After finishing up a few high-end fiberglass street rods, Rick Boothe wanted to change his diet of fiberglass and resin. If you have even been around or worked with fiberglass then you know how bad it smells. Not to mention cutting or grinding the darn stuff and letting the itching begin.
So to get away from the itchy-glass street rods, Rick started to think about building something made of steel. What he found was a clean '68 C10 Stepside that made his imagination go wild. However, the condition of the truck was not something desirable. When he found the pickup at a local Muscular Dystrophy Association car show in the swap meet area, the price was right, but all that was there was a rolling chassis and cab.
Rick thought he could do more with a vehicle that was disassembled than one that was all together. Rick's mentality was to treat it like a street rod and add parts that were not originally on the pickup. His wife Wendy thought he was crazy for taking on such a large project, but she knew that he had the passion and knowhow to complete such a monumental task of putting the C10 puzzle back together.
In fact, he has been offered a blank check for the truck, but would not take it because of the sentimental value it has to him.
Since there was no dash to speak of, one of the ideas floating around in Rick's head was to install a '59 Chevy Impala dash inside the truck. The dash swap was not a new idea to Rick because he has seen the '59 Impala dash on a few other pickups. Rick searched high and low for the donor dashboard, but came up with nothing. It was not until a friend suggested he call a gentleman that owned about 200 vehicles ranging from the '20s up through the late '60s. Rick called the gentleman and he happened to have what he was looking for; the only problem was it had just rained and the fields that the cars sat in were muddy.
Rick thought it will be no problem for his 4x4 pickup and he told the gentleman "I'm heading right down to take a look." When he got to the junkyard, the mud was up to the doors and the truck was struggling to make it to the cars, but he was determined to make it to the vehicles. The owner of the cars said to pick whatever dash he wanted out of the three Impala's and have fun getting it out. With a large generator and a 6-inch cut-off wheel, Rick hacked at the dash for hours in the 100-degree heat. After all the hacking Rick noticed the gauge pods were missing, but luckily for him the owner of the junkyard had several sets of them over in his shop.
During this time Rick's wife fell ill, but don't worry, she's doing great now. However, Rick said "time in my shop working on the C10 was the only thing that kept me sane." In fact, he has been offered a blank check for the truck, but would not take it because of the sentimental value it has to him. It just goes to show that building a vehicle of any kind can be very therapeutic and no dollar amount can replace that.
"In fact, he has been offered a blank check for the truck, but would not take it because of the sentimental value it has to him."
1968 Chevrolet C10
Rick & Wendy Boothe
Rearend / Ratio: 12-bolt / 3.25
Rear suspension: trailing arms
Rear brakes: disc
Front suspension: stock rebuilt w/Western 2-inch lowering spindles
Front brakes: disc
Steering box: stock
Front wheels: Eagle Alloys 225 18x8
Rear wheels: Eagle Alloys 225 20x10
Front tires: Continental Extreme Contact 235/45/18
Rear tires: Continental Extreme Contact 275/40/20
Gas tank: stock behind seat
Engine: 350 small-block
Valve covers: stock
Ignition: GM performance parts HEI
Exhaust / Mufflers: dual 2½-inch Flowmaster 40 series
Transmission: Gearstar Turbo 400
Modifications: 1,800-2,000 stall converter shift kit
Style: Stepside C10
Fenders front: stock
Grille: used two upper grille inserts and deleted turn signals
Bed: Tri-Plus / red oak / filled stake pockets
Bodywork and paint by: Rick Boothe
Paint type / Color: PPG / Mercedes Silver
Headlights / Taillights: Union Pacific
Outside mirrors: '67 Chevelle
Bumpers: roll pan by owner / Tri-Plus
Dashboard: '59 Impala stretched 4 inches
Gauges: Classic Instruments / All American Series
Air conditioning: none yet
Steering wheel: Billet Specialties
Steering column: Flaming River
Upholstery by: owner & Gene Satterwhite Upholstery of Lynchburg, Virginia
Material / Color: Ultraleather / red
Carpet: ACC red