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1968 Chevy C10 - Shortie

David Neal’s Low-Budget C10

Bob Ryder
Dec 1, 2009
Photographers: Bob Ryder
Low and short to some folks mean two different things. For David Neal of Peoria, Illinois, low and short meant the stature and stance of his dare-to- be-different '68 Chevy C10 pickup he named "Shortie". David purchased the truck in 2001 for 800 bucks. Throughout David's glory days of high school he constantly reminded his buddies one day he would build a custom truck. His goal was to create a truck that would make an impression in the cool truck world, earning respect at shows and on the boulevard. His C10 had been an ongoing project for the past nine years. It was finally finished the Wednesday prior to this year's Goodguys Show in Columbus, Ohio, where it debuted. The truck was worked on during the weekends in David's garage with the help of his buddies Tim Strange, Andy Cook, Shane Souba, and Shawn Ray.
Photo 2/12   |   1968 Chevy C10 left Side Angle
Power comes from a 2001 5.3L Vortec cast-iron block with a pair of aluminum cylinder heads. An Edelbrock Performer intake manifold and Edelbrock 650-cfm carburetor were bolted between the cylinder heads. An LS6 Comp Cams camshaft, pushrods, lifters, valves, rockers, and springs replaced the worn factory components to give Shortie more snap. A pair of Edelbrock ceramic-coated headers collect into a 21/2-inch custom exhaust system bent and welded by David. The exhaust flows into a pair of Flowmaster 40 series mufflers. The 2001 4L60E automatic transmission, with an extended Jenny shifter, is used to select the gears.
David can proudly say he performed all of the frame and suspension mods himself. He boxed the factory framerails using 3/16-inch thick plate. Then he C-notched the rear rails to allow the three-linked, cantilevered Air Lift rear suspension ample vertical travel. The C10 was body-dropped by cutting out 21/2 inches of the framerail under the cab that was reinforced by inserting 2x4-inch rectangular tubing. The cab floor remained in its factory stock location and the trans tunnel was raised 21/2 inches. The GM 12-bolt rearend was stuffed with 3.73 gears. Stopping power comes from CPP 12-inch front rotors and four-piston calipers up front and drums in the rear. A CPP master cylinder is responsible for dispersing brake fluid to each corner. Shortie rolls on a set of Centerline Ultra Smoothies 22x9-inch up front and 24x10-inch polished billet aluminum spinning spools in the rear. The wheel hoop lips were masked off, then the wheel centers and hoops were painted white. After the centers and hoops were painted, the masking tape was removed from the hoop lips simulating '69 Camaro polished beauty rings. A set of four '69 Camaro dog dish hubcaps were then secured to the wheel centers. The C10's vertical athleticism was performed by an Air Lift 27c pneumatic 'bag system fed by two Viair compressors into a five-gallon air tank. When Shortie's 'bags are purged the wheels tuck up deep into the wheel wells as it settles onto the earth's crust.
Photo 3/12   |   1968 Chevy C10 left Front Angle
David got some expert body mod assistance from Tim Strange, of Strange Motion out of Cambridge, Illinois. David chopped the roof 2 inches in the rear to achieve its leveled appearance. The door and tailgate handles were removed and then shaved smooth. The LED taillight and front turn indicator lens assemblies, along with the flawless side and grille moldings are from Early Classics. The bed floor was transplanted from a '94 Silverado. It surprisingly dropped right in the '68 bed space. The floor was welded and molded smooth fusing into the bedsides and bulkhead. Fuel is contained in a custom 18-gallon gas tank that was located behind the rear axle between the framerails. The body skin was massaged and block-sanded multiple times to achieve a smooth complexion. Shortie's lemon meringue paint scheme features lemon yellow filling and a meringue white grille. The bumper, wheels, and roof- also white- contribute to the new fresh, lemony flavor.
Opening the doors exposes David's sheetmetal talents. He fabricated an all-steel dash featuring a center gauge cluster pod, filled with racy Auto Meter white-face gauges. Jerry Kensinger, at A1 Upholstery in Bartonville, Illinois, reworked the stock bench seat with ISS foam, before covering it with tan and mocha ultra leather. Matching tan leather door panels, kick panels, and painted headliner complete the interior décor. A layer of Dynamat sound deadening material was laid down before installing the plush tan carpet. The tilt steering column is capped with a Billet Specialties 30755 14-inch steering wheel. Andy Cook was David's soundman. Andy installed an Alpine 9886 head unit and two 8-inch subs. A pair of vintage Rockford amps power the subs. Andy located four Rockford 6-inch mid-range speakers, two in the doors and one in each of the kick panels for well-balanced tunes.
Shortie's trend-setting stature and stance is all about simplicity, and getting back to basics. This Chevy proves you can build a cool project on a budget that will turn heads while laying rockers at shows or cruisin' the boulevard.


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