1965 Chevrolet C10- Boosted Bertha

Mike Losh's One-of-a-Kind ’65 C10

Jon Hansen
Jan 2, 2018
Photographers: Grant Cox
Mike Losh of Siloam Springs, Arkansas, is not new to the life of creating show-stopping custom builds. Having built various other award-winning and magazine-featured vehicles in his past, Mike knows quality—and he also knows what he wants to create when dreaming up a new project. He wanted to design a truck not only to further develop products for his company, Slosh Tubz, but to showcase it with his friends at Precision Replacement Parts at SEMA. Mike’s high standards and lofty ambitions immediately sparked when he came across the ’65 Chevrolet C10 that he chose to make his starting point for next few years. When he secured the rough-looking ’65 in September 2014, he began calling it Bertha, because she was “pretty ugly” to say the least. All that would change as the transformation began.
Photo 2/18   |   1965 Chevrolet C10 Boosted Bertha Rear
Every great build must have an equally great base, and that’s where the work began. The stock framerails were boxed and smoothed, and all the Porterbuilt components were welded in place and smoothed to eliminate the “bolt-in” look. Having the knowledge of past builds under his built, Mike knew that not only does a truck need to look great, it needs to ride well and be reliable. With that in mind, the front chassis setup started to come together: composed of a Porterbuilt air-bagged front dropmember with 1-inch narrowed tubular control arms and a Porterbuilt front sway bar. For the front suspension, Slam Specialties bags were chosen with the durable Firestone F9100 sleeve bags in the rear, all of which were given added stability by QA1 adjustable Street Star shocks in all four corners. After those components were installed, the frame was body worked and painted by Clem Johnson of Tuba Trucks. Since stopping on a dime can be a priceless ability, especially with a fullsize truck, Mike chose to install an SSBC Big Brake Kit with a massive four-piston caliper set. Under that, a large set of cross-drilled/slotted rotors not only enhance the look of Bertha but the performance as well. A CPP Hydro Boost brake system was tucked away beneath the dash mount to keep everything functioning as it should.
Photo 3/18   |   1965 Chevrolet C10 Boosted Bertha Engine
The heart of the beast is a Mast Motorsports LS 408. If that number alone does not impress you, wait until you see the full parts list on this built LS. It includes but is not limited to: Callies Compstar crank and rods, Mast Black Label LS7 265 heads, an LSX turbo cam, and a polished Magnuson LS7 supercharger with custom-made intake from Wegner. For anyone who believes power alone is not enough, the entire motor and engine bay is pleasing to the eye as well. The complete front-drive system is custom-painted to match Bertha by Rick Shull, and a set of custom coil covers and an air filter cover were created to match the top of the supercharger. In addition to using his own design of inner fender tubs by his company Slosh Tubz, Mike also built one-of-one sheetmetal engine bay pieces to set the motor off right. To make sure all this power would be put to use, a TCI 4L80e transmission with a 10-inch billet converter was bolted on to that massive powerplant. From the transmission headed toward the back, a QA1 carbon-fiber driveshaft bolts up to the Currie 9-inch containing 4:11 gears and 35-spline axles, which are contained in the Trutrac differential with a polished aluminum housing.
Photo 4/18   |   1965 Chevrolet C10 Boosted Bertha Wheel
As the truck came together, Mike began to see the ugly truck he knew as Bertha transform; the more he saw it, the more he felt she deserved a nicer name to accommodate her new look—and Boosted Bertha was born. As the undersides and hidden features of this ’65 Chevy were completed, the exterior began looking the part of a SEMA truck as well. Starting by tucking the front and rear bumpers, Mike made sure not to skimp on any of the little details, such as welding then smoothing the body seams of the C10. He wanted every aspect of this truck’s exterior to be pleasing to the eye. Though many people would never realize these changes without them being shown to them, the elbow grease was put in to shave the drip rails off the upper cab above the doors. Mike’s favorite change to the more-than-50-year-old Chevrolet was widening the front end of the truck bed to match the width of the cab. It’s small differences like these that show his vision as a veteran builder. As the custom shade of Mango Green was laid down by Eddie Jewell of Jewell Restoration, the truck really started to take shape.
Photo 5/18   |   1965 Chevrolet C10 Boosted Bertha Interior
Though nothing about the build thus far has been easy, the interior was by far the biggest thorn in Mike’s side throughout the entire process. He went so far as to buy the company he hired to do the interior a complete spare cab in which to build it (since they were located out of state). The plan was to have the interior completely done and ready to install numerous months before SEMA. However, the company Mike graciously declined to have named instead showed up three days prior to the show with nothing finished and almost cost him his SEMA trip! With a bit of social media help and a little luck, Boosted Bertha finally had the good fortune of being finished enough for SEMA thanks to a stranger who reached out to help. “Rory is a class act, and I am so thankful for his hospitality and willingness to help,” Mike says of the stranger’s kindness. After the week in Vegas was complete, upon returning to Arkansas, Mike began a full rebuild on the interior so it could be completed the way he always envisioned it. With the door panels, headliner, and more already completed, the seats were wrapped in a dark chocolate leather by Billy Hoover Street Rods. With all the interior's pedals, trim, and door handles done in aluminum, they perfectly match the existing Dakota Digital gauges installed in the custom-built dash. After the complete rewire by Brock Payton and the installation of a full Kicker component set with 10-inch shallow-mount subwoofers, Mike finally saw his vision complete. As Boosted Bertha rolled out of the shop on the beautiful staggered set of Budnik Pivot wheels, Mike breathed a sigh of relief and happiness—and began to dream of his next build.

