Growing up around hot rods or any type of vintage vehicles is a great way to enter a hobby that generally costs lots of money and time. For hardcore enthusiasts, it’s part of everyday life to rearrange priorities in favor of your project vehicle, even when home improvement, yard work, and other chores enter the equation. Some folks, like Jonathan Forrester of Dahlonega, Georgia, picked up on the hobby at a young age, while others were influenced later in life. Regardless of when you were bitten by the bug, it’s easy to revert back to the type of vehicle that helped shape your automotive preferences. For Jonathan, it all goes back to the hot rods of the ’70s, in an age where T-buckets still roamed the earth and street rodding was at an all-time high.
The Pro Street era also made a big impact on Jonathan in the old days, but he says that some of his modern-day inspiration comes from Bobby Alloway’s high-end hot rods, which always seem to have the perfect stance. Jonathan’s day job as a fleet mechanic and his background in working on outlaw drag cars gave him the necessary skills to take a completely stock ’70 C10 and rework it from front to back. His vision for hot rods and his physical skills are a combination that resulted in a killer pickup that has enough power to back up the aggressive look.
Jonathan’s history with the truck goes way back, as it was purchased new by his grandfather at Colquitt Chevrolet in Lithonia, Georgia, on February 7, 1970. The truck was a replacement for a 1966 Chevy pickup, which had received some minor damage while his grandmother was behind the wheel. Jonathan quoted his grandfather as saying, “I ain’t driving no dented-up truck!” and proceeded to hit a tree with the left front fender within two months of owning the new C10. The truck had a six-cylinder engine and had very few options from the factory, but it served as a great truck for many years.
When Jonathan’s grandfather passed away, the truck was given to him with an agreement that he couldn’t sell it. No one said anything about cutting it up! From there, it was matter of hammering, welding, and grinding until the truck met his approval in terms of stance, sound, and performance. Seven years of work resulted in a truck that has the perfect mix of drastic modifications and subtle details. The best part of the finished product is the fact that Jonathan did most of the work himself. He had help from Ken “Stony” Lawson, Steve Satterfield, and Bobby Chester throughout the build, and had lots of support from his wife, Marcie, and his daughter, Peyton, which is always very important!
Regarding the intense build, an untrained eye might not appreciate the workmanship, since the truck still wears its factory paint and most of its original interior pieces. Jonathan fabricated countless brackets and custom pieces for the truck to provide the ride height and drivability he wanted with clean details to complete the package. Along with the lowdown stance and big ’n’ little tire combination, Jonathan exercised his hot rodding and drag racing background by installing a 496ci big-block Chevy and a Richmond five-speed manual transmission in the weathered pickup. With approximately 600 horsepower on tap, those big rear tires don’t stand a chance when Jonathan hits the loud pedal, but that’s all part of the fun.
A multitude of custom details will captivate any gearhead who knows a thing or two about metalwork. Jonathan designed and built the hood hinges, as well as the front accessory drive, which includes a Flaming River power steering pump, a Powermaster alternator, and a Vintage Air A/C compressor. The inner fenders have been highly modified, but look stock, thanks to skillful metalworking and a slick coat of paint. The chassis has an abundance of cool brackets, and homebuilt details, including tubular control arms, coilover brackets, and crossmembers.
Out back, more great craftsmanship is on display, thanks to the lack of a bed floor – Jonathan says he plans to install a floor someday, but it’s not a top priority. More details include the highly modified front and rear bumpers, as well as the super-cool tag bracket, which holds the restored original license plate for this truck. Throughout all of the cutting, welding, and fabrication, Jonathan managed to retain the truck’s original paintjob, which has nice patina, but has absolutely no rust.
With several thousand miles under its belt, this pickup has proven to be dependable and fun, with very little upkeep involved. That’s the beauty of Jonathan’s C10 – it gets a ton of attention with its wicked attitude, but lacks the annoyances that come with a slick paintjob and high-dollar interior. For Jonathan and his 1970 C10 Stepside, it’s all about fun, and when you see the smile on his face during a big burnout, you’ll figure out why he built it this way, and how his inspirations turned into one impressive pickup.
For Jonathan and his ’70 C10 Stepside, it’s all about fun