After 12 years, Rob Phillips, of Phillips & Co Hot Rods, finally finished his '69 Chevy...sort of. See, Rob has learned what many of you already know. No matter how much you do to a truck, car, or a house, for that matter, it is never done-but don't let Rob's lesson learned fool you, as his C-10 is nicer than most.
At the tender age of 17, Rob fell for a '69 C-10 Stepside that he just had to have, literally as soon as the owner hung the for sale sign in its window. Over the years of working on the Chevy, it went from white to gray primer to fire engine red to '01 Corvette Yellow (in 2001), which looked great, but it still wasn't what Rob was looking for. A few more years went by and Rob-now a bit wiser than when he first bought the truck-worked his way into becoming the project manager for the TV show Overhaulin'. Sweet gig, huh? Being involved in the projects and working side by side with Chip Foose during this time really helped sharpen his skills and taught him to think on a whole new level. This almost hindered Rob's thought process, though, since he had so many good ideas for his truck now, where do you stop?
In January 2007, the '69 was blown completely apart at his new shop so Rob could finally build his dream truck-for now, anyway! Over the next 11 months, he worked on it with plenty of help from many of his good friends who usually were spending their weekends at the shop in Long Beach, California. Walt Pearson and Chris Torrey from Lanzini Body Works in Huntington Beach logged in nine months of body and paintwork to get the Chevy all straightened out. But the biggest consumer of time were all the subtle sheetmetal mods Rob wanted to incorporate, like molding the driprails to look like those on a '34 Ford car, shaving the handles, locks, front turn signals (which was done using two grilles), and side marker lights. Once all that was gone, the cowl vent had to go. The gas filler was also aced since Rick's Hot Rod Shop in El Paso, Texas, built a custom 23-gallon stainless tank to mount under the bed, which was plumbed with a return-style system for the Mass-Flo EFI. Once the body was to everyone's high standards, Walt and Chris sprayed it with a mix of BASF Copper Metallic and black two-tone with a stripe of silver to break up/accent the two main colors.
The chassis was built to ride well and look good, but not to be so low it would be hard to drive. Classic Performance Products tubular control arms were installed up front with dropped spindles and an Early Classics Enterprises sway bar. To mount the Diffworks-built 12-bolt posi, Early Classics trailing arms and a trailing arm crossmember were used along with dropped coils. For brakes, Rob worked with Baer, which built a prototype, huge six-piston caliper kit for the front and mounted Track Plus discs out back. Big wheels were needed to mount over the large brakes and Rob wasn't sold on any he'd seen elsewhere, so he went back to Chip Foose and they designed and cut a one-off set of 20 inchers for the '69 that would soon be wrapped in Pirelli rubber. The frame and various suspension components were dropped off at Specialized Coatings in Huntington Beach to be powdercoated gloss black. Another friend of Rob's, Matt Westin, shortened the bumper brackets and also narrowed and filled the bumpers so they would fit the body better. This is another time-consuming yet subtle touch that most wouldn't notice unless pointed out, but makes a big difference. Gregg Cox at Artistic Silver Plating in Signal Hill, California, took all the trim and any aluminum pieces and polished them beyond smooth before dipping everything in chrome, which again made many subtle details flow together.
With the shell of the truck assembled, it was time to drop in the 468ci big-block. The over-600hp Rat motor is fitted with Edelbrock Performer RPM heads, intake, cam, and lifters, and is all fed via a Mass-Flo EFI system, which was expertly wired thanks to Oliver Kho. After Rob and Oliver got the truck running, it was off to MagnaFlow in South Orange County, California, for a custom 2 1/2-inch, mandrel-bent, stainless TIG-welded exhaust system, complete with a pair of MagnaFlow stainless mufflers with 4-inch resonators-and boy does it sound good!
Finally, Rob took the truck to Dan at Stitch Corporation for a custom interior sewn in black Katzkin Leather and suede over the rare '68 Chevy CST bucket seats with copper stitching to tie into the exterior paint. The dashpad, visors, and console were also wrapped in black Katzkin. There is an impressive Kicker stereo system built into the C-10 thanks to Geoff Curtis of GECreations in Fountain Valley, California, that includes a 10-inch sub powered by a 2,500-watt amp, and kick panels with 8-inch midbass drivers and 6 1/2-inch Kicker SS speakers.
All this was done the night before the truck had to go to the '07 SEMA show and represent in the Pirelli booth. This was quite an honor for Rob and everyone involved, not to mention Rob's wife, Regina, who was entirely supportive throughout the entire project. They all had a huge weight lifted off their shoulders and could breath easy again-until next time! For more of what Rob is up to plus build photos of the '69, visit www.pchrods.com