1967 Chevy C10 - The Show
Bare Metal And Beautiful
The clock read 5:30 a.m., and as we were walking up to the garage door at Chassis by Aaron Iha, each of us resembled zombies. With the sudden lift of the roll-up door, we were awakened like an IV filled with Red Bull-it was glorious. Bare metal and beautiful, project: The Show was finally assembled and, looking at it in one piece, it was hard not to feel a rush of adrenaline from head to toe. This was it. Over a year in the making, this '67 Chevy C10 had been transformed bolt-by-bolt, fabricated piece by fabricated piece, and looked stunning resting on the shop floor. Standing next to it like a proud father, Aaron Iha looked both exhausted and elated. This build was an incredible undertaking. It was also very memorable for the truck's owner, Howie Kendrick, as he patiently watched from a distance, his first-ever, full-blown custom truck went from childhood dream to unbelievable reality thanks to several talented people.
As we've chronicled since the first issue of 2010, this truck was literally handbuilt, from top to bottom, front to back. Aaron Iha designed the frame, suspension, and every corresponding component on his computer, using Pro Engineer 3D, to ensure each angle and measurement of the geometry was perfect before a single sheet of metal was cut. Once the Torchmate Plasma CNC was done slicing through dozens of sheetmetal pieces, each were expertly welded together to create a rigid frame.
We won't list all the "custom" parts, as everything is one-off, with the exception of the big brakes from Wilwood, 20-and 22-inch Bonspeed Quasar wheels wrapped in Nitto NT555 low-pro tires, QA1 adjustable shocks, and Slam Specialties airbags. To add in the truck's one-off appeal, Aaron fabricated a crossmember to house the Ford 9-inch rearend and used U-joint-equipped halfshafts, inboard Wilwood discs, and Corvette hubs to create the only independent Ford 9-inch we've ever seen.
Shrapnel can most likely be found all over Aaron's skin, as well as the other Chassis team, including Dale Thomas and Ben Dodd. Each guy worked diligently fabricating, welding, massaging, and sanding the 100-percent metal body into the work of automotive art you see here. Most noticeable is the roof swap. No, this is not an '88-'98 Chevy with a '67 front clip like we heard from onlookers at SEMA, but rather it's a complete '67 with a '90 C1500 roof. This metal surgery required stretching the '67 doors and floor 5 inches, creating a new back cab wall, firewall, and new wiper cowl. New glass and weatherstripping for a '90 model Chevy were set in place and the front end of the bed was shortened a full 6 inches to keep things proportional. A beautiful, solid metal bed floor was fabricated and serves as the surrounding of the rear framerails and independent Ford 9-inch rearend. Up front, a stylized version of the classic '67 C10 grille was created and is solid steel. Incorporating the subtle point of a '69 Camaro front end and large off-road lights with billet rings, project: The Show's leading edge is unlike any other.
This truck was built to be a driver, and Howie isn't interested in driving slow, hence the blown LS engine under the modified '67 hood. Ripping a 6.0L V-8 out of a Yukon, the team at Chassis by Aaron worked with Steve Denuzio to create a monster small-block. New JE pistons and rods connect to a balanced crankshaft and fortify the bottom end. That strength is needed because of the MagnaCharger supercharger bolted to the GM Performance Parts ZO6 heads. A Comp cam keeps the revs high and an MSD ignition provides the perfect spark every time. Edelbrock ceramic-coated headers expel the exhaust gases, which flow into a TIG-welded custom exhaust and Magnaflow mufflers. Dressing up the LS 6.0L are Billet Specialties valve covers and polished fuel rails. The engine bay features hand-shaped inner fenders that cover most of the suspension to really make the engine stand out and give the appearance of one solid piece of metal surrounding the engine. Power is always fun, but Howie also wanted a truck that was comfortable so Aaron looked inside the stretched cab for some custom solutions.
With the firewall and back cab wall in place, Aaron created his own version of a modernized C10 dash, incorporating Auto Meter gauges, a Pioneer head unit, and a glovebox. A matching Bonspeed steering wheel is mounted to an ididit tilt column and small A/C vents provide cool down for the passengers. Rather than just dropping in an off-the-shelf bench seat inside the cabin, Aaron fabricated his own seat frame. Using powered actuators, the seat moves to two different preset locations for Howie and his wife. Creature comfort like this was never offered by Chevrolet in the '60s, but thanks to the advanced wiring harness by ISIS, the sky's the limit for custom creativity. Other perks of the ISIS smart harness are an advanced alarm system featuring kill start, the ability to keep the electric fans on for 20 seconds after the ignition is turned off, and even daytime running lights. Howe's C10 is just as much high-tech as it is classic steel.
Looking at the C10 in bare metal, we were all tempted to say, "Clear it as is and let's go for a ride." Of course, we all came down from our initial excitement high and agreed to move forward with paint. It's hard to argue that this truck is one of the most detailed and well-built examples of a classic truck we've ever seen. One man's dream and one shop's pursuit for perfection ended with a major league custom truck. Don't miss next month when we'll show you the big league feature and prove that this ride is ready for The Show.