When Chuck Korfanta and his wife, Dixie, got married in August of '72, they had one pastime that rose above the rest: camping. Both grew up camping with a tent and had always envied those with a trailer to camp in. Seeing that they were in charge of their finances now, they decided to buy a 16-foot camping trailer for themselves.
They soon discovered they wouldn't be able to pull the trailer with their '68 427 Corvette. Therefore, they decided to outfit their '55 Chevy with a hitch. But when Chuck almost burnt the clutch up on the '55 just pulling the trailer home, it was obvious a truck was in order. Chuck and Dixie ended up purchasing a brand-new '73 Chevy.
During their first trip, Chuck realized the truck was way under power at a bone-chilling 155 horsepower. At 18,000 miles he dropped in a 327ci Corvette crate motor with 375 hp. From that point on, the '73 went through an onslaught of modifications including a custom camper shell with bubble windows; carpet and bucket seats in the bed; and tangerine, yellow, and gold flames. When the truck had served its camping duties, the Korfanta's daughters then used it as their first ride.
In 2001, with 265,000 miles on the odometer, the truck was finally returned back to Chuck. At that point he figured the only thing left to do was to turn the truck into a show truck. Chuck wanted to keep an overall '70's theme, but at the same time give it a fresh look. The first thing he did was lower the truck. Up front he cut 1 1/2 coils from the springs, and he cut the bump stops to bring the front end down to a respectable level. In the rear, he removed three leaf springs, and added 2-inch drop shackles to get it down to the ground. The rest of the chassis was solid; however, he did go through and strip everything down to bare metal so he could paint the underside with 23 cans of spray paint.
When he gave the truck to his daughters, he dropped in a much milder motor, but seeing as how things were back in his hands, it was time to up the horsepower. Orange County Engines, in Santa Ana, California, built a 383 stroker motor with '73 Z28 ported and polished heads. They also threw in a Comp Cams Xtreme Energy camshaft, Scorpion billet aluminum rockers, and a Holley 650-cfm carburetor. The Turbo 350 tranny was rebuilt by United Engine and Trans. Chuck then upped the ante by installing a Hurst floor shifter and a B&M converter.
Chuck had always loved the flames on his truck, but for his new paintjob he wanted to mix things up a bit, color wise that is. First, he had Maaco of Orange strip down the truck and work the body. They also filled the bed stakes (no more camper shell for this Chevy), cargo light, and body molding holes. The truck was then taken to Pete Santini, in Westminster, California, where he laid down the PPG two-stage black. "I also told Pete I wanted flames, and that I wanted them to be purple. Pete then recommended I add another color, and that he had the perfect color in mind. In the end, I wound up with House of Kolor Passion Purple and Cobalt Blue flames," said Chuck. Santini also suggested Chuck update the wheels. Wanting to keep a '70's style, Chuck went with a set of Stockton Wheel 15-inch TQs. The front received BFGoodrich 245/60/15 rubber, while the rear received Goodyear 275/60/15 rubber.
Inside the cab Chuck ordered a set of later-model '81-87 Chevy door panels. In other areas where various replacement interior parts were needed, Brothers and Classic Industries were given a call. From there he dyed the entire interior with Sherwin-Williams' dye, so he could get the exact color he was after. To match the interior components a Graphite Gray vinyl seat cover, that Chuck installed himself, was thrown in the truck. Bringing some life into the cab is an assortment of billet accessories, which include an APC billet steering wheel. When we asked Chuck what was next for the '73 he told us, "I'm still working on my truck, and I figure it will never be done. Yet, my biggest challenge is that my daughters are already fighting over who gets the truck when I'm gone!"