There has never been a shortage of trucks in Texas. But most of them get used like trucks, so finding usable old iron to restore or customize can be a challenge. Probably very few people who bought a new C10 in 1972 were thinking about winning Best of Show trophies 40 years down the line. Today, this generation of Chevy pickups is one of the most popular in the hobby—and not for hauling hay bales or lugging cargo around. That’s not to say that Chevy didn’t have style in mind in 1971 when it introduced the Cheyenne to the C10 line. Truck buyers who chose this trim option were probably looking for a little bit more than a work truck. Forty years later, the Cheyenne just might be as much of a classic to truck guys as the Camaro is to muscle car fans.
Some people, like Richard Tierney, like them all. His collection of classics has included a ’34 Ford, a ’23 T-bucket, a resto ’67 Corvette, ’55 Chevy pickups, and now this striking green ’72 Cheyenne. The motivation for building the ’72 is a familiar story—Richard drove one in high school. The years went by, the other cars and trucks got built, and Richard started thinking, “wouldn’t it be fun?”
After the initial steps of making a plan, finding a suitable truck (this one turned up in Abilene), and collecting the parts, Richard was ready to begin building, working with Jim Rowe at JBZ Race Cars & Customs in Tomball, Texas. The project was part restoration, part hot rod, using a combination of N.O.S. parts (many still available from GM) and high-performance aftermarket components—“the good stuff” as Richard put it.
The factory frame was powdercoated and fortified with tubular rear arms. The front clip from a ’90 Suburban was added and modified with Classic Performance Products spindles. CPP also provided the sway bars, and front and rear disc brakes. To get the ride height down where he wanted it, Richard had the rear coils lowered by 5 inches, with 3 inches coming out of the front. The steering column was also shortened 3 inches. Bilstein shocks mounted in all corners improve the ride even further.
It would be nearly impossible to have too much chassis considering the powerplant in this truck. Lifting the Goodmark cowl hood on its billet hinges reveals the highly dressed-up fuel-injected big-block, built by Scott Shafiroff Racing. You don’t have to race a dragster to run a Shafiroff engine; they have a line of pretty serious street engines, including this 650-horsepower 540ci version, running an EZ-EFI system from FAST. The 540 features Dart Pro 1 heads, 10.5:1 forged pistons, a Comp Cams hydraulic roller cam, plus an Edelbrock Air Gap manifold and MSD ignition. Richard added Hooker headers, which just clear the framerails, with a pair of Dynomax SS mufflers to keep the decibels down. The chrome custom air cleaner, valve covers, CPP master cylinder and booster, and a polished serpentine belt system from Billet Specialties add some eye appeal. A high-performance Turbo 400 transmission and converter was built by Phoenix Transmission products in Weatherford, Texas, and is equipped with a B&M trans cooler. A polished aluminum driveshaft runs back to the 12-bolt rearend with a Posi and 3.73:1 gears.