In case you didn't know already, this is the new DIY Corner. The good thing about a corner is that it's made when a couple of sides come together. While tech is a big part of doing things yourself, we're also going to feature trucks to show off your DIY project. They'll be shown in different degrees of completion, and will most likely be (or could be) daily drivers. It could also be a truck someone has labored on every spare minute of the last 10 years trying to compete with the big boys. Regardless, we hope you'll find it fun and informative.
Jay Huiberts is a late bloomer when it comes to automotive DIY. He had a Chevy Luv pickup many years ago and decided to go back to his roots, but on a larger scale. He had just put together a long and low dyno roadster cruiser/lowrider bike and needed something he could throw it in the back of. Jay was born in '66, so he decided to combine that year with his previous brand loyalty and look for a '66 Chevy C-10. Poking around online one day, he found a candidate, but it was up in Sacramento. Jay and his wife decided it was worth a look, so they made the seven-hour drive and stayed with her mom in nearby Stockton, California. The next morning, Jay went to check it out and found a clean one-owner longbed that was a nice survivor with its original 327 that had been rebuilt three times and yellow paint that was decent enough. The owner had kept every receipt for anything he ever did or had done to the C-10, plus plenty of family photos with the truck out on vacation and camping. After looking it over and taking it for a spin, Jay offered the owner, Ron, the 36 $100 bills he had to spend, but the man had to talk it over with his wife. After all, the truck was basically a member of the family.
Not sure if he had blown the deal, a few minutes later Ron came out with a box full of more stuff that belonged to the truck and said he wanted Jay to be its new owner. With a grin from ear to ear, Jay began the voyage back down south with the '66. Even though he really didn't know how to fix anything if something happened, they made it back safe and sound, minus overheating on the Grapevine. Not long after Jay got the truck home, he parked facing uphill and got in to pull away from the curb. When he tried to shift into Drive, he heard a pop, and then nothing-no gears. Jay was surprised and unsure of what to do, but he figured it had to be something with the Turbo 350 transmission. He crawled underneath the truck to find the shift linkage dangling. Being the logical guy he is, he reconnected it, and that was the moment he knew he'd be able to work on this thing.
Two years later, Jay has learned quite a bit by just doing it himself, or under the guidance of the more knowledgeable, or by simply watching and asking questions, which can often be the best way to learn. With help from Mike McKillip at Saddleback Automotive in Mission Viejo, California, they used CPP's coils, blocks, shackles, spindles, and a C-notch kit to lower the C-10 5 1/2 inches up front and 7 inches out back while still having it ride like a Cadillac. The four-wheel drum brakes were an eye-opener for Jay, so he made sure to upgrade to CPP's disc brakes on their dropped spindles, along with their corresponding snappy chrome master cylinder and power booster assembly, to make the truck much safer.
The standard behemoth diamond-plate bumper was cut from the frame so Jay could put a stock chrome unit on and mount the original restored California black plates. He also used a repop gas tank to switch out the old one.
Jay left a couple of things to the pros, like the top-end work on the 327. Robin McGhie of McGhie Motors in Lake Forest, California, rebuilt the 1.94 "camel back" heads with hardened seats for today's gas, which were combined with Edelbrock's Performer intake and manual choke 600-cfm carb. Jay finished off the engine with a chrome alternator, Zirgo chromed radiator and heater hoses, and ultra-cool PML Chevrolet script valve covers.
On the outside of the truck, Jay touched up some of the schoolbus yellow and added the Custom cab badges before having Jeff Styles pinstripe the truck in white. The bed retains the sheetmetal floor that the previous owner installed many years ago, but it works just fine for Jay's needs. Keeping the pavement under the truck is a set of Wheel Vintiques' 16x7 10-series chrome smoothies shod in 235/60R16 Diamond Back Classic steel-belted radials with 2 1/4-inch whitewalls. Inside, the truck is pretty much as Jay received it, except for the addition of the chrome E-brake handle, chrome glovebox trim, armrests, sun visors, and some pinstriping.
Jay has come a long way from where he started, and he continues to bust a knuckle or two in the pursuit of it all. Even though he didn't start until he was almost 40, he built his dream and now has a cool truck to haul his cruiser around, but I'll bet he's behind the wheel more than on the saddle!