Custom 1966 Chevrolet C10 Pickup - Second Go Around
Fast Eddie's Red Ride
For some, their younger memorable experiences were captured while cruising in an old pickup truck, when life was simple and innocent. This is what Eddie Rudd and his wife, Vickie, experienced in Eddie's '66 Chevy C10 pickup. After a couple years of marriage, they sold it in 1982. After not seeing the pickup for 22 years, in 2004 Eddie saw it and found out that it still belonged to the same guy he sold it to in 1982. Eddie was hoping to buy back the truck. After asking Jim, the current owner, if he would sell it, Jim said he would and for only what he paid for it from Eddie back in '82. One thousand bucks later Eddie had his truck back. After regaining the pink slip for a second time, he drove it home.
Utilizing the stock frame, Brad Cate and Dee Kistner from Knoxville, Tennessee, boxed the framerails from behind the cab with 1/4-inch-thick plate. The truck gets its stance from Air Ride Technologies upper and lower control arms sandwiched between a pair of 2-inch drop spindles, with Firestone 2500 airbags that team with Gabriel shocks up front and 2150 'bags out back. The rear frame section was both C-notched and stepped to create enough clearance during negative rear suspension travel. The stock rear trailing arms locate and pivot the GM 12-bolt rearend, which was stuffed with 3.73 gears and a posi unit. The "whoa" pedal activates Baer disc brakes, which use four-piston calipers and 12.75-inch rotors in the front and 13-inchers in the rear to slow the classic. Solid stainless steel and braided brake lines link the master brake cylinder and power booster to the four Baer brake calipers. Eddie's choice of rolling style and traction was American Racing polished billet aluminum Torque Thrust II 18x7-1/2-inch wheels with 2-inch offset in the front and 20x8-1/2-inch hoops in the rear. The billet wheels are wrapped with Toyo rubber, 245/45R18 in the front and 255/45R20 in the rear. A 13-gallon gas tank was fitted between the rear framerails, under the bed.
The mighty '67 327ci small-block V-8 was cleaned, inspected, machined, and then assembled to specs by the crew at Service Machine in Knoxville. The pair of GM 2-inch camel-hump cylinder heads were ported and polished. A double-roller timing chain links the crankshaft and healthy Lunati camshaft, which coordinates the valvetrain action. An MSD coil disperses energy with an MSD distributor through a set of Taylor 7mm insulated wires and Champion spark plugs. A pair of ceramic-coated Sanderson shorty headers collect into a 2-inch custom-bent exhaust that was fabbed and installed by the crew at Kar Kare. The exhaust flows into a pair of Hushpower mufflers. The 327ci engine produces a solid 425 hp to the rear wheels. The team at Jim Smith's Garage built a custom aluminum driveshaft that links the beefed-up GM 700-R4 automatic transmission with a mild B&M shift kit and pistol grip ratchet shifter to the GM 12-bolt rearend.
The all-steel '66 C10 sheetmetal received several cosmetic improvements. All of the cab's body seams were welded in and then ground smooth,while the cab driprails were shaved along with the cowl. The stock door handles survived being eliminated to maintain the hot-rod theme. A custom bed was erected by Mar-K, with filled-in stake pockets and a gorgeous white oak floor separated by polished stainless steel stringers. Eddie installed a gas filler neck and cap in the bed floor for easy access using a pop-up furniture mechanism. A smooth roll pan was welded in, cleaning up the rear. The leading edge remains in stock configuration, including the grille, bumper, and running lights. A pair of halogen headlights flank the stock grille for better night visibility. The truck was then delivered to South Paw Customs in Knoxville for its final beauty treatments. The sheetmetal was completely massaged, block-sanded, prepped, and then sprayed with DuPont GM '66 Chevelle Red and buried in DuPont clear.
Opening the cab door exposes the custom all-steel interior with a shaved-smooth dash and fabricated steel waterfall center console separating the Cerullo bucket seats. The crew at Kirk's Kustom Upholstery in Corryton, Tennessee, applied sound-deadening material to the floor and then laid down plush Daytona Brown carpet. The Cerullo bucket seats were covered with European Nut Brown leather. A Nut Brown leather-wrapped Billet Specialties steering wheel caps the ididit tilt steering column. A reliable set of Mooneyes blackface gauges maintains important engine conditions. To ensure a comfortable climate, Eddie installed a Vintage Air four-way A/C system, which was mounted up under the dash with Vintage Air Sure-Fit dash controls.
Brad Cate and Dee Kistner are responsible for installing and wiring the Sony sound system, head unit, amplifier, and 5-1/4-inch speakers, which were mounted behind the seats. There is nothing like listening to a good medley of tunes while cruising down an open road.
When undertaking a major project, there are always people to thank. Eddie would like to personally thank Brad Cate and Dee Kistner, who were the major builders of his '66. Also, James and Todd Kirk from Kirk Kustom Upholstery for their stitchcraft talents. Thanks again to the crew at South Paw Customs for spraying the DuPont Chevelle Red on the truck and Kar Kare for plumbing the exhaust.
Eddie's '66 C10 is definitely a timeless ride that will be enjoyed by he and his wife, Vickie -- that is, if he doesn't sell it again.