High School Sweetheart - 1969 Chevy C10
A True Tale of Rags to Riches
It's easy in this crazy world to find yourself getting older and more responsible. Starting a family is a major role many of us play and most times, at the expense of our hobbies. Sometimes something has to give. Not so for Joel Gonzalez and his 1969 Chevy C10 affectionately nicknamed, "Betsy." Joel acquired the truck way back in 1986 as a wee lad for the paltry sum of $475.00. After driving it during high school and fixing it up as he progressed through college, the day arrived where his wife Sylvia wanted the old truck put to pasture. Two baby boys later, and the old C10 continues to live on.
At Low Ain't Enough in Conroe, Texas, Early Classic Enterprises drop spindles were bolted on up front with Firestone 'bags and Monroe shocks. Out back, a C-notch combined with Firestone airbags and Monroe shocks gets the rearend down. A Chevy Vega fuel tank was mounted under the rear of the bed before the whole frame and suspension set up was completely disassembled, sandblasted, smoothed, and painted. All the suspension pieces were chromed before reinstallation. Rounding out the equation are 18- and 20-inch Boyd Smoothie wheels encased in Yokohama rubber. The rears spin through a 3.08-geared axle running a Posi. Making the truck more enjoyable to drive is a well-built 383ci small-block under the hood. After receiving the block back from Ted's Machine Shop, Joel and his friends Jack Clark and Johnny O'Neill set out getting the flat-top pistons and Crane cam put together. Ceramic-coated block-hugger headers push the spent air through a dual 21/2-inch exhaust. Everything in the drive train and engine compartment has been completely detailed.
Shannon Robinson, from Longview, Texas, tastefully completed all the paint and bodywork. A modern fuel door found a home on the driver side of the bed, a roll pan replaced the rear bumper, the stake pockets are gone, and an electric radio antenna has been frenched in to the side of the cab. All that was handled before the interior and exterior sheetmetal surfaces were slathered in PPG Turquoise. Billet was used extensively in the grille, gauge insert, glovebox door, steering wheel, door panels, and even the window cranks and steering column stalks. White face gauges flow well as does the gray carpet and Tea's seat handled by Memo's Upholstery.
What was once probably an eyesore to some has been turned into an eye-grabbing, attention-getter for many. Joel apparently has no plans to part with the truck now that he has had it for so long and just to drive the point home, both of his young sons have had their own truck projects since before they could even legally drive them. We can't wait to see how he leads his boys into this hobby as they have been raised around custom trucks since birth. Joel couldn't have done it without his wife Sylvia and his friend Shannon Robinson.