Nick Hughes was just a sprite young guy at the tender age of fourteen when he convinced his dad Michael that starting a truck project two years before he was legally able to drive was a good idea. His mom however was really the one that needed to be convinced since his dad was as much of a fan of the late ’60s C10s as Nick was. A few hours spent behind closed doors pleading and Nick had her sold as well, and before long, the young teenager and his pops "Sparky" were out looking for a likely candidate.
They found a local guy with a ’69 Chevy stepside for sale and a deal was soon drawn up that found the Hughes duo to be the new proud owners. Working over the course of the next three years, Nick and Michael slowly overhauled the truck as Nick’s tight budget would allow. The project took a hiatus, however, as Michael succumbed to the effects of cancer, passing away before they were able to complete the project.
Nick then decided that it was only fitting to build the C10 as a tribute to his late father; something that would require more attention to detail and a higher quality of craftsmanship than what a starving student could muster up in what little spare time he could find. It was then that Nick decided to take it over to Killer Ridez, in Seagoville, Texas, to have Jim and the crew apply their talents to the Hughes’ pickup.
With the decision to blow the truck apart and do a ground-up build, Nick opted to send out the chassis to be powdercoated black at Enduro Powdercoating before bolting on the suspension upgrades provided by McGaughy’s. Up front, powdercoated control arms were mated with 2-inch-dropped spindles and 1-inch-dropped springs to bring the front end closer to the ground and give the truck an improvement in the handling department. Disc brakes replaced the stock drum units as did a power steering box, further adding to the improvements. A C-notched rear kickup in the chassis made the room for the 5-inch dropped rear springs and trailing arm kit. Tucked up nice and tight in the fenders are a set of big-inch Coys C-5 Gun Metal five-spoke wheels shod in Toyo rubber, 22s out back and 20s up front.
Nick wanted a reliable powerplant for the newly reborn truck, so a GM Performance Parts catalog was picked up and from it a Ram Jet Crate 350 coupled with a 700-R4--overdrive transmission was chosen. Alan Grove brackets mount the needed accessories which includes a chrome alternator, Sanden A/C compressor, and power steering pump. Hooker headers cough through a Flowmaster mufflers-equipped dual exhaust built by Triple A Mufflers.
Externally, the truck was solid but needed some TLC when it showed up to Killer Ridez, for under the red oxide primer lurked thirty-plus years of abuse and neglect. The crew quickly took to work, welder in hand, installing new rocker panels and patching up other areas of cancerous interest. While at it, Nick had the guys fill the stock fuel filler hole in the cab, shave the emblems and antenna, and modify the dash for the new Alpine head unit. One-piece side glass courtesy of One Piece Products was installed in the doors to further smooth out the hauler and gives it a more contemporary vibe. Once the cab and front sheetmetal work was completed, it was mated with a new steel bed before the whole kit and caboodle was slid into the paint booth where it received a liberal coat of Lexus Black and Cobra Gray applied by Genaro Gonzales at Killer Ridez. A new oak bed wood kit and chrome incidentals from LMC Truck round out the exterior appointments.
Although the interior of the truck was pretty clean when Nick brought the C10 in originally, a few upgrades were in order to bring it up to caliber with the rest of the truck. The Travis’ Upholstery door panels and seat remained untouched, with the minor addition of the electric window buttons replacing the stock window cranks. A number of other stock items were also replaced, including the gauges and gauge cluster, steering wheel and column, glovebox, and stereo head unit. A set of Autometer carbon-fiber gauges replaced the stock items, as did a No Limit billet insert with matching glovebox door. Billet Specialties provided the steering wheel and horn button as well as the matching set of pedals. An Old Air A/C unit maintains a comfortable temperature for those toasty Texas summers while an Alpine head unit, amp, and subwoofer provide the tunes to cruise to.
The finished product is a study in what makes a classic truck so appealing to such a broad fan base. Timeless styling coupled with a great stance and perfect paint is a winning combination every time. And we couldn’t think of a more fitting tribute than a classic truck started by father and son. CCT