There’s no shortage of custom trucks out there. And even though it’s not groundbreaking, this 1971 Chevy C10 has something special about it, a combination of relaxed air ride attitude and meaty LS power that makes it the perfect 50-year-old daily driver.
Custom trucks undoubtedly have the most acting range out there. You’ve got your small 1950s models that are the side of hot rods, your lifted heavy-duty beasts, duallies, race trucks and street trucks. Somewhere in that latter category, we find this clean 1971 Chevy C10, a restrained build for cruising.
Three years ago, this was a pile of parts after the previous owner tore into the bodywork to try and do a short bed conversion (it was a long bed). Half-ton C10 and K10 trucks come in two wheelbases, the base 115 inches, with a 6.5-foot box, or longer 127 inches models, with an 8-foot box.
A modern, clean-looking engine was also chosen, nothing too fancy, but still an LS. Specifically, this is powered by an LQ9 6.0-liter motor. This is not an often talked about V8 that used to belong in a 2004 Cadillac Escalade.
Escalade-powered C10 goodness
But it’s also got a few mods, like the stage 3 cam kit, the Holley mid-mount system, and Holley Sniper intake and fuel rails. The owner says that it dynoed at 375 wheel horsepower during his interview with AutotopiaLA. Remember, that’s at the rear wheels, not the crank. A 1967 to 1972 Chevy C/K pickup might have come with a 170 horsepower six-cylinder or a 200 horsepower small-block 5.0-liter V8. Of course, you also had the 250 horsepower 350ci V8 and the 402ci four-barrel with 300 hp, but those are too valuable to swap or cut into.
These old 2nd-gen C/K models got the job done, but they were primarily designed to be cheap workhorses and had a semi-floating rear axle. So, obviously, some magic is going on under the sheet metal. The C10 rides on a full Porterbuilt Chassis. It’s got an interesting 4-link rear end with large notches to swallow up the axle and a Dropmember in the front. The tied and tested AccuAir air ride suspension system makes it easy to control the height of the C10 from the control module mounted in the ashtray.
And then we come to the glazing on the cake, Borla tips on a 2.5-inch exhaust system that has to go through the body because there’s no room underneath. And for wheels, this blue truck gets 24-inch matte black Budnik alloys. The ones at the back are 15 inches wide and wrapped in massive 405 tires. I’d say that’s overkill, beautiful overkill, but still, overkill.