It's not often that you'll hear of a guy finding something at an antique store that he has to have so badly that it takes repeated trips to pester the reluctant owner to sell. Most of the time, antique stores would love to sell you any and everything, but not in Fritz Holzer's case.
The owner of the store in question was storing his '68 C-10 in the store's parking lot in a little Ohio town. It seemed like good spot for the truck until he could start restoring the old hay hauler, plus it added "charm" to the storefront. Fritz wasn't going to take "no" for an answer, and finally on one of his many trips the owner quizzed him of his intentions if he did sell it. Fritz told the man his plans and was countered with, "only if you restore it and make it nice."
Once the Chevy was his, Fritz quickly found out that it was going to be a considerable task to keep his promise to the man, but he was determined! In fact, the C-10's tires weren't even cold in the driveway when the front end and bed had parted ways with the rest of the truck in a frantic start to a four-year project. Two weeks later, the cab and remaining parts were stripped from the chassis so the frame could be sandblasted while the rust repair started. At this point, Fritz was pretty deep into the '68 and even though the rust was extensive, he had to carry on. When all of the cancer had been cured, he stripped the cab to bare metal inside and out to start with a clean slate, which included the purchase of new Goodmark doors and front fenders. After a meticulous fit and finish job on all the truck's tin, Fritz started on the bodywork and chassis reassembly now that it was back from the 'blaster. He installed McGaughy's six-lug disc brake conversion with 2 1/2-inch drop spindles, 1-inch drop springs up front, and 5-inch lower springs in the rear to level things out and to eliminate the four-corner drums.
Fritz belongs to the Hollywood Knights in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, and they aren't afraid of getting together and cruising out of state for shows. With this in mind, the decision was easy to go with an injected small-block for reliable power. Networking goes with the territory and continued longevity in the hobby means more contacts. A call was made to a friend of Fritz's who runs a Corvette salvage, and he had an '86 TPI motor with a low 42,000 miles. It was quickly sold and hauled home, where it got a Crane cam and SLP high-flow intake runners. Fritz's step dad, Joe, donated a Muncie M21to the cause, rounding out the drivetrain.
The bed that came with the truck had rust in it, as well as some botched attempts to fix even more rust, which ate at Fritz and he finally decided at this point to find a better bed to work with. He found one and purchased it, but to his dismay it had some hidden damage, as well. Another call was made to Goodmark for new bedsides and a tailgate to settle things once and for all. With the exterior of the Chevy where he wanted it, he called his friend Norm Meanor who owns a body shop in the same town, to discuss the '68. Fritz talked Norm into painting the C-10 what would ultimately be a custom-mixed red by Norm sprayed in a single-stage Glasurit urethane.