1963 Chevy C10 Black - Less Is More
Watch Them Flinch
Apparently 2007 was the year of the first-generation C10s, as builders and customizers (or maybe it was just us) realized the greatness of the nearly 50-year-old body style. The '67-'72 C10 body style has always been popular-even more so in recent years. But for some reason, '60-'66 C10s have remained the best kept secret in classic Chevy trucks. Okay, the early years had odd hoods with turn signals that look like nostrils, but Chevy got things sorted out in time to have several years of great-looking trucks. Like Mark Barbee's `bagged blue beauty, Brian Ellison chose a '63 model for his frame-up build, too.
According to Brian, he picked up the truck on eBay for $6,800, "-with the plan of having a daily driver. The truck had factory power steering, A/C, power brakes, and all options-including the big window." Brian knew before he bought it that he wanted a power sliding rear window. To make it a reality, he took the '63 to his long-time friend, Adolfo Flores at Saticoy Auto Body & Paint. The crew disassembled the complete truck and handed over the frame to Manny Vega at Anacapa Soda Blasting. Once it was clean, the frame was given to Armondo, Manny's brother, who took on the task of boxing and smoothing the frame. Once Armondo was done with the rough welding and grinding, Saticoy Auto Body primered and blocked it before spraying several coats of PPG Lexus Gray. The frame components were assembled by Donny at Don and Toms, who also installed the suspension, while Armondo Vega set up the Borgeson variable-speed steering box and located the motor mounts and crossmembers for the LS1 Corvette engine and 4L60E trans that was built by Steve's Transmission in Oxnard, California. Rod Giles set all of the stainless brake lines and plumbing, while Dustin Burr from Wilwood bolted the six-piston big brake kit on the Early Classic 2--inch drop spindles.
Brian had a "less is more" concept with the final appearance of the truck, but he wanted something to stand out. Flames were just too predictable. In Brian's own words, "I needed something like a loud tattoo on a pencil-necked geek that kinda makes you wonder if he can kick some butt." Asanti luxury wheels were the answer. A set of AF-145 22x10--inch steamrollers on the rear, and a set of 20x8--inch on the front made all the difference in the world. Rolland at RBP made the call for Brian and the wheels were custom-cut for the truck with the proper backspacing. With little room left for rubber, low-profile 295/25R22 Nitto Tire NT555s were mounted in back, with 245/30R20s in front.
We mentioned the LS1 earlier, but a 350hp stock engine wasn't in the cards for Brian's C10. We're familiar with Magnuson superchargers and their reputation for immense amounts of bolt-on power, and so is the crew at A&A Corvette in Oxnard, California. Kevin and his crew bolted on 7 pounds worth of boost, and they didn't stop there. Granatelli Motorsports valve covers and Street and Performance pulleys added looks, and Brian pulled out all of the stops on power too: ceramic-coated headers, a polished Borla exhaust, MSD coils, and a Comp cam. Mark at Coast Driveline Service built a new aluminum one-piece driveshaft to link the 12-bolt rear end with the reinforced 4L60E.
Meanwhile, back at the body shop, the crew was reworking all of the original panels, restoring them to better than factory specs for the Sikkens black paint awaiting to be sprayed. All of the body seams were removed, along with all of the emblems and bed pockets. But that wasn't enough. The cab was transported to No Limit in San Bernadino, California, where Rob did his magic. After 29 hours of fabrication to the rear window opening, a set of flat glass motors from Specialty Power Windows were used to power up the custom back glass. One Piece Products windows were also installed in the doors, removing one more unnecessary line on the truck. Once Adolfo Flores put down his spray gun, the cab was bolted on the chassis and the bed was assembled by Mike Bess. A Horkey's bed kit with polished stainless stringers was matched with painted oak bedstrips. Keeping with Brian's plan for a subtle look, the body trim was finished in black Anobrite by The Polish Shop.
The interior was handled by Manny's Upholstery in Oxnard. A `59 Cadillac power front and rear seat was found on eBay. Both the front and rear seats were combined, using the center section from the rear seat and the front bench. It was skinned with Range Rover gray leather and black piping, after heaters were installed. A Porsche suede headliner was installed, along with Bentley carpet lined in black leather trim. The door panels and Bentley window switches by Geo of Becker Automotive Design were matched to his signature leather and suede kick panels. The dash cluster is a custom piece, made by North Hollywood Speedo. A little extra flash was brought into the interior with a CJ's tilt column, Big Al's armrests, a Budnik Apex 13--inch billet steering wheel, and Lokar eliminator pedals.
SSV Audio Works in Agoura Hills, California, had the honor of building the sound and video. Keeping it low-key meant not cutting the perfect metal dash for a head unit and hiding all of the components. They chose a Pioneer head unit with two video iPods to store MP3 audio and MPEG video. Realm LS6C 6--inch components in the kick panels are powered by a Realm A300-2 two-channel amp and a Realm D500.1 mono class D amp powers the two 10-inch Realm shallow-mount subs behind the seat. Two flipdown Clarion visor monitors and a Valor rear view mirror/monitor take care of video chores and Auto Image mounted four EFX 680-amp mini batteries under the bed. Two are dedicated to the audio/video and two are for cranking power.
When all of the dust settled, Brian had spent 18 months transforming his '63 from a highly optioned daily driver to a SEMA show-stopper. Several talented individuals and cooperative companies were responsible, as the truck made its way through several shops and garages. Brian would like to thank, in no particular order: The Polish Shop, Scosche, Early Classic Enterprises, Magnuson, Borla, Asanti, Granetelli Motorsports, Rod Giles, Mike Bess, No Limit, Saticoy Auto Body, RBP, Realm Audio, Xciting Lighting, Bruce Horkey's Wood & Parts, A&A Corvette, Street & Performance, Nitto Tire, Coast Drive Line, Armondo Vega, Auto Image, and SSV Audio Works.