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Custom 1981 Chevrolet C10 - Risk-Taker

Straight to the Auction Block with No Safety Nets

Kevin Aguilar
Mar 1, 2007
Photographers: Kevin Aguilar
Photo 2/16   |   1981 Chevrolet C10 front Passengers Side View
Eric Hokenson is putting his truck up for auction with no reserve. He's a brave man because he will be doing it at the annual Barrett-Jackson event, which, if you don't know by now, is the premier auction for car collectors around the world. Every year, we are astounded by how many wealthy auto buffs gather under huge tents in the desert town of Scottsdale, Arizona, to buy or sell vehicles. With the rarest of the rare going up for auction for millions of dollars, it makes you wonder how much a truck is worth and can it do well at such a prestigious event.
We are curious, and even Eric has no idea what he is going to get out of it, since auctions can be a gamble. However, he never wanted to sell this truck in the first place and always wanted to keep it around. When he bought it around two decades ago, it was stock and purchased for the purpose of being used as a work truck.
After picking up a few truck magazines and a long night of partying, he came to the conclusion that he could perform all the tricks he had seen in the publications. Without any plan of attack, the longbed version of this C10 was built and finished many times. Every time Eric would try to get ahead of the game, the truck would fall behind as technology grew faster than he could build.
Photo 3/16   |   1981 Chevrolet C10 front Fender Detail
Two years ago, Eric got fed up with playing catch-up and decided to finish the truck for one last time. With everything blown apart, he started off by welding on a Chassis Engineering rear subframe to mount a new shortbed onto and a four-link suspension kit to update the suspension. Then, the Air Ride Technologies control arm setup was used up front with Rancho RS 9000 adjustable off-road shocks. The new short bed was placed and moved 7/8 inch forward to minimize the space between it and the cab. For extra stability to prevent the cab from hitting the bed, Eric made a six-point rollcage inside the cab.
With the frame done, Eric dropped in a 383-cid '67 Chevy engine with a PAW stroker kit and a host of other performance goodies. To finish off the engine compartment, a ram-air intake was made from 3-inch aluminum tubing and polished to a shine. With the truck looking great under the hood, it was time to bring the exterior styling up to par. Before the body was shaved and worked to be straight as glass, Eric decided to add some more styling to the bold '81 C10. He was inspired by the rear cab style of the '60-'66 Chevy truck and added a wing to the cab of his C10. He did the same for the tailgate and then made some fender scoops for looks. With the mods and bodywork done, Eric painted the truck by himself in his own garage.
A lot of flaws can hide, in many ways, and even photos can lie. Seeing is believing, and we can tell you that this truck is the real deal. It is a clean truck, and it blows our minds away to hear that it was built in a personal garage. Eric built this truck to drive, and he believed in it so much that he drove it from St. Paul, Minnesota, to Las Vegas for the SEMA Show. Then, he rode on through to its final destination of Scottsdale, to be dropped off for the auction. Many people questioned him on that trip, but Eric figured that the only way to test the truck was to drive it, cross-country, and he had no problems doing so.
Now that the truck is tested and true, it's time for the big risk of a no-reserve auction. When Eric presented it to the folks of Barrett-Jackson, they told him that usually with custom vehicles you can expect to get half the money spent on the vehicle. Eric explains that even if he were to get 100K for the truck, he would only make about a dollar for every hour spent building it. In no way will he be making a profit off the truck. The real reason it's going for sale is to make way for a series of vehicles he plans on building and selling in a more profitable production schedule. By the time this article makes it to the newsstands, this truck will be waiting to be sold. If everything goes well, it will be gone, and Eric should get what he deserves for it. Auctioning the truck is a huge risk, but Eric is willing to gamble in order to find the right buyer for his truck.
THE 411

Eric Hokenson / Oakdale, Minnesota

'81 Chevy C10

'67 Chevy 383-cid V-8 / bored 0.030 over, balanced, and blueprinted block / PAW stroker kit with Eagle crankshaft / Comp Extreme Energy camshaft / Dart Torquer heads / Isky rocker arms / polished Edelbrock Torquer intake manifold / fabricated ram-air intake / MSD 6AL ignition with Mallory distributor / NOS nitrous-oxide bottle with 150-shot / JBA headers / custom stainless exhaust with Borla mufflers / Turbo 400 transmission with Gear Vendors Overdrive / TCI 3,000-stall converter / custom-made driveshaft / Ford 9-inch rearend
BY: Eric Hokenson

FRONT: 20x8.5-inch Bonspeed Wildthang with 4.5-inch backspacing
REAR: 20x12-inch Bonspeed Wildthang with 5-inch backspacing

FRONT: 245/35R20 Toyo Proxes SP
REAR: 315/35R20 Toyo Proxes SP

FRONT: Air Ride Technologies Cool Ride tubular upper and lower control arms / Firestone 224C airbags / DJM drop spindles / Rancho RS 9000 adjustable damping shocks
REAR: Chassis Engineering four-link / Air Ride Technologies Shockwaves
ACCESSORIES: Two Thomas compressors / Air Ride technologies RidePro first-generation auto-leveling system
CHASSIS: Chassis Engineering rear subframe kit / custom stainless 18-gallon fuel tank
BY: Eric Hokenson

Shaved doors, stake pockets, tailgate, emblem holes, and firewall / two sets of stock rear wheeltubs welded together / custom sheetmetal wings on rear of cab and tailgate / custom roll pan / custom-made LED taillights / handmade aluminum tonneau cover with air actuators / Reflexxions cowl hood / custom scoops on fenders / AIM grille / frenched license plate and driving lights in front bumper / Visions Hot Rod Concept mirrors / Line-X bedliner
BY: Eric Hokenson

DuPont Intense blue, Pearl basecoat, and Hyper clearcoat
BY: Eric Hokenson

'87 Nissan Sentra seats / custom center console and seat / fabricated plastic door panels / Auto Meter Sport Comp gauges / black cloth material
BY: Eric Hokenson

Dual Audio XDVD8130 AM/FM/CD/MP3/head unit / Audiobahn 6.5-inch components in doors / 3-1/2-inch Boston Acoustic speakers in dash / two 12-inch MTX Terminator subwoofers / two MTX 250-watt Thunder amps
BY: Eric Hokenson


All of his friends who helped out-they know who they are; and his wife and family.


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