Jay and Carole Roberts' '72 Chevy C10 started out its life in the Roberts family as a utility vehicle, as many trucks, especially in Texas, do. Purchased from the original owner in 1979 for a whopping $850 due to a dented right-front fender, it was driven when duty called and seldom ever else. By 1988, after 16 years of living unprotected from Mother Nature, it got its first repaint; from the stock dark green and white two-tone to an all-white scheme. It was at this time that the dented fender was repaired as well. Another 10 hard years passed before the old Custom Deluxe was finally relegated to a barn where it sat waiting until 2006 when the restoration process begun.
The first step in the restoration process was to remove the cab, bed, and other sheetmetal items before the chassis could be sandblasted and painted. LMC Truck supplied the 2 1/2-inch dropped spindles to bring the front of the truck a little closer to solid ground while the rear was dropped a total of 4 inches using dropped springs and the stock control arms. The stock 12-bolt Eaton rearend was completely rebuilt with a 3.73:1 ratio. An ABS power master cylinder replaced the stock GM unit to better handle the stopping duties while an ididit tilt column made the steering controls a bit more comfortable. The rear kickup was C-notched for extra clearance before the entire ball of wax was powdercoated and reassembled. The icing on the cake was the 20-gallon Rick's Hot Rods tank that was placed behind the rear crossmember, accessible by a fuel door located on the bed floor behind the rear driver-side wheelwell. Billet Specialties Vintec Dish wheels, 17x8s up front and 17x9.5s out back wrapped in Nitto NT450 rubber finish off the rolling accessories.
To get the hauler moving under its own power, Jay opted to go with a Henderson Motor Sports 6-liter Chevy V-8 backed by a 4L60E overdrive transmission. The small-block breathes through a Street and Performance air cleaner and exhales through same-branded headers connected to an American Muffler Shop-fabricated exhaust system.
Although it had spent many rough years outside, the exterior of the Roberts' pickup was in pretty good shape, all things considered. Still, it took Mike Harty of Mike's Garage in Tyler, Texas, plenty of elbow grease to get the C10 perfect before he sprayed it in liberal coats of PPG Factory Dark and Medium Green paint. Mike also gets the nod for the custom fuel filler in the bed, which incorporates a magnetic latching door.
In the cab, Jay opted to use a set of Auto Meter gauges set into a Covan Classic Automotive Specialties insert to keep a watchful eye on that new 6-liter engine. A Custom Autosound head unit was placed in the stock radio location in the dash while a Vintage Air climate-control system was located behind the dash, the controls remaining in their original location. An American Autowire wiring kit was strung together by Mike's Garage connecting everything from the power windows to the coil packs on the engine. To finish off the cab, the C10 was sent over to Mike's Trim Shop where Mike Brown stretched the dark and light green leather over a Glide Engineering bench seat, door and kick panels, and headliner with matching dark green carpet.
Starting with a rough driver and finishing with a show-winning custom truck is a story that's been heard often 'round the halls of the CCT headquarters. But when the truck's been in the same family for over 30 years and it's been used for every task a truck's been known for, it makes the final product that much more special. And I'm sure Jay and Carole Roberts and those who helped them along the way would happily agree.