What's the true definition of "homebuilt"? Does it mean one literally builds his car or truck from start to finish within the confines of his own garage? Okay, while that may be the literal interpretation, as with many things these days, there are exceptions to the rule. As you're about to see, an example of such is Jerry Rodriguez's '72 C-10. While the truck never really spent any time in a "professional" shop, it didn't remain under the roof of its owner's house from start to finish, either. Make sense? Read on, as we piece together Jerry's version of a homebuilt classic.
After wrapping up a pair of mid-'60s Chevelles, Jerry made the decision to embark on a '67-72 Chevy pickup project. While the decision was easy to make, locating a decent truck to start with was anything but-it took just as long to find his '72 as it would to finish it. But when he did find the right C-10, he realized it was more than worth the wait, as the owner/seller would eventually relinquish a stash of N.O.S. items (trim and hard parts) that he threw in with the deal. Talk about a score-most people are fortunate just to locate individual such items online or even at a swap meet! Extra goodies aside, Jerry still had his work cut out for him, as this was not going to be just a parts-hauler type truck. Nope, plans were to take the '72 to the next level, even if that meant farming some of the more difficult duties out to others-but as you'll see, the project never strayed too far from home.
After Jerry had hammered out the chassis and got the drivetrain squared away, he had the time-consuming bodywork process started, only to find himself eventually in need of some further assistance. To finish things up, he enlisted the help of Miguel Garcia who, to the dismay of any who think he's a shop owner, does bodywork and paint out the back of his house. Miguel took the '72 clear through to the application of the factory Ochre color from R-M, sprayed on individual components off the truck, and followed with the complete reassembly. Immediately after came time for the interior, which should come as no surprise, but believe it or not, that simply entailed moving the truck from out back behind the garage to the front where Mike's Upholstery is conveniently located. Yes, even though these particular jobs were by all intents and purposes "farmed out", they were done at home...just not Jerry's! While all this was happening, Ken Esajian was modifying a set of 20-inch Smoothie II aluminum wheels to better fit the Air Ride Technologies updated suspension, while Pat Lane was redoing the stock 350 small-block and building a 700-R4 tranny to suit.
Throughout the entire process, Jerry juggled a nine-to-five job, a mortgage, and all the typical stuff most of us endure on a regular basis, as well. However, if it weren't for the support of his better half, Teresa, it's safe to say we wouldn't be reporting the story as it is. Furthermore, help donated from friends such as Tim Hoffman, Mike Torbet, Matt Lotsenhauser, Jeff Minor, as well as Greg and Eddie Rodriguez, all contributed to not only the completion of the pickup, but to the overall outstanding finish. Jerry's C-10 is about as nice as they come-homebuilt or pro-built.