After spending $4,500, Dan and Dottie Merrill became the proud owners of a '68 Chevy C-10 pickup. The purchase was somewhat spontaneous-the truck's owner, a good friend of the Merrills, cameinto some hard times and was forced to sell. He didn't want to say goodbye to his trusty C-10, but he trusted the Merrills would take good care of the truck. The Merrills figured they would spend a little money on paint, maybe a new transmission, and the truck would serve their needs just fine.

As fate would have it, that plan hit a roadblock when the Chevy was diagnosed with a deadly ailment: rust. The Merrills felt they had two choices: either let the truck deteriorate slowly, or take on the challenge and expense of a complete restoration.

Opting for the latter, the Merrills enlisted the crew at Fesler Built in Phoenix, Arizona. Chris Fesler and his guys spent a good amount of time just getting the truck ready for paint. goodmark industries restoration pieces replaced the original hood, front bumper, and headlight and taillight assemblies. A sir Michaels roll pan was installed to clean up and finish off the rear end.

With the restoration and prep out of the way, the '68 was sent to gary sharp, who threw down a coat of brilliant blue BAsF pigment. The newly enhanced body was further stylized with a Bruce Horkey's wood bed, plus wheels, tires, and a lowered stance. Toyo Proxes rubber provides the traction, with 255/45r20s in front and 295/40r20s out back. The wheels are one-piece, polished, 20-inch Budnik Four-Thirtys, a truck builder's favorite. The dropped stance was achieved with a complete Air ride Technologies air suspension system, powdercoated control arms, Baer spindles, QA1 shocks, Big red air valves, and two viair compressors.

The '68 is powered by a ramjet 502 gM crate engine with gM core components and selected fuel, power, cooling, and airflow upgrades. Fuel system extras include a Holley fuel pump, Holley filter, and stainless steel fuel tank by rick's. supporting the power system are an optima yellowTop battery and vintage Air alternator. Fesler Built also installed electric cooling fans, an aluminum radiator, a custom metal radiator cover, and an Air Mobile oil cooler. Free and efficient engine airflow is the combined responsibility of a gM intake and Hooker headers, culminating with a MagnaFlow muffler. A Hughes torque converter and Hughes Turbo 400 transmission send all the power to a driveshaft by The Drive shaft shop. A 12-bolt rearend with a 3.73 gear ratio brings up the rear.

Thanks to the guys at Automotive Diagnostic specialties, the Chevy is also tuned perfectly, producing 511 hp and 583 ft-lb of torque. The restoration process addressed the steering and braking systems as well. With a Flaming river steering system and Baer brake setup, the Merrills could control their newfound horsepower on the road. The brake sys-tem consists of 14-inch rotors front and back, two-piston eradispeed calipers, brake lines, brake booster, and proportioning valve and master cylinder.