If the Gilmore family crest doesn't include a hot rod somewhere on it, it probably should. Brothers Bret and Steve are lifelong gearheads and have owned some desirable rides. Eric Gilmore, Steve's son and Bret's nephew, has inherited the enthusiasm of his father and uncle. At the Goodguys PPG Nationals in Columbus, Ohio, we ran across these two cool C10s, an orange '66 owned by Bret and a black '64 owned by Eric.
Bret Gilmore's first car was a '67 Pontiac GTO. That Goat was the beginning of a lifetime passion for the automotive hobby, and was followed by Chevelles, Novas, and Camaros. Bret's interest was never restricted to cars; that just happened to be what he owned. When Bret started seeing custom classic trucks claiming their place within hot rod culture in the last several years, he decided that he wanted to be part of it. He started the search for a pickup project a little more than a year ago. After looking around for a while, he ended up in Cleveland (a couple hours from his home in Marion, Ohio), where he ran across this '66 C10. He returned to Marion with the truck.
The Chevy was complete when Bret purchased it. Part of the pickup's appeal was the fact that he could start driving it and enjoying it right away. Adding to that appeal was the straight Styleside body and the PPG Hugger Orange paint with a white top following the factory two-tone style. The grille was replaced with a billet piece. The headlights, taillights, plus the right and left exterior mirror were swapped for replicas from LMC Truck. The original bed wood has been retained and preserved. The fuel filler was also kept, except that gas is now delivered to a custom fuel tank mounted under the frame. The only obvious external changes from stock are the SS emblems on the front quarters, the tires and wheels, and the lowered stance.
Bret kept the stock framerails and much of the stock suspension components, including the rear four-link and Panhard bar. The stock Chevy 10-bolt is packed with 4.10:1 gears, spinning 35-spline axles from Moser Engineering. That stance was achieved with a RideTech Level 1 system for '63-'72 C10s, which replaces the factory coils and shocks with air springs and monotube shocks. The new profile was further improved with the addition of an upgraded wheel and tire combination. Bret decided on a contemporary interpretation of '60s-style wheels. He found what he was looking for at Billet Specialties, and picked these mag five-spoke wheels from the Legend Series. The 20x8 rear wheels have 4½ inches of backspacing and are wrapped with low-profile 275/35R20 Dunlop tires providing plenty of tread. The front tires are almost equally stout, measuring 245/40R18 and rolling on 18x8 wheels. The front wheels are backed by Classic Performance Products (CPP) 12-inch disc brakes. Factory drums were kept in the rear. The master cylinder and proportioning valve were supplied by CPP.
The Chevy 283 engine is alive and well and provides plenty of power. Gas and air is drawn through an Edelbrock manifold and Performer 600-cfm carb. A pair of Hedman Block Hugger headers tied to 2½-inch pipes sends the exhaust gases through MagnaFlow mufflers. The TH350 transmission is modified with a shift kit and operated via a B&M shifter.
The stock bench seat was upholstered in black vinyl with roll 'n' pleat stitching prior to Bret buying the truck. A carbon-fiber insert from Classic Thunder Road dresses up the dash and houses a full set of Equus aftermarket instruments. Gauges monitoring the RideTech air springs are mounted to the right. Painless Performance provided the wiring system, ensuring that those dials move like they're supposed to and other electric functions never fail. The ididit steering column, along with a Classic steering wheel from Billet Specialties guides the '66 down the road.
It's still winter in central Ohio, so Bret's '66 won't be seeing any activity for a little while. But as soon as things thaw out a little, the truck will be back on the road where it belongs.