZZ4 crate motor...
Check out the ZZ4 crate motor camouflaged with Billet Specialties grooved valve covers, an air cleaner, and the Tru Trac system.
The interior was stitched...
The interior was stitched with black vinyl and gray tweed and highlighted with a Billet Specialties Vintec steering wheel. The dash and door panels were painted PPG Indigo blue.
Instead of going with a conventional...
Instead of going with a conventional bed floor, dark blue Line-X was sprayed to match the exterior color.