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1967 Chevy C10- The Vortex

Rising up from the ashes

Phil Gordon
Jan 25, 2016
Photographers: Phil Gordon
They call them natural disasters for a reason. Any truck guy knows you can’t hide from inclement conditions. Thirty-two-year-old Mike Simpson of Pontiac, Illinois, knows first hand how much devastation and destruction a natural disaster can cause. Growing up, he and his father built cars in the family garage. At 15, they owned a Camaro, and young Simpson had been taught to rebuild the entire car from the ground up. As an adult, Simpson started hanging with Josh Highland, an avid truck builder, and his passion began to grow.
Simpson saved enough money to buy a beautiful ’69 Chevy C10 and began doing what he does best, building it to perfection. Most people know the Illinois winters get pretty bad, and most custom truck builders store their trucks away like a bear hibernating through the winter months. Simpson’s prized C10 was completely destroyed in the garage. With a heavy heart, Mike set out to find a new truck to build.
Photo 2/11   |   05 1967 Chevrolet C10 The Vortex
He loved his C10 and didn’t want to stray far from that model and bodystyle. As luck would have it, at a local car site he found a 1967 Chevy C10 about an hour North of him. The Chevy wasn’t in great condition, but Simpson had a vision of what he wanted to do to it. He went straight to work in his garage removing every piece from the C10. Simpson called Nate at Porterbuilt and ordered all his suspension parts. He started with the frame, getting the new Chevy to lay flat on the ground.
Once the body was returned to the chassis, Simpson focused his attention on the custom bodywork, cutting and shaving everything on the truck except the door handles. He made a whole new tube steel structure to mount the bed to the frame and raised the bed floor and wheelwells to clear everything. The entire bed floor was built out of pine initially to use as a template for when he constructed it of oak.
Photo 3/11   |   02 1967 Chevrolet C10 The Vortex
Simpson removed the stock 350, added an LS motor, and worked on brakes and exhaust. The cabin was next on the list of customizations. He added a Vintage Air kit for good airflow into the interior of the Chevy. Volkswagen Jetta seats went into the C10 creating a comfortable and custom look. Once everything began to come together, the Chevy was brought into the paint booth for a Designo Graphite custom paint job that Simpson and his father selected based on a car they had seen at the SEMA show the year before.
Simpson wants to thank his wife, Kate for her patience and understanding throughout the build, as well as his mom, Mary Jo, for her support with everything he does. Most of all, he wants to thank his dad, Dale, for teaching him the culture and love as a child that he now has for trucks. The beginning of his journey into the custom truck scene started out devastating, The Vortex rose up from the ashes and became of the best build he could have imagined.
Photo 4/11   |   07 1967 Chevrolet C10 The Vortex
Inside the build
Year/Make/Model: 1967 Chevy C10
Owner and City/State: Mike Simpson; Pontiac, Illinois
Club Affiliation: Relaxed Atmosphere petitioner
Chassis:
Front Suspension: Porterbuilt drop member, Slam Specialties 2600lb ’bags, KYB shocks, Unisteer steering rack
Rear Suspension: Porterbuilt drop member, KYB shocks, Firestone sleeve ’bags, all aluminum air lines, SMC valves, Viair compressors, AVS switch box
Brakes: McGaughy’s
Drivetrain:
Engine: completely rebuilt 2003 Silverado 5.3L, Painted engine block, stainless headers, wire harness reworked by S&S Performance
Transmission: Rebuilt 4160 with 3200 stall converter
Rearend: 12 bolt Chevy with Auburn center section, Richmond gears, new axles
Body:
Bed floor raised 5 inches, custom oak floor stained Onyx, bumpers shaved and tucked, exhaust routed through the bedsides, handmade front wheel tubs, everything shaved but the door handles, DuPont Designo Graphite paint with Platinum Silver accent color
Interior:
Tilt steering column, custom-made gauge cluster, Volkswagen Jetta seats, custom-made center console, Billet steering wheel, Vintage Air, custom door panels, one-piece side windows
Wheels & Tires:
Wheels: 20x8.5; Eagle Alloy 227
Tires: 255/35R20; BFGoodrich T/A

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