If you look at rarity strictly from a numbers point of view, of the 365,778 Chevy C-10 trucks built in 1972, only 3 percent left the assembly line as longbed Stepsides versus the roughly 10 percent that left as Cheyenne Supers. In total, Fleetsides outnumbered Stepsides two to one, and while there aren't any hard figures about how many of the Cheyenne Supers were long or shortbeds, one thing's for sure: they have remained desirable and valuable for the last 35 years. Even the base-model C-10s are somewhat prized these days, not to mention a truck like Rene Martinez's '72 Cheyenne Super that shared the cover of our February '07 issue with the rest of his herd shot in his ample backyard.
Rene still maintains that he's not a collector, but his wife begs to differ-she says it's more of an addiction. Whatever the case may be, they both fell in love with this green and white two-tone truck the first time they laid eyes on it. Rene wasn't even looking for another truck as he wandered around a Fresno-area swapmeet minding his own business searching for parts for one of his other "children," but even his wife said he needed it. It was hard to argue with that, so the deal was made for the clean, original shortbed. Rene knew it wasn't going to take much to get the '72 just where he wanted it-close to the ground!
He took the truck to Fat Fender in Fresno for some good medicine that resulted in a 3 1/2-inch drop in the front and a full 5 inches out back, and the 17-inch Torq-Thrust IIs wrapped up the exterior perfectly. Next it was off to his good friend Kevin Hernandez of Kev's Classics, also in Fresno, for a stock tach dash upgrade as well as stepping up to the rare stock tilt column that only graced some 60,000 trucks in '72. The rest of the interior is stock and has survived quite well. The bench seat is still covered in the factory off-white vinyl with simulated tooled-leather patterns. Along with the Cheyenne Super package came the woodgrain inserts on the glovebox door, door panels, and gauge panel that Kevin made sure went on the new panel.
The C-10 is basically stock, with factory air, five-lug disc brakes in front, trailing arm rear suspension, a 12-bolt, a 350 V-8, and a Turbo 350. Before Rene took ownership, the original four-bolt main motor was the subject of a mild build that consisted of being bored .030-over, balanced, blueprinted, and fitted with Speed-Pro forged pistons, a 268H COMP cam, ported iron heads, and glass-beaded and shot-peened Chevy rods. On the outside, there's an Edelbrock dual-plane intake and a 650-cfm carb, Summit polished valve covers, a Mallory UniLite HEI, and Doug's 2 1/2-inch headers that breathe fire into the Flowmasters under the steel bedfloor.
Sometimes that's all it takes to have a great truck to motor about town in. Of course, this'll probably lead to more short-wides following Rene home. He'd better add on to the garage!