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.
The interior wound up matching the rest of the project-clean and simple. He found the seats and console out of a '72 Blazer that suited his taste and had Fitzgeralds Upholstery slip the black with houndstooth insert seat covers over them. The rest of the inside of the cab was filled with '72 Cheyenne Super door panels, new headliner, ididit column, Auto Meter gauges, Classic Auto Sound stereo, and one-piece side glass.
The short-wide now resides on 18- and 20-inch Americans shod with Nitto rubber. The six-spokes help to set off the rest of the chrome eye candy in the form of new moldings, trim, bumpers, and emblems.
Four years after its beginnings and five days after its completion, the proud smiles were justified of all those involved, namely Joe, Tony, Norm, Rick, the guys at RPM, and Fritz's mom. For it was at the 2005 World of Wheels show in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, that the fresh Chevy earned trophies for Best in Class, Outstanding Truck Engine, and the 2005 Automotive Builder award. You can see why we are proud to feature this '68 for all to enjoy!
Facts & Figures
1968 Chevy C-10
|CHASSIS ||FRAME: stock |
REAREND / RATIO: 12-bolt posi / 3.73:1
REAR SUSPENSION: McGaughy’s 5” drop leafs
REAR BRAKES: stock drum
FRONT SUSPENSION: stock w/ McGaughy’s drop spindles & springs
FRONT BRAKES: Mcgaughy’s disc
STEERING BOX: stock manual
FRONT WHEELS: American Racing Torq-Thrust ST 18”
REAR WHEELS: American Racing Torq-Thrust ST 20”
FRONT TIRES: Nitto NT450 255/55R18
REAR TIRES: Nitto NT450 255/50R20
GAS TANK: stock
|DRIVETRAIN ||ENGINE: ’86 TPI 350 |
VALVE COVERS: Billet Specialties
MANIFOLD / INDUCTION: stock w / SLP polished runners
EXHAUST / HEADERS: Veterans 2 1/2” / Flowmaster 40 Series
TRANSMISSION: Muncie M21
|BODY ||STYLE: C-10 Short Fleet |
MODIFICATIONS: filled side markers, relocated antenna, one-piece door glass
BED: stock w/ Goodmark sides
BODYWORK / PAINT: owner / Norm Meanor
PAINT TYPE / COLOR: Glasurit / custom-mix red
Headlights / Taillights: stock
BUMPERS: stock chrome
|INTERIOR ||DASHBOARD: stock |
GAUGES: Auto Meter
STEREO: Custom AutoSound
STEERING WHEEL: American Racing
STEERING COLUMN: ididit
SEATS: ’72 Blazer
UPHOLSTERY: Fitzgeralds, Ambridge, PA
CARPET: Auto Custom Carpet, black