Where does the time go? From the date on some of the "Attention: DIY Corner" envelopes I dug up in my office, it has been about two years since the column's introduction. After reopening one of the aforementioned envelopes, I remembered the pictures of James Vigil's white '77 C-10 that were again in my hands. I also remember scrawling "possible DIY" on the package. James was one of the first to write in to us on the subject, and not only was his a possible candidate, it was a sure thing ... until it got lost in the abyss of my office. Well, James, at long last--here is your 15 minutes ... or shall we say, pages in the mag!
The popularity of '73-80 C-10 pickups hasn't skyrocketed like we hoped it would due to the rising prices of the '72-and-older crowd, but that doesn't make them less attractive. The contrary is probably true, so get `em while they are still plentiful and affordable. James knew this some time ago when he bought his big-block-powered '77 Cheyenne. The stock 454 had been swapped for a 502 marine engine prior to James signing the pink slip, but the Turbo 400 and 12-bolt stayed in the truck. The truck was ordered with the F44 RPO option, which was also known as the "Big 10," or heavy-duty suspension in laymen's terms.
James knew he had to do something about his nosebleeds, so he installed dropped spindles and lower springs from DJM and flipped the axle in the rear. This obviously did wonders for the truck's stance, while leaving well enough alone by retaining the stock truck Rallye wheels.
The original buckskin-color interior wasn't in too bad of shape to begin with, but James wasn't too fond of the color. So he removed all the molded interior pieces such as the dashpad, gauge panel, door panels, etc., and scuffed and squirted them with some black Dupli-Color vinyl dye. This will do just the trick until he can afford to replace each piece (including carpet) in the future. In the meantime, he was able to splurge on a new shifter and Grant steering wheel for a little flash.
James has a lot of other plans for the '77 down the road when things calm down and he has some bread set aside, but as you can see, he and his daughter love to go for a cruise whenever they can--we don't blame them!