Inside the Build:

Mike Losh; Siloam Springs, Arkansas ’65 Chevrolet C10
CHASSIS:
Stock framerails, boxed and smoothed using Frontier shop supplies; Porterbuilt components welded in and smoothed by Mike Losh; frame body worked and painted by Clem Johnson of Tuba Trucks; Dual Viair 480s, Porterbuilt air tanks, AccuAir E-Level
Front Suspension: Porterbuilt air-bagged front dropmember and 1-inch narrowed tubular control arms; Porterbuilt-supplied front sway bar, Slam Specialties bags
Rear Suspension: Porterbuilt center frame stiffener, Porterbuilt rear suspension including watts link and one off cantilever system, Firestone F9100 sleeve bags
Brakes: SSBC Big Brake Kit with four-piston calipers and cross-drilled and slotted rotors; CPP Hydro Boost brake system with under-dash mount
Shocks: QA1 adjustable Street Star shocks front and rear
Engine:
Mast Motorsports LS 408, 9.5:1 compression, Callies Compstar crank and rods, Mahle 2618 pistons, ARP fasteners and studs, Mast Black Label LS7 265 heads, LSX turbo cam, Magnuson TVS2800 supercharger with custom-made intake from Wegner to fit the FAST Big Mouth 102mm Throttle Body, Wegner complete front drive, 1,000cc fuel injectors by Fuel Injection Connection, B&M starter and flexplate, Peformance Distributors coils, LiveWire plug wires, Holley Dominator EFI by Brock Payton, Amsoil fluids, Flex-a-lite radiator with dual fans, Lokar dipsticks, throttle cable, shifter cable, coolant overflow tank by Monkey Fabrication, custom coilcovers and air filter cover made to match the top of the supercharger made by Trique Manufacturing, custom engine sheetmetal by Mike Losh, custom air intake built by Mike Losh using K&N filter and parts from Sprectre Performance, hood braces by Gunslinger Fab, miscellaneous bolts and washers from Fesler, XS Power D3400 battery and PSC15 charger system, headers from Porterbuilt, 3-inch stainless exhaust from Flowmaster, 40 series Flowmaster mufflers, V-bands and flex fittings from Ace Race Parts, coated by Jet-Hot Coatings and built by Mike Losh
Transmission: TCI 4L80e with 10-inch billet converter, QA1 carbon-fiber driveshaft
Rearend: Currie 9-inch with 4:11 gears, 35-spline axles, Trutrac differntial with polished aluminum housing
Body:
Bed widened to match the width of the cab; body seams welded solid and smoothed; top of cab widened; drip rail shaved by owner; smooth wiper cowl by Grant Fabrication; custom inner fenders by Slosh Tubz; tucked bumpers and a rear roll pan/bumper combo; custom smooth firewall panels and core support panels; HIDprojectors.com custom-built HID headlights; Gregg Fuller Machine custom-built billet taillights with LED lights; Wurton pod lights for underhood lighting and display lighting; CPP stainless dropdown battery box; custom sheetmetal inner bed panels; custom notch cover/widened rear tubz/ raised and hinged bedfloor; front bed panel, rear inner fenders, tailgate, roll pan, and floor bed braces all by LMC Truck; BedWood and Parts Leopard wood and aluminum strips; stainless tailgate trunions from Mar-K; hand-painted lettering by Snodgrass Signs; Altman Easy Latches by Trique Manufacturing; paint and body by Eddie Jewell of Jewell Restoration and friends
INTERIOR:
Custom-built dash, door panels, headliner, kick panels, sub box, and custom-built seat by Mike Losh; German square-weave carpet from Relicate leather; interior covered in chocolate leather by Billy Hoover Street Rods; inner door handles, pedals, and aluminum trim by Clayton Machine Works; custom defrost vents, door pulls, and dome light from Trique Manufacturing; custom-built, one-off gauges, clock, and more from Dakota Digital; cooled by Restomod air with Restomod air controls and vents; Ididit chrome steering column and Budnik steering wheel; Specialty Power Windows and wiper system; Painless complete wiring system and components all installed by Brock Payton; all glass from LMC truck; Precision Replacement Parts vent wings and rubber trim for glass and doors
Stereo: Kicker audio shallow-mount 10s and components speakers, Kicker KX 800.1 Legacy Amp, Kicker QS component mids, 10-inch Kicker Comp RT subwoofers by Brock Payton
Wheels & Tires:
Wheels: 22x8.5, 22x12; Budnik Pivot
Tires: Pirelli P Zero Neros
Special Thanks From Owner: Will Meadors, Clem Johnson, Jeff Thurstenson; my family, especially my lovely wife, Sarah, Chandler, and Harry Losh; Jared Cagle, Cody and Radara Elkins, Art Busche, Dwayne Latty, Billy Cole Vicars, Brian Crocket, and Ryan Livingston.

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