A quaint expression can mean different things to different people. For an older guy, the expression "laid out" might bring back memories of what happens to someone who runs their mouth off to the wrong guy and ends up losing a bar fight. On the other hand, for a younger fellow like Gabe Sandoval of Houston, Texas, the expression describes the only kind of truck he will drive, one that's laid out hard.
That said, when it came time for Gabe to lay out his '83 C-10 Chevrolet, he took the following steps to get the scraping stance he was after. Up front, the stock control arms were dumped in favor of tubular control arms, with the spring perch modified to accept the bottom of a Firestone 2800 airbag. With camber usually being an issue with trucks riding on an air suspension such as Gabe's, he added a pair of Belltech 2-inch drop spindles to help dial out the negative side of things.
With the front suspension work out of the way, Gabe enlisted a little help to set up the rear. He turned to Bill Carlton at Ekstensive Metalworks of Houston, Texas. Ekstensive took care of the Chevy's rear by burning in one of their custom step notches and adding a set of two-link bars with a pair of Firestone 2800 bags and KYB shocks. To supply air and control the routing of the invisible element, Ekstensive plumbed in eight GC 450 valves with a pair of Viar 380 compressors mounted adjacent. The last modification necessary to lay the '83 out was to raise the engine and transmission crossmembers to lose that last little chunk of ground.
For rollers, Gabe chose a set of 22x8.5 Intro Rally wheels wrapped in Sumitomo 265/35/22 rubber up front and a pair of 22x10 Intro Rallys wrapped in 285/35/22 Sumitomo rubber out back. With that much rubber on the ground, Gabe figured he might as well have a serious motor to light 'em up.
Starting with a '71 327-inch mouse-motor, Gabe called Simon Sandoval of Performance Automotive in Laredo, Texas, to build the Chevy engine. Simon modified or enhanced almost every part of the motor-from installing a set of JE forged pistons to the Holley 750 double-pumper carb, every base was covered. When the motor was finished, they claim it made over 500 horsepower. To transmit power to the truck's 3.73:1 Posi rear, the Turbo 350 transmission that came in the '83 Chevy was beefed.
The good stuff from Auto Meter...
The good stuff from Auto Meter lets Gabe know when it's time to blip the Hurst ratchet-shifter to the next gear. A Painless wiring harness handles the 12-volt juice from end to end.
Next on the agenda was a little bodywork. Gabe was looking for a smooth and subtle exterior, so he subtracted more parts than he added. He began by shaving the firewall, DOT markers, door handles, lock barrels, driprails, cab seams, wipers, stake pockets, and the rear bumper. While he was at it, Gabe decided to relocate the gas filler inside the bed and cover the bed floor with a bridge-notch cover.
After taking care of the metalwork, Gabe called his good friend Cory Scott, owner of Kustom Werx in Conroe, Texas, to take care of the shiny red stuff. Cory was entrusted with the task of finishing up Gabe's metalwork and painting the truck. Cory and his team set to work painting the truck along with color-matching a few of the components under the hood. The crew at Kustom Werx even went as far as to color-match the '83's spray-in bedliner.
The last major detail Gabe had to finish off before the '83 was completed was the truck's interior. He had PC Auto Upholstery stitch the interior in a rich tan blend of cloth and vinyl. The guys at PC Auto Upholstery recovered the stock bench seat, retrimmed the door panels, and replaced the old carpet with a deep pile of deep pile carpet. For instrumentation, a full complement of Auto Meter gauges was installed to keep track of the truck's vital signs.
After three years of long days and nights working on the '83, Gabe ended up with a good example of a square-bodied C-10 that lays real hard, and that's what we're talking about.
Power comes from a punched-out...
Power comes from a punched-out 327 with 12:1 JE pistons under a pair of Corvette "camel-back" heads. A Crane solid-roller cam rests in between a Jackson geardrive and a MSD distributor.
Billet rollers from Intro...
Billet rollers from Intro Wheels of Anaheim, CA, are stuffed into big 22-inch rubber bands from somewhere in Japan.