Chronicling a Labor of Love
I am writing you in hope of displaying my truck in your magazine.
It all started when my grandfather had a '67 C10 for his company truck. When he passed away, I received it and drove it everywhere. But it was too heavily rusted to restore, so I bought a '67 1-ton dualie and built it. I was still not satisfied so I found a '70 two-wheel drive from a neighbor that wasn't too beat up for $1,000. I really wanted a 4x4, so I found an '86 GM city snowplow truck. It had been burnt badly from an engine fire. This truck was $400 and would be my donor chassis. We sent it out to be blasted since it was a plow truck-imagine the rust.
I installed 12-inch Superlift springs, quad BDS shocks, and stabilizers at both ends. One-and-a-half-inch tubes were used to build ladder bars, which were powdercoated. The axles were HD Corporate units which I rebuilt with 4.11:1 gears and Detroit Lockers. I found a 454ci V-8 at a salvage yard, along with a Turbo 400 and transfer case for $800 used. (I wanted a 700R4, but didn't think it would hold up to the abuse it may get at times.) T&S Transmission in Martinsville, Indiana built the tranny and transfer case with a TCI 2,400 stall.
The engine was sent out to Quinlin Automotive in Indianapolis, Indiana, to be rebuilt. It was bored .030 over, with forged pistons, Comp cam (.575 lift/272 duration), Edelbrock intake and 700cfm carb, Hooker headers, and an HEI ignition. Pro-Kote of Indy ceramic coated the 4-inch exhaust system with Flowmasters Goodyear Wrangler MT/R 40x13.5/17 on Ultra 17x10s were selected for a great ride and traction qualities. This truck could handle 48s, but the quality ride would be lost.
The body was massaged, and the usual cab corners and rockers were replaced. The bed was another story, as the floor was rusted and sides were beat up. Extra welding and time were spent on the body. To increase the cab legroom, the fuel tank was removed and a custom aluminum tank was made to rest between the rear rails. I added a fuel fill door in the bedside from a newer truck. Bushwacker made a set of flares for the truck, which fit nice and added a much needed look.
I tossed around colors for awhile 'til I found the perfect color scheme: House Of Kolor Sunset Orange and Dark Toreador Red Metallic with a flame to break the two colors was selected. Since the interior was going to be leather, I painted the tan flame to appear as leather with stitches in the flame so it looked sewn together. The body was off and on several times to lay out the scheme as it goes through jambs and between the bed and cab. Then the body was clearcoated five times with House Of Kolor UC-35. It was then wet-sanded and buffed to bury any tape lines.
Since this truck is a '70, you can't just go out and buy a bumper, like all the cool bumpers for new trucks. The bumper templates were made out of cardboard and measured, and plate steel was sent out to be laser-cut and Tig-welded; 130-watt KC lights were added and bezels were made flush, then painted.
The interior was restored with stock instruments. Leather on the seats and armrests were done by Coverall in Martinsville. A custom speaker and amp box were built similar to the old fuel tank, but slightly smaller. Clarion provides sound thru a CD stereo with four speakers-two in the rear box and two in custom kick panels.
It took Riley Customs of Martinsville 525 hours to build this truck in six months and it was worth it-lots of thumbs-up wherever I go. It drives nice and has no problem lighting up those big 40s. It does like gas, but who cares when you're driving a truck like this? It's no trailer queen.
Those are the only modifications you made to your truck? So what's the big deal?
Okay, by all means feel free to send us some photos. And if you don't want to wait for us to get them into the magazine, you can also post images at fourwheeler.com once you've created your own (free) account there.