1966 Chevy C10 - Project Matt Hughes
A UFC Champion's Off-Road Machine
In a random turn of events, nine-time UFC champion Matt Hughes ran into Dave Timm and Brian Walker, owners of 2 Brothers Custom Trucks at the SEMA show in 2007. After a short conversation, 2 Brothers mentioned building a truck for the ultimate fighter and instantly a bond was made. After returning home and getting the funds worked out, the guys at 2 Brothers located two donor trucks-yes, two trucks-and began a three month journey, resulting in an eye-catching classic that keeps you guessing.
Matt has always loved Chevy's design of its trucks from '60-'66. When it came time to build a project of his own, a '66 was what Matt had to have. After tracking down a good '66 Chevy C10 from Texas, a check was written and the truck was delivered to the 2 Brother's Customs Trucks shop in Springfield, Illinois. Rather than take a perfectly good C10 and rebuild the necessary parts, the 2 Brothers team opted to create a one-of-a-kind classic with late-model running gear. Matt, who has a farming background, decided to put a powerplant in the truck that could overcome any type of obstacle. Adding another twist to the mix, the decision was made to transplant an entire chassis, engine, transmission, and rear end from an '06 Chevy 2500HD Crew Cab 4x4 under the C10. This meant some serious fabbing, then hours upon hours of welding, grinding, and wiring. Once Matt gave the green light, Project Matt Hughes was underway.
Inside the 2 Brothers Custom Trucks shop, the '66 body was lifted off the factory longbed frame and set aside. Measurement after measurement was taken and numbers were crunched. The wrecked '06 Chevy Crew Cab body was then removed from the HD chassis and the classic measurements were cross-referenced with the newer frame. With plasma cutter in hand, Dave Timm cut 27- inches from the '06 frame and welded the two pieces together, using -inch steel from Selvagio Steel in Springfield. Custom body mounts were fabbed, then plans for a cool suspension setup were drawn up. Up front, the '06 IFS was converted to a solid axle using an Off-Road Direct conversion and a Dana 60 axle from a '79 Ford pickup that was built by Knoles Performance Solutions. Keeping things cutting edge up front, 2 Brothers ordered a Pro Comp Double X coilover kit, which had been designed for the Ford Super Duty, and added custom fabbed shock hoops for the dual kit. The look is stunning. Also used up front was a custom-built radius arm from Off-Road Direct and several created-from-steel-tubing suspension pieces from 2 Brothers. All of the steel was supplied by Selvagio Steel. Keeping the classic yet custom look, 18-inch black RBP wheels were ordered and serve as the mounting point for 35-inch Toyo Open Country M/T tires.
In the rear of the '66, 2 Brothers added 5-inch Atlas leaf springs, a 4-inch Pro Comp lift block, and Pro Comp MX6 reservoir shocks, which got the business end up in the air. Making the rear smoke those Toyo tires is a Duramax diesel, tuned by RBP, with a one-off wiring harness from RBP that was expertly wired by Clint Faugust of Scotty's Auto Salvage. An Amsoil intake filter keeps the dirt out, while a turbo-back exhaust from RBP helps the diesel breathe easier. Helping the 6.6L run at peak operating levels, Amsoil fluids were used throughout. Both driveshafts were heavily modified, as the front received some inches and the rear lost some. Two Optima batteries were stealthily mounted in the low-profile black toolbox. A trick mod performed on the gas tank saw Dave use the stock filler neck on the B-pillar, but run the hose through the cab, down through the bed, and into the stock '06 Chevy tank. It's classic looks with modern performance, a theme that resonates in this entire build.
Before painting the truck, the 2 Brothers crew added some cool body pieces to the '66. Out back, Dave cut and widened an '04 Dodge Ram bumper and frenched the edges to fit the rear fenders perfectly. The bed floor was raised 5 inches to help cover up the extra large framerails, then a Chevy Bow Tie was physically burned into the wood bed floor for a distinctive look. Delivering the truck to Bill Matthews Auto Body, Eric and Steve performed the bodywork to get the good body into even better shape. Jeff Schroeder from Attitude Airbrushing then stepped in and applied the charcoal and black colors to the '66 body. The look is classic and timeless. New '66 headlights (with daytime running function, thanks to the new wiring harness), a painted front bumper, and custom Project Matt Hughes billet badges round out the body mods.
Opening the doors reveals an interior designers could only dream of in 1966. The 2 Brothers team swapped in the factory front power seats and covered them in Roadwire black leather and charcoal suede. Using the '06 tilt steering column, the guys capped it with a 15-inch Billet Specialties steering wheel. Nine different Auto Meter gauges were used in the interior, providing Matt with instant engine data. A Vintage Air A/C system keeps the cab cool, and most of the dash was built at 2 Brothers. Behind the seats, a 10-inch Kenwood sub is powered by a Boston four-channel amp. Boston coaxials were mounted in custom kickpanels, also built by 2 Brothers. A Kenwood head unit keeps the tunes flowing. Custom carpet keeps the interior looking great and one-off polished steel pieces were used to add some old-skool looks.
It took three months to build a truck literally from the ground up. Both brothers, Dave and Brian, extend a huge thank you to their families for the continued support. At the unveiling in Springfield, you couldn't beat the smile off Matt's face. (Not that you could get a swing in anyway, but you get the picture.) If you're cruising in the heartland and see a country boy in a sweet '66 Chevy, go ahead and give him the thumbs up.