About 20 years ago, Rich Gortsema of Gortsema Customs owned a ’67 Chevy C10 and really enjoyed driving it. Eventually, Rich sold the truck with sellers remorse a few days later, but he knew if the opportunity to build a hot rod C10 arose again, he would jump all over it.
Well, 20 years later, a C10 was spotted in the sideyard of one of the shops customers Randy Bundy. After some after some persistent pestering from Rich, the owner of the truck agreed on a trade for the truck if Rich worked on his roadster.
A few days of working on the roadster and Randy delivered the truck to Rich’s shop in Spokane, Washington. Rich thought that it would be a great idea to graft some Corvette suspension on the chassis of the stock C10, so with the help from his two sons, Brad and Mike, an ’86 Corvette was found on eBay for a steel of a price. Rich waited for the Corvette to arrive after winning the bid and, to his surprise, it was in good shape. Plans were to take the stock C10 suspension and swap it for the lightweight aluminum suspension from the Corvette. After stripping the truck down to bare bones, the Corvette suspension was mocked up to the C10 frame, and with some fabrication everything looked like it would fit. The Corvette rack-and-pinion was too long to fit under the frame, so Rich found a smaller Mustang II rack that would slip under into the custom IFS crossmember he had built out of tubing.
For the rear suspension, Rich also used the Corvette rear dog bones with custom mounts … but not without some modifications to the stock C10 framerails. QA1 coilovers held all four wheels to the ground and gave the vehicle some adjustment in stance and ride. Continuing the build, Mike Gortsema worked on filling the rusty holes with fresh sheetmetal from LMC and Brothers Trucks.
After the rust was filled and the suspension welded into place, the truck started to take shape. Rich was having a hard time deciding on which wheels to run with the pickup and started looking at what other vehicles had been running. The ’10 Camaro wheels looked really nice to Rich so he measured to see if they would fit and, what do you know, they bolted right up.
The 454 big-block engine came out of a ’95 Chevy pickup and was torn apart to get rebuilt by Cassell Performance Engines of Spokane, Washington. Rich had oversized 0.030 pistons installed along with a Comp Cams 270H cam and the stock iron heads smoothed for better flow. To top off the motor, an Edelbrock Torker intake and Edelbrock Performer 650 carb help free up some potential horsepower underhood. A 2½ exhaust was custom made by Dan Ray, and Turbo mufflers helped tame the noise of the big-block.
The last thing to do now was assemble the body panels and prep for paint. Mike made sure the panels were nice and straight before the DuPont Linen White was laid down. Underhood, the inner fender panels were sprayed with DuPont Black and cleared for a high-gloss look.
We asked Rich what the best part about his finished C10 was, he said, “Working with my talented sons and finally being able to drive my dream truck with my wife Nadine in the passenger seat.” CT