So you own one of the biggest brake companies in the world, selling a large variety of high-quality components for car hobbyists across the globe. And not only do you sell these brake systems and accessories, but you actually make them in house, smack dab in the heart of the good ol' USA. In the course of promoting your company and its products, you decide that you want to put together a show piece — a vehicular attraction that would not only impress hot rodders and motorheads alike, but would also act as a moving display of your top-of-the-line products. You think about what style of ride you can build, as you make parts for practically everything on four wheels. So what kind of ride do you decide to build...?
Well if you're Mike Jonas, owner of Stainless Steel Brake Company, you decide to build a truck. And not just any truck; you build a show-stopping truck stuffed with an assortment of go-fast goodies, modern flair, and of course, one hell of a brake system! Mike's a car guy through and through, having worked in the brake business since he was a pre-teen. His dad founded SSBC, first working out of the basement in his home outside Buffalo, New York, and then moving the company above ground, into their own space.
It's been a family business from day one, and in 1997 Mike bought the company from his dad and has continued the tradition of building high-quality brake components for a large variety of cars and trucks. Mike has built a variety of rods and muscle cars over the years, but had never built a truck. He was fond of the late 1960s and early 1970s C10 Chevys, and soon decided that this model would be his next project. He located a near rust-free 1970 sitting out in a dry field 60 miles east of Los Angeles. The heavy-duty six-lug truck had led a workman's life, being used as a landscaper's ride for quite a few years.
Mike bought the truck sight unseen for $1,500 and had it shipped back to his home in the "rust belt" of upstate New York. It was a wise choice to buy out West as the truck was very usable from the start. The bed was trashed, but amazingly the cab was nearly perfect with just a haze of surface rust. Mike and his crew tore the entire truck down in eight hours with a set of 3⁄8 wrenches and a little muscle. It was then sent out to the blaster for a cleanup. The cab, tailgate, and frame were saved for the new build, while the healthy front clip was sold off. The owner had other plans for the rest of the body.
Mike really liked the look of the 1967 sheetmetal, so a complete front clip was ordered from Dynacorn. The hood is a custom cowl design and the 8-foot bed was shortened to 6 feet to give the ride a stouter, more powerful appearance. Back wheeltubs were doubled and local body shop Aero Collision handled all the fabrication work and then prepped the body for a dose of Sherwin Williams standard white with lots of silver metallic added in.
While that was going on, the frame was C-notched for a lowered stance and then painted. Overall suspension design came from the 1973-87 Silverado. Up front, 2-inch drop spindles along with Eaton springs keep the nose low, while out back an over/under spring swap and reversed rear leaf spring lowered the rear 5.5 inches. Leaf springs are also from Eaton. Front and rear sway bars from Hotchkis help out in the corners.
As far as the brakes go, Mike chose his SSBC 14-inch tri-power disc brakes for front and rear. The three-piston brakes are state of the art, and interestingly enough, the center rear piston acts as the emergency brake on the rear calipers. Pretty trick! The calipers are powdercoated silver. The rotors are SSBC's own 14-inch H/D Turbo Slot rotors for max cooling and stopping power.
The original brake booster was reused and painted body color. The master cylinder is an SSBC billet master carved out of a solid hunk of billet aluminum with a bore of 11⁄8 inches. All brake lines were supplied by Classic Tube and are stainless...as is every piece of hardware on this build! The rear is the original Truetrac factory 12-bolt rear with 3.08 gears. On the corners, Centerline wheels grace the flanks, 18x7 up front and 20x9 in the rear. Tires are Goodyear, 225/55/18 and 285/40/20 respectively.
Once the suspension was out of the way, Mike had to choose the motor motivation for this ride. He decided on a new GM ZZ383 factory crate stroker from Scoggin-Dickey. Out of the box the engine is rated at 450 hp, plenty enough power for his custom Bow Tie. A Holley Pro-Jection fuel-injection system was added, MSD handles the ignition, and Painless supplied the wiring.
An aluminum Be Cool radiator handles the heat along with a set of Spal fans. All the pedals and cables are from Lokar. Spent gasses are removed by a set of JBA headers that feed a custom stainless MagnaFlow system. A 700-R4 transmission, built up by Bowler Transmissions, handles all the power this Chevy can muster and hooks up to a custom aluminum driveshaft from Denny's Driveshaft.
For the interior, Mike wanted to make some room, so he relocated the gas tank under the bed. He then obtained a 2004 model Chevy truck bench seat, removed the corner shoulder harnesses, and then had the seat reupholstered. Classic Industries supplied a deluxe package of gauges with full instrumentation to keep track of the vitals.
Flaming River made the steering column and components, while Classic Industries finished off the interior with a teakwood steering wheel. Auto Custom Carpet supplied the full carpets and Trim Parts had all the parts Mike needed to finish off the cockpit. And of course, Vintage Air doles out the cool chill!
Out back, Bed Wood supplied the white oak to which Mike added 14 coats of varnish to and then buffed it out to a brilliant shine. Markers and taillights are out of a 1967 Blazer. Mike always loved the look of these pieces and they look right at home in this 1970/1967 blend. Last but not least, the good people at Dakota Digital supplied the cool LED taillight system.
Nowadays Mike spends some of his free time cruising to local shows where he is a consistent trophy winner. It's a nice pat on the back for a job well done, though that's not the reason he built the truck. He built it to cruise and to show off a sample of his American-made products. Well kudos to you Mike.
One last shout, Mike would like to thank Harvey Reeves, a good man who knew what our owner was looking for...and found it. Mike also wants to thanks his family for sticking with him while this truck went from basket case to show stopper.