Everyone has made a mistake at some point in their life that they lived to regret. Oftentimes these mistakes can usually be traced back to poor judgment, peer pressure, or excess alcohol. These mistakes can range anywhere from that extensive collection of torn acid wash jeans and tank tops from your Van Halen days, to that good ol' fashion bar fight that landed you in the drunk tank with no recollection of how you got there. Yet we live and learn (hopefully) from our mistakes. For Jonathan Garcia, of Rancho Cucamonga, California, he learned the hard way that nothing turns heads like a classic Chevy.
Jonathan first tested the hot rod lifestyle in '95 when he built a fully customized Nissan Hardbody. After taking the truck to a few shows and cruising around town with his older brother, Steven, Jon came to a harsh realization that his older brother's '53 Chevy pickup was stealing all the attention. He quickly concluded that an import was a poor substitute for one of Detroit's finest masterpieces. He immediately hit the trails in search of a classic Chevy to restore and customize. After about a year of searching, Jon's Chevy came in the form of a '68 C-10. Unfortunately, Jon's new project was far from perfect. In fact, not only had the old girl suffered some impressive battle scars over the years, she was also missing several key components. After the initial damage report, Jon feared he may be in over his head and decided to bring in his older brother and father, Steve Sr., to help with the build.
They began by removing the body from the chassis and stripping the undercarriage to the bone. Originally they planned on spraying the frame gloss black, but later decided to have the frame powdercoated when Jon's neighbors Mitch and Sharon offered to foot the bill. (And they say there's no decency in this world.) Once coated, the boys installed 21/2-inch drop spindles and CPP control arms up front. In the rear are matching CPP trailing arms, and bringing the truck closer to the pavement are airbags at each corner. Allowing the rear of the truck to hug the ground that much more is a set of CPP C-notches. With the suspension intact, Jon turned to his old man, an experienced engine builder, to build an engine worthy of powering his Chevy. Steve Garcia Sr. elected to go with an '80 350 Chevy bored 0.030 over. He equipped the 350 with a Holley intake manifold and 750 carburetor. Adding more life to the 350 are Edelbrock heads and Doug's headers. He polished off the revamped engine with a set of billet valve covers and a K&N air cleaner. The ol' man showcased his talents by building a 420hp powerplant.
The next order of business was the bodywork. Lucky for Jon, his brother Steven owns a hot rod shop and was willing to lend his expertise. For starters, they decided to bring the weathered body back to showroom condition. Next they mixed in their own flavor by shaving the front marker lights, the tailgate, gas filler, antenna, and cab seam. With the body restored and shaved clean, it was time to focus their attention to a color that would highlight the truck's attributes. What Jon decided on was a color that brings both class and pizzazz to the '68: PPG Torch Red. Rounding out the exterior is a set of Intro 20s wrapped in Falken rubber.
With the undercarriage and body worked over, it was time to move inside the shell. They decided to stick with the stock bench seat, but removed all the original materials and re-wrapped the entire interior with black tweed. Next, they installed a billet aluminum dash insert with Auto Meter gauges. They also slapped on a custom billet Intro steering wheel to complement the wheels. Topping things off is a B&M Quicksilver shifter.
After four years of hard work and countless family meetings in the garage, Jon's Chevy was finally ready for the road. In the end, Jon was able to kill two birds with one stone: fulfilling a lifelong dream of building an old truck with his dad and brother, and producing undeniable proof that the only way to cruise is in a classic Chevy. In the words of Charles Barkley: "Anything else is just uncivilized."