When Dave Kuma took over the family tire shop he had one priority on his mind, to get a shop truck. But not just any old beater would do. It had to be something that would represent Kuma Tire, of Riverside, California, with style and class. In Dave's mind, what better truck is there than a '68 Chevy C10, so he set out to buy one.
It has now been 22 years since Dave first picked up this '68. And in those 22 years the Chevy served to every expectation Dave had, but eventually all must retire. When it was time for the Chevy to be cut from payroll, Dave decided he would enlist the truck in a new position, to be his personal hot rod.
Being that the C10 was used for a shop truck in its heyday, the utilitarian height of the truck was in order, but now plans called for a prescription for acrophobia. To cure the phobia, Dave ordered a drop kit from Classic Performance Products. Up front, the stock spindles were swapped for a set of 2-inch drop spindles. Couple that with 3-inch drop springs and the nose is down to what the doctor ordered. To bring the rear down a C-notch kit was installed, along with a set of CPP 6-inch drop springs. Dave also installed a set of sway bars to enhance the drive and performance of the '68. The original 350 motor was kept for the build, yet it was rebuilt. Seeing that the old 350 ran like a top day in and day out, Dave decided to have it built along the same parameters of the stock setup. However, a new Edelbrock intake manifold, Holley Street Avenger carburetor, and Mallory ignition was installed for a little more pep. Power is transferred to the 12-bolt rearend via a Bow-Tie Overdrive 700-R4 tranny. Feeding the motor fuel is a new rear-mounted No Limit fuel cell.
When Dave bought the truck 22 years ago it was because he liked the look and style of the '68, therefore he didn't want to stray too far from what Chevy did. So when it came time for paint and body, all he really wanted to do was massage the tin back to showroom condition. He enlisted Gordon Forbes to work over the body. Along with making the metal presentable, he also had Gordon shave any marker or trim holes, and fill the stake pockets. When it came time to pick a color, Dave wanted something that said subtle, yet could still walk the line on being distinguished from a crowd. What he ended up going with is a PPG BMW Z3 roadster blue. Tim Marshall, of Riverside, California, sprayed the Chevy. Although Dave decided to ditch any side trim, he did have an idea for some trim; pieces of CST trim. Atop the nose and tailgate you can find the CST trim perched. Bringing the entire package together is 18-inch Foose rolling stock, wrapped in Nitto rubber, 245/45s up front and 295/45s out back.
Inside the truck Dave wanted top keep things stock. However, he wanted the interior to look "top of the line" for '68. To give him the look he was after, Dave installed a set of '68 Chevy CST bucket seats with a center console in the cab. He then had Elegance Auto Interiors, in Upland, California, stitch the seats in simulated black leather along the stock lines of the seats. As for the door panels and dash pad, they too, were stitched in black simulated leather to match the seats. The rest of the interior uses stock components to create the elite look of '68. One of the few aftermarket products you'll find in the cab is a Vintage Air A/C unit, which is disguised to look stock. The only new-age visible item in the interior is the Alpine receiver. Now that the truck is back on the road, you can be sure that Dave is behind the wheel rather often. Occasionally you'll even see the '68 reliving some glory days as it sits in front the shop wheelin' and dealin', pun intended!