When trucks were built in the late ’60s and early ’70s they were meant to last. You could say this about any presmog truck, or, better yet, preelectronic. Most people knew that replacing the sparking bolts, cleaning the carb, keeping good tires on, and using the darn thing would ensure a lifetime of C10 fun. Well, maybe that’s what Todd Stansberry’s grandfather thought when he bought the then slightly used ’70 longbed C10 from a friend who worked at a Chevy dealership in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Todd always liked the truck and when his grandpa died his family was put in charge of taking care of the C10. Todd was in high school at the time and was allowed to drive the pickup to and from school as long as he would share it with his brother, Jeff. Todd’s high school sweetheart, Jamie--now wife--would sneak out with him and take the Chevy for joy rides. They also went on their first date together, driving in the moonlight, and holding hands listening to Marvin Gaye. OK, I made that last part up but it sounds fun, right?
Todd’s dad kept the truck after high school, and Todd and Jamie moved on with their lives until one day the truck was put up for sale. They reminisced about the memories they had with the truck, and Todd purchased it from his father for $1,500 big ones.
They had plenty of discussions on what to do with the truck in the near future, knowing they couldn’t keep it stock. Keeping food on the table and paying bills, however, were more of a reality than starting a project. So the C10 was once again stored. It wasn’t until 12 years later that the truck saw the light of day again and the Stansberrys had enough income to revive the pickup.
Jim Farmer, Todd’s father-in-law and longtime street rodder, helped tear down the truck in a week. The original plans were to hop up the motor and keep the body stock, but Jeff Wolfenbarger at Kool Kolors Rod & Customs in Clinton convinced them otherwise. The major change was to convert the truck from a longbed to a shortbed by finding a donor chassis and bed. After the frame parts were found it was as simple as installing the Belltech drop spindles in the front and rear trailing arm springs to get the right stance. The rebuilt 402 big-block Chevy motor and turbo 400 transmission were installed next followed by the freshly worked and painted body. The side markers look shaved but they are flush-mounted and painted with smoky black paint to give a stealth appearance.
With all said and done the pickup took about a year to build all thanks to friends and family. In Todd’s eyes, the truck is perfect. We asked what his most memorable experience was in the truck. "Driving it to high school, and boy, does this truck know some secrets. Boys will be boys," Todd says. "Also, the good times spent with my late brother, Jeff." CT