To get the full effect, you’d need to come up from behind Greg Stanton’s ’67 C10 Stepside shortbed on the highway. From the rear, there’s plenty to admire: the low stance, the modified tailgate and bed, the roll pan and flush-mounted taillights, the small-window cab, and the conservative gray paint.
But it’s only when you start to pass, do you get what Greg calls “the surprise.” A stream of metalflake seaweed flames reach along the rear fenders. As you pull alongside, the flames increase on the doors and front quarters, flowing from their starting place on the hood. A final glance in your rearview mirror reveals a hooded skull, grinning back at you from the front of the hood. More than you were expecting? That was Greg’s plan all along.
Actually, the original plan was to build a stocker. The worn-out, slightly damaged Chevy belonged to a friend who owed Greg some money. Greg had half-seriously suggested “Just give me the truck and we’re even.” A month later, he came home to find the C10 parked in his driveway with a sign saying “we’re even.”
Greg and his then teenage son, Jeff, got busy on a simple resto project, but repairs led to modifications and, as Greg puts it, “Then it got crazy.” Keeping crazy under control got easier after Greg teamed up with Jeff’s Performance Garage in his hometown of Santa Rosa, California, where Jeff La Salle and Mark Rogers helped Greg finish the truck.
Earlier in the build, the truck was taken down to the framerails, which were boxed and supported with custom crossmembers to increase sturdiness. The ’rails were Z’d to bring the truck low to the ground. Just how low it’ll go is up to Greg, who can control the ride height from the driver seat, thanks to RideTech airbag suspension at each corner. Rear trailing arms, and front and rear Rancho shocks were added to help smooth out any bumps in the road.
Power is provided by a brand-new 2012 Chevy ZZ4 crate engine, assembled by Jeff and Mark at Jeff’s Performance Garage. The 350-inch small-block is naturally aspirated with a single Holley 770-cfm four-barrel carburetor on an aluminum dual-plane intake manifold. The aluminum radiator is from Be Cool. BBK shorty headers run into a custom-built exhaust system. Exhaust travels through 3-inch pipes and 16-inch Cherry Bomb mufflers, before exiting though quadruple pipes below each bed step. The stock Chevy Turbo 400 was kept in place. At the other end of the factory driveshaft is the factory rearend, with 3.74:1 gears and a limited-slip differential.
On any custom truck, it’s the external impact that makes the first and most important impression. Greg obviously figured that out; the ’67 has impact all over the place. The details like shaved door handles and trim pieces, smoothed driprails, and Hagan headlights might get overlooked, but they clean up the sheetmetal.
Greg intentionally left things simpler in the back in order to emphasize the wild paintjob (shot by George Borba at Geo’s Chop Shop) in the front. The flames covering the entire hood, down the sides, and onto the top draw everyone’s attention. But a closer look reveals another surprise usually missed at first glance—faint skulls painted in each of the triangular flame splits. Greg says not everybody notices it, and it takes a while for the ones who do. At car shows, spectators will discover those faces and come back in a few minutes with their friends to surprise them.
The bed isn’t loaded with as many diabolical surprises. The tail section has been modified and a Classic Industries roll pan added to house the Hagan taillights and frenched license plate. Stake pockets have been filled, with the left rear pocket converted to a fuel fill tube with a motorcycle gas cap. The bed floor is African zebrawood. Greg spent seven hours choosing planks to match the grain. His friend, Adam Provencher, is a carpenter and constructed the floor. The front third is a hatch that opens for access to the battery.
Greg thanks Nick and Bud Simi at Precision Frame & Body Shop for helping with other bodywork. The fenders are filled with Americana five-spokes from Schott Performance Wheels. The 18s and 20s are matched with 235/45ZR18 and 275/40ZR20 Toyo Proxes 4 performance radials. A full set of disc brakes provides plenty of stopping power.
You’ll find the flame theme carried over in the cab, via a Billet Specialties Flame wheel and matching pedals. Auto Meter Pro-Comp Ultra-Lite gauges fill a billet dash panel. The factory bench seat is covered in gray tuck ’n’ roll vinyl.
The Chevy was completed in early 2012. Its first show was Peggy Sue’s All-American Cruise in his own town. When his son Jeff, now in his 20s, and a bunch of buddies scrambled into the never-loaded bed and nothing rubbed, Greg knew his C10 was built right. And when car show crowds started gathering around the truck, he knew it looked right.
Greg loves the attention the truck gets at shows, but recently he’s been talking about hooking a teardrop trailer to the C10’s hitch and hitting the road with his wife Angie. We can picture the truck pulling that teardrop, letting other drivers get the full effect of the full-of-surprises C10 when it passes them on the highway.