A 1964 Chevrolet C10 That’ll Leave You Green with Envy
Talent, Cash, and a Touch of Miracle
If classified ads were honest, the one Chris Church responded to would’ve read: “’64 C10, rusty, torched springs, electrical problems, shifts poorly, brush-painted beige.” But it might not have mattered anyway; “I had to have it,” Chris says. This truck thing, it is indeed a sickness.
But it’s a noble sickness. “I always wanted a truck with this body style,” Chris says. His uncle had one, as well as a ’68 Mustang fastback under restoration when Chris was but 10 years old. “I’d ride my skateboard down to his house to help as often as I could.”
Chris finally gave into the C10 bug in 2014 by buying from a Craigslist ad that wasn’t quite as honest as our example. It begat a full restoration, an extensive one in light of the decrepit beginnings. To make the most of an exhaustive professional schedule, Chris split the duties with Portland’s Carolina Kustoms.
The truck got reduced to its bare frame. Classic Performance Products’ tubular arms replaced the stamped ones. A Borgeson integrated-power steering box replaced the Armstrong gear, and Wilwood discs replaced the iffy drums. Chris retained the proven trailing-arm suspension but replaced the axle with a later and wider 8 1/2-inch unit. It now spins a 3.73:1 gear set on an Eaton TrueTrac limited-slip carrier. The rear got a bolt-in C-notch for axle clearance, and both ends got RideTech air springs and Hotchkis anti-roll bars. The chassis has potential. To make the most of that potential, AC Nutter Racing Engines in Vancouver, Washington, bored an L-series 6.0 to 6.2. With ported heads and a Chevrolet Performance Gen 3 Hot Cam, the mill is basically an LS3 on anabolics. Rather than gather the LS3 intake components, Chris converted to a Holley induction system, including a mid-rise manifold, fuel rails, and 105mm throttle-body. A Katech Performance kit relocated the coils.
A Drive Junky accessory drive spins a Powermaster Motorsports alternator, a Jones Racing power-steering pump, and an Edelbrock water pump. That pump circulates coolant through a PRC Hot Rod radiator with a Spal fan and shroud. Chris backed the 6.2 with an ’02 4L65E with a Lead Foot Diesel Performance clutch package. The Doug Thorley Tri-Y headers flanking that trans lead to 2 1/2-inch stainless pipes with Magnaflow mufflers.
The body remains largely stock. Rather than raise the bed floor entirely, Carolina Kustoms fabricated a blister for the bed floor that gives the axle housing a place to go during full suspension compression. The filler that taps the Boyd’s Welding fuel tank sprouts up just behind that. Chris revisited his Ford roots for the color (he had restored a ’70 Bronco at the tender age of 17). His choice: Boxwood Green, a color most familiarly paired with New Lime on early ’70s bump-sides.
If you’ve spent any sort of time in a ’60-’66 GM pickup cab, you’ll understand the improvement the ’98 Chevy pickup seat makes by way of comfort and support. Jim’s Upholstery in Milwaukee, Oregon, clad this one in even-more-comfortable Nappa hides, as well as covered the floor in black square-weave wool. Chris, a 20-year audio-industry veteran, fit an Alpine head unit, a Rockford Fosgate Power Series four-channel amplifier, and a Morel component set in the kick panels, and JL Audio 10-inch subwoofers in enclosures behind the seat.
On paper, this pickup sounds pretty simple. In fact, in many respects it is. With its earthy finish and black wheels, it doesn’t make any radical statements. While it’s built to exceptionally high standards with a keen level of detail, it’s no show truck. It’s not the craziest or the fastest or the most outlandish, and it’s certainly not the lowest.
But to judge this pickup against idle superlatives is to miss the point. “I don’t do the slammed thing because I actually drive it,” Chris says. He’s being modest. Going from location to location, he beat the thing like it owed him money, stepping the rear out a time or two, and churning those healthy sized hides into a haze more than once. It’s fast. And here’s the deal: He’s still not quite satisfied: “The future goal is forced induction,” Chris says giddily.
Chris’s ’64 does more than sit and look like a badass. It is a badass. More than talk the talk, it walks the walk. He didn’t just build it; he made it honest. An honest-to-god brawler.
Inside the build:Year/Make/Model: 1964 Chevrolet C10
Owner and City/State: Chris Church; Oregon City, Oregon
Front Suspension: Classic Performance Products tubular control arms and knuckles, RideTech air springs; Hotchkis anti-roll bar, Borgeson integrated-power steering box
Rear Suspension: Truck arms with RideTech air springs, Classic Performance Products Panhard bar, bolt-in C-notch
Brakes: Wilwood disc front, stock drum
GM L-series 6.0, bored to 6.2. Ported LS3 heads; Chevrolet Performance Gen 3 Hot Cam, Holley ECU, mid-rise manifold, and 105mm throttle-body, Holley with Katech Performance, coil-relocation kit, Doug Thorley Tri-Y; 2 1/2-inch stainless with Magnaflow mufflers
Transmission: GM 4L65E with Lead Foot Diesel Performance clutches
Rearend: GM pickup 8.5 with 3.73:1 gears on an Eaton TrueTrac limited-slip gear carrier
C10 short, wide box painted Ford Boxwood Green by Carolina Kustoms, Portland, Oregon
’98 Chevy pickup seat, black Nappa leather and square-weave carpet by Jim’s Upholstery, Milwaukie, Oregon, Dakota Digital VHX gauges, Budnik Beveled Sport steering wheel, Painless Performance wiring and engine harness
Stereo: Alpine Bluetooth head unit with Rockford Fosgate Power Series four-channel amplifier, Morel component set, and JL Audio 10-inch subwoofers by owner
Wheels & Tires:
Wheels: 18x8; Wheel Vintiques 12-series Smoothies with 5-inch backspace front and 4-inch backspace rear, Chevrolet derby caps
Tires: 245/45R18, 265/40R18; BF Goodrich G-Force T/A