Two-Tone 1974 Chevrolet C20 Works As Good As It Looks

Longbed Love

Harry WagnerPhotographer, Writer

Living in Placerville, California, in the shadow of the famous Rubicon Trail, Wyatt Barry has abundant opportunities to wheel all year long. That includes multiday trips and plenty of snow wheeling, so Wyatt’s vehicle of choice has always been fullsize Chevys. And not shortbed trucks, but longbeds with plenty of wheelbase to climb tall obstacles and bed space for all his cargo.

All that wheeling took its toll on his last truck though, which ended up with a seized 400ci engine and a crushed cab after five years of heavy wheeling. Wyatt tossed the cab, bought a clean 2WD truck, and got to work combining the two in his barn with help from Hank Collins and Dan Dammen using the lessons he had learned along the way.

The bored 455 Oldsmobile V-8 came from Dave Phillips and makes a ton of torque. After cracking the tailhousing in half on the Rubicon in the snow, Wyatt built three mounting points for the current TH350 and four-speed Advance Adapters Atlas II transfer case. The unconventional drivetrain continues with a 14-bolt front axle built with Dana 50 outers. “They are the same size knuckles that Dana 60s use but they are cheap,” says Wyatt.

The previous 47-inch tires were replaced by 41.5-inch Pit Bull Rockers on 20-inch TrailReady HD beadlock wheels. The tires fit with only a 4-inch lift thanks to heavy fender trimming that involved removing the inner fenders in the front and raising the rear fender tubs in the bed by unbolting them from the bottom and setting them on top of the bed. The two-tone paint is original and looks great, although given how frequently Wyatt wheels we don’t expect it to stay that way forever.

Tech Specs

1974 Chevrolet C20
Engine: 469 ci Oldsmobile V-8
Transmission: TH350 3-speed automatic
Transfer Case: 4-speed Advance Adapters Atlas II
Front Axle: 14-bolt with Dana 50 knuckles, Dutchman axleshafts, Yukon 5.38 gears, and Yukon spool
Rear Axle: Corporate 14-bolt with Yukon 5.38 gears and Detroit Locker
Springs & Such: Rancho 4-inch lift springs and Fox remote-reservoir shocks (front); 63-inch Chevy leaf springs and Fox remote-reservoir shocks (rear)
Tires & Wheels: 41.5x13.50-20 Pit Bull Rocker on 20x9.5 TrailReady HD beadlock
Steering: Howe steering box, PSC hydraulic assist ram, modified factory GM steering pump
Lighting: $60 Amazon LED headlights
Other Stuff: Custom front bumper, Smittybilt X20 17,500 winch, Factor 55 UltraHook, Rockhound Off Road rock sliders, York air compressor, 30-gallon Suburban fuel tank, Cadillac Escalade seats, Flowmaster mufflers