Cruzer: 1962 Chevy C10
Less is More
Anyone with the last name of Cruz has to be into cool custom rods and trucks. Luis Cruz from Turlock, California, was introduced to shiny chrome and wild custom paint schemes when his older brother Sergio would take him to lowrider shows as a kid. The attraction of cool rides became a true passion during his teenage years. Old trucks were his favorite, however, and in 2001 Luis noticed this ’62 Chevy C10 in a local junkyard. Since ’62 Chevy’s were not a popular year, he was able to drag it home for a reasonable price. This was his first build, and the journey took five years to complete. It was kept simple and clean; “Less is More.”
Luis began his five-year build by boxing the factory framerails using 3/16-inch–thick steel plate. The front suspension was anchored with a pair of McGaughy’s 2.5-inch dropped spindles articulated with Firestone airbags and KYB gas shocks delivering 10 inches of travel. The rear framerails were notched and Luis utilized the stock trailing arm rear suspension. The front and rear air suspension is activated with a pair of Viair compressors and Extreme 350 valves that were plumbed using ½-inch hard lines. A pair of 3-gallon and one 5-gallon air tanks supply the instantaneous quick-fill for the system. Boyd Coddington Magneato 20x10 wheels were wrapped with Falken 285/30ZR20 rubber to mobilize Cruz’s red roller. After the suspension was complete, Luis moved on to the powertrain.
The '75 Chevy 355ci engine was disassembled, cleaned, and machined by Gabriel Avila, who used quality performance internal components along with inserting a Comp camshaft with 280 duration and .488 lift. A Holley 700-cfm carburetor feeds the precise air/fuel mixture into an aluminum Holley intake manifold. The burnt gasses are exhausted through a set of ceramic-coated 2½-inch Hedman headers that flow into a pair of Flowmaster mufflers. A '73 GM Turbo 350 automatic transmission was rebuilt with all new gears and clutches. A B&M shift kit delivers firmer shifts, while the GM 12-bolt rearend was stuffed with 3.55 gears. Retting Brothers, in Modesto, California, linked the transmission with a new aluminum driveshaft. To clean up the engine compartment, Luis smoothed the firewall and relocated the dual Interstate batteries underneath the front of the bed. Now Luis was ready to give the exterior his own style.
He then delivered his C10 to Exclusive Auto Body, in Turlock, California, where John Garcia spent endless hours performing body mods. The bedrail stake pockets were filled and smoothed, and he then raised the African mahogany wood bed floor 4 inches and relocated the rear wheeltubs atop the new floor. The factory tailgate chains were replaced with hinges and latches, while the factory gas filler was shaved and relocated in the rear of the bed floor. A steel rear roll pan replaced the factory bumper giving the rear a smoother appearance, and the factory taillights were enhanced with LED’s, while up front, a pair of HID headlights with internal turn signals were inserted into the front fenders. After applying multi coats of DuPont sandable primer, the entire body’s sheetmetal surface was block-sanded smooth. John then sprayed DuPont Viper Red basecoat that was buried in six coats of clear. The truck was then cut, buffed, and polished to a glistening finish. Of course, now the interior needed to be customized.
Opening the doors exposes the C10’s stock dash that was filled with white face gauges, an ididit tilt steering column, and capped with a Billet Specialties 14-inch Anthem billet Half-Wrap steering wheel. Eddie Dixon, at Sew Creations Upholstery in Turlock, covered the bench seat and custom door panels with tan leather with embroidered Bow Ties. The floor pan, kick panels, and rear cab wall received a layer of Dynamat sound deadening material to help eliminate road and engine nose and heat before installing the tan cut pile carpet. All cool rides need quality tunes.
The crew at Car Stereo Depot, in Turlock, were responsible for installing the incredible rockin' vibes. A Custom Auto Sound 360 head unit orchestrated the system’s superior sound, which sends the electronic pulses into an Arc Audio 2200 Foose Design amp and an Audio 600.1 Foose Design amp that powers the bass and bump for the two Arc Audio KAR 10-inch subwoofers. A pair of Arc Audio 6.5-inch 6000 Foose Design mids were installed in a pair of custom panels located in each of the kick panels.
Luis would like to thank his wife Veronica and three beautiful daughters Monica, Veronica, and Vanessa for their love and support. They believed that one day the ’62 would be finished and driven to shows. Luis would also like to thank the owners of Cal-Almond for allowing him to use their shop during the build.