The Midwest has always been known for hardworking Americans, and smack dab in the middle of this vast country is a city that epitomizes hard work. Between the wheat farmers on the outskirts; the Boeing, Cessna, and Raytheon plant workers; or the Rosie the Riveters answering the call of duty, Wichita, Kansas, was, is, and always will be a hard-working city. The only things the citizens of Wichita expect to work harder than them are the trucks they drive, just ask born and bred Wichita native Larry James. For he's a man who knows how important a work truck is, a true work truck that is: a longbed.
Now it's not that Larry isn't a fan of shortbed trucks, but when push comes to shove a longbed can handle more work; it's as simple as that. For that reason he's been drawn to the long side. Ironically, they must be drawn towards him as well because neither of Larry's trucks, the '84 nor the '72 Chevy's seen here, did he set out to find. In 1984 Larry's dad purchased the Silverado brand new. For 20 years Larry's old man used the Silverado as his main source of transportation. However, medical issues sidelined him and Larry became the benefactor of the Chevy. The '72 C10 Cheyenne was the outcome of a chance encounter, and with an even more stroke-of-luck asking price Larry was left with no choice but to expand the fleet. Being that no one likes idle hands, the agenda for the pair was simple; transform these once work trucks into something straight and to the point: driveable yet still practical.
When Larry's father owned the Silverado there wasn't a chance the old man would let Larry borrow the truck, due to the fact he was afraid the Chevy would show back up slammed! Well, sometimes fathers know their sons all too well. The day Larry took the reins of the '84 it was off to Flyin' Eye Creations (Larry's shop in Wichita) for a set of 2-inch Belltech dropped spindles with complementing 4-inch lowering coil springs. Out back a set of 6-inch blocks were located between the rearend and leaf springs. Rounding out the new chassis setup is a set of Gabriel shocks installed at each corner. As for the '72 it followed similar suit. Up front it was equipped with matching Belltech lowering gear. However, in the rear Larry and the crew at Flyin' Eye C-notched the frame and then installed a set of Belltech 6-inch lowering coil springs. Like before, Gabriel shocks handle the ride.
When the '84 was handed over to Larry, the stock 350 was a strong motor, but being that Larry hounded his old man to up the ante, how could he fall back on his tongue lashings? For that reason he set out to build a stout 383 stroker for the Silverado. The block is a '95 350 that has been bored and stroked to 383 cubic inches. Curing any asthmatic symptoms is an Edelbrock intake manifold mated with a 650-cfm Edelbrock carb. The old-school distributor was tossed for a new HEI unit and the engine was dressed up with chrome accessories. Flip Transmission built Larry a solid Turbo 350 tranny with a 2,500-stall converter to back the 383. The '72 doesn't share the same "heart" as the '84; for now at least. With the exception of an Edelbrock carburetor the stock 350 is all talk with no walk, but it's dependable and that's all that really counts.