The first time we saw John "Jay-T" Toomer's '83 Chevy C10 it was Shrek Green and bedecked from head-to-toe with Shrek graphics. Since then Jay-T has lost the green theme and opted for the super clean monochromatic look. From Virginia Beach, Virginia, Jay-T is a retired Navy man, now back with the Navy as a civilian information technology specialist. A longtime automotive enthusiast, Jay-T has owned nearly a dozen custom cars, trucks, and motorcycles over the years. Not looking for anything in particular but a fan of "old school" Jay-T was scanning eBay one day when he came across this '83 Chevy C10 Stepside. The truck was almost a duplicate of one owned by his grandfather and, just that quick, the decision was made. After checking out the truck in person, Jay-T bought it, happy to find that several improvements had already been accomplished.
The previous owner had added a Chevy 350-inch crate motor, pumping out 300 hp, thanks to a Holley 680 carb, Comp Cams cam, MSD ignition, and Hooker Shorty stainless steel headers that feed Flowmaster mufflers. The truck sounded as good as it looked. An electric cooling fan kept temps in the green while the Jegs polished engine pulleys and Mickey Thompson valve covers added some brightwork under the hood. A Turbo 400 automatic transmission sent the power to a 12-bolt Chevy rearend.
Although the basics were in place, personalization was the name of the game and the first thing on Jay-T's list was an air suspension. The truck was already equipped with modified upper and lower A-arms, dropped Belltech spindles, notched frame, and a two-link rear. Monroe gas shocks snubbed all four corners. Laydout Customs in Yorktown, Virginia, handled the rest of the upgrades that included 2,600-pound bags, two Viair 480 compressors, and 7-gallon reserve tank, all activated by 3/8-inch lines with SMC valves. Billet switches on the dash put altitude control at the driver's fingertips and Dakota Digital gauges made it easy to monitor the system
Ocean Audio in Virginia Beach, Virginia, handled the interior upgrade with a combination of tweed, leather, and paint. Although every inch has been massaged, the cab still retains its old school flavor, but with lots of unique touches like the sculpted flame pattern embossed in the dash. Matching tweed fabric and black leather inserts were used on the door panels and traditional bench seat. Fold the seat forward and you'll see the carefully fitted stereo components that fill the cab with music. The Ocean Audio techs created a pair of wedge-shaped enclosures to hold the Boston Acoustic 10-inch subs, ensuring plenty of hard hitting bass. Power for the system comes from the 4-channel, Planet Audio amplifier mounted in between. The amp also drives the 6.5-inch component sets located in custom fiberglass enclosures at the bottom of each door panel. Controlling both audio and video is the double DIN Kenwood DAX 6019 head unit, complete with 7-inch LCD touch screen monitor and in-dash DVD player, located in the new, painted-to-match center console. Dynamat Xtreme sound deadening insulation keeps the cabin quiet so that Jay-T can enjoy the oldies while cruising down the highway.
When it came to redoing the exterior, you'll see that all the recognizable lines of the classic C10 Stepside are still there, with just enough mods to make it stand out from the crowd. Subtle touches include the steel EFX cowl-induction hood, Street Scene billet grille, and Diamond Clear headlights from Stylin' Trucks. The factory mirrors were replaced with sport versions, the tailgate was shaved, and custom LED taillights were added to the new Street Scene roll pan. The door handles were shaved and all unnecessary emblems and markers were eliminated from the body, letting the vintage lines show through. Black Herculiner was sprayed in the bed and all the windows were limo-tinted to enhance that show truck look. In order to fill the wheelwells, Jay-T chose Panther Realm chrome rims, 20x7s up front and 22x8s in the rear, wrapped in Nitto 35-series rubber. The final addition was the Lemon Lime Ice Pearl paint, sprayed by Kustom Paint in Virginia Beach, Virginia
To say the truck has been a success would be an understatement. Jay-T is very active on the show circuit and his tech sheet showed an amazing list of awards already won by the Stepside. Although he loves to compete, he soon may need an addition to his home to accommodate the trophy room. Jay-T said special thanks to Tim at Kustom Paint, Big Mike at Ocean Audio, and Mike at Eastern Off Road for their help in creating his dream truck