Time has a way of getting away from us, and before you know it you realize you’ve owned that old truck for a long time. In the case of the Landreth family, a long time means since the truck was new. On February 2, 1972 David’s father, Larry Landreth, went down to Reeder Chevrolet in Knoxville, Tennessee, and traded in his 1965 Buick Skylark on a brand-new Chevrolet truck. Total cost for the truck was $3,876.20, tax and tags included, young David Landreth was 10 years old at the time.
The truck was equipped with a column shift three-speed and David learned to drive the truck that summer, and at the tender age of 10 he was driving the truck through the family farm while Larry ran the tractor loading it with hay. Six years later David cleaned and polished Ol’ Blue (as it was affectionately known by then) to take his driver’s test. This truck isn’t just loaded with hay, it’s loaded with memories, too.
The truck would remain a daily driver and horse trailer hauler until David’s mom gave it to him in 1996. The odometer was just shy of 350,000 miles, and yet the body remained near perfect. Sadly, a hailstorm ended all of that, denting every flat panel on the truck and breaking the windshield, too. The windshield was replaced and the truck continued to be used as an occasional driver until 2010 when David and his wife, Tracie, decided it was time to give Ol’ Blue a new lease on life.
The transformation from farm truck and daily driver to cool cruiser took about a year. David and Rick Geier dismantled the truck, and then the suspension was completely rebuilt with 2-inch dropped spindles and Power Master disc brakes added up front. The rear suspension was replaced with a 5-inch drop kit from Southern Kentucky Classics. The frame was cleaned, painted, and then a set of 18- and 20-inch Billet wheels were mounted with Hankook tires measuring 235/55R18 and 275/45R20, front and rear respectively.
An all-new driveline was in order so David enlisted a talented crew to complete that part of the project. Longtime family friend Bob Crawford was busy assembling a new 383 stroker motor for the truck. Stacey Williams built the Turbo 400 to replace the old three-speed box and coupled it to the motor with a 2,250-stall converter. Vaughn Ridenour freshened up the posi rear, and the driveline was complete. James Antrican handled the custom exhaust from the Sanderson headers to the MagnaFlow mufflers at Hilltop Muffler Shop in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
Next, the truck, along with a huge pile of replacement sheetmetal parts from LMC Truck (remember the hailstorm?), was brought over to Kool Kolors Rods and Customs where they began the process of putting Ol’ Blue back together again. Body modifications are non-existent, but the overall fit and finish on the truck makes you think something more than paint has been done. Even the color is the original 1972 Medium Blue, but with the quality and depth of paint it takes on a much richer hue and changes pretty dramatically in different lighting. Jeff Wolfenbarger at Kool Kolors laid down the final finish.
The final step was to refurbish the interior, and after Ken Kelly rewired the truck (again at Kool Kolors Rods and Customs) Ol’ Blue was brought to Steve Holcomb at Pro Auto Customs for custom upholstery in several shades of gray. The bucket seats are from a late-model Chevy truck with a custom-formed console dividing the seats. A Lokar shifter controls gear selection while stainless steel inserts on the door match the console. Custom armrests incorporate door pulls and some very clever blue LED lighting that softly illuminate the door handles when the headlights are on. Steve also added blue LED lighting under the bottom edge of the dashpad that provides a soft blue cast at night, it is a very effective look. A Billet Specialties steering wheel tops the ididit steering column and all-new gauges freshen the stock gauge cluster. Vintage Air provides creature comforts and a Sony stereo provides cruising tunes.
And so after a year of work Ol’ Blue was back on the road looking better than new and turning heads wherever it went. One thing is for certain, the truck has come a long way from haulin’ hay. CT
1972 Chevy C10
cleaned and painted
Rearend / Ratio:
GM 10-bolt / 3.00:1
rebuilt stock, 5” drop kit
rebuilt stock, 2” dropped spindles
Billet Specialties, 18”
Billet Specialties, 20”
Manifold / Induction:
Edelbrock / Edelbrock
Exhaust / Mufflers:
Hilltop Muffler Shop / MagnaFlow
2,250-stall converter, rebuilt by Stacey Williams
Fenders front / rear:
stock / stock
Bodywork and paint by:
Jeff Wolfenbarger, Kool Kolors Rods and Customs
Paint type / Color:
urethane / ’72 GM Medium Blue
Headlights / Taillights:
stock / stock
late-model GM truck, custom console
Steve Holcomb, Pro Auto Customs
Material / Color:
Naugahyde / gray