“The first time I saw the truck it belonged to a friend and employee of mine named Trev. This was about 10 years ago. It was primer grey and had flat flames on the hood and fender, whitewalls, and the original interior. Since I’m into cars and trucks, I thought it was cool. Trev sold it to Ryan “Hopper” Hoppe, another good friend and employee. Hopper had the rear bagged and the frame fabbed and four-linked by Gabe D’Agosta at Insane Customs. Unfortunately, not long after it was done the brakes went out on it while driving and it was damaged enough that he sold it to another friend of mine, Rob “Llanta”. Rob got the body and frame repaired, rebuilt the 350, and had the truck painted brown and pinstriped. I still had my eye on it, since I thought it was a real cool truck that had been in our Tribal family for years. Rob got the itch to build a ’50s chevy and decided to sell the truck. I made a deal and scooped it up.”
The first time we saw the truck it was parked in the outdoor “Drive-In” section of the 2012 Grand National Roadster Show. We had to compete with a crowd of admirers all trying to get photos of the on-the-ground pickup.
“I had just completed two builds, a ’49 Chevy fleetline and a ’59 Chevy Impala, so the timing was perfect to concentrate on the truck for a few years. First things I had done was adding front disc brakes, having the front bagged by Gabe, and adding drop spindles to the front end to get it to lay harder. The truck didn’t have any of the trim or side moldings, so I added that along with a ’70s-style gold flake inner stripe and gold leaf logo by Manuel Cisneros. Rockford Fosgate sponsored a stereo system. I changed out the tires and wheels and added Lancer hubcaps. Anthony at Top Stitch Upholstery did the ‘baseball glove’ type leather interior mixed with Mexican serape fabric. The leather was laser-etched with our Tribal logo. About a year later, the top was painted tan and Manuel got down on some candy patterns on the roof. I still didn’t think it laid hard enough so I decided to have it channeled and the body dropped by Abe at San Diego Rod and Customs.”
Next to the stance, the most eye-catching element of the truck is the amazing paint. The body was shot with semi-gloss suede brown body with some added pearl, contrasted by the gloss tan top. Chico Gonzalez at Candy’s Auto Body sprayed the paint.
Many people made hands-on contributions to the truck, but as usual, it’s encouragement and moral support that makes projects successful. Bobby added, “Special thanks to my wife Sabrina for putting up with my car issues and addiction for 25 years.”
At the Grand National Roadster Show, we selected the attention-getting Chevy (which is part of the Tribal car collection) for the Custom Classic Trucks Editor’s Choice award. But this isn’t a pampered show vehicle. Bobby says he drives it anywhere from once a week to every day, depending on the time of year. And believe it or not, he says he still has additional plans for the C10. One goal is to paint the interior. Another is to “just keep driving it as much as I can.” CCT
Editor’s Note: Getting your truck into Readers’ Trucks is a snap, of the camera, that is. All it takes are a few good-quality photos of your ride that are in focus and well lit. High-resolution digital photos can be sent in via email to: email@example.com. Traditional prints are also acceptable and should be sent to: CCT, c/o Readers’ Trucks, 1733 Alton Parkway, Suite 100, Irvine, CA 92606. It is important that you include a detailed description of the modifications you have made to your truck, including any interesting stories behind it. Due to the volume of mail we receive, we regret that we cannot return photographs.
The truck serves as a canvas...
The truck serves as a canvas for a variety of paint techniques, from pinstriping to gold leaf and candies. The elaborate color patterns on the top of the truck were done by Manuel Cisneros.
Reliable power is provided...
Reliable power is provided by a 350ci Chevy small-block engine, running a single four-barrel carburetor n an Edelbrock intake. The louvered air cleaner and valve covers were identified as “cheap chrome,” but they do the job. The transmission is a column-shifted Turbo 350.
The upholstery is a beautiful...
The upholstery is a beautiful combination of leather and fabric, created by Top Stitch Upholstery in Montebello, California.
The bed can hold as much cargo...
The bed can hold as much cargo as will fit in the wooden chest, trimmed in leather and metal. It was built by Arturo Gonzalez, a wood shop teacher at Hoover High School in San Diego. “I wanted it to look like a cross between a coffin and a treasure chest,” Bobby explained. There are no plans to replace the bed floor, which would prevent people from seeing Gabe D’Agosta’s custom frame and suspension work.