This is not the story of a kid who fouled up one too many times and his parents banished him to his room indefinitely. Quite the opposite. As many of us can relate, Matt Krawchyk was bitten by the automotive bug through having family members with a passion for cars. Those hours spent at home being around big brother's Vette, tinkering on dad's '63 Impala SS, and learning how to weld gave Matt the inspiration he needed to pursue his own ground-scraping projects.
Although he developed his automotive inclination around musclecars, Matt was more turned on by custom trucks. His previous endeavor in this realm was, among other things, an S-10 to which he made numerous modifications. Still, Matt would be the first to admit that it didn't fit his vision of the ideal custom. It wasn't until he passed by a '78 C-10 for sale out in front of a farm that his imagination began to run wild. After securing the truck for $300 and a couple month's spent getting parts from LMC Truck and Napa, he was off and running.
The first thing Matt did was find the wheels he wanted to build the platform around: a set of Player 712s. He then Z'd the frame 4 inches and built his own front suspension. Matt cut the spring pockets off the frame and made his own, which now serve as the top bag bracket. The lower control arms are stock for the bags to sit on, while the uppers are from Air Ride. The front frame horns got dropped 31/2 inches and were moved closer to the billet grille by 3/4 inch. This brought the bumper closer to the body, which was OK by Matt, as he wanted to decrease the many body gaps that are inherent to these types of trucks. The motor mounts were also brought down 2 inches and moved forward 1 inch.
Needless to say, there's not much stock in the rear either. The rear has been C-notched and features a triangulated four-link. Matt wanted to do a Cantrell-levered suspension and put his own personal touch on it. The two crossbars go to the middle of the rear axle and overlap each other; this turns quite a few heads at shows. Matt added the spikes to give it a bit of personality rather than just leave it bare.
After the chassis was where Matt wanted it, he moved on to the body mods. The body has been dropped 31/2 inches, and the tranny tunnel and new floor Matt fabricated were raised 41/2 inches. The tailgate, taillights, and fuel doors were all shaved shut and stake pockets removed. The bed was also moved 1/2-inch closer to the cab for a more streamlined look and it now sports '36 Ford teardrop taillights.
Matt had full intentions of rebuilding the 305 the Chevy had in it to begin with, but got a good deal on a '75 350, which now resides in the C-10 complete with Edelbrock 650 carb, geardrive, ram horn exhaust manifolds, and yes, spike-inlaid valve covers. The whole thing is backed by a gas-friendly 700-R4.
As luck would have it, Matt came across a '64 Galaxie dashboard that had been left at his brother's house by a friend and Matt got permission from its previous owner to incorporate it into his build. After widening it, shaving 41/2 inches off the front, and fitting it with Auto Meter gauges, it looks as if it came with the truck to begin with. A friend fabbed the door panels and center console for the truck and Matt did the finish work, including the Halloween-decoration skull that holds the pressure gauge for the bags. Some literal window-shopping around town led Matt to find the low-back '91 Chevy bucket seats he wanted to put in his truck. After tracking some down at a couple of junkyards, Parker Upholstery covered them in saddle leather.
Matt drove the truck around in primer for about a year to make sure everything worked together before applying the House of Kolor Custom Blue and having his friend R.J. Griggy lay the fiery graphics. Aside from the generous support, guidance, and workspace that mom, dad, and big brother gave Matt during this project, he wanted to recognize a few others who contributed a great deal to "Blue Demon." Matt thanks all the guys from Columbiana Napa Auto Parts, "the Jimmys," Bob Darney, Wayne Davis, Chris Squire, and all those not mentioned who helped out. Blue Demon wouldn't be the gorgeous gargoyle it is today without their help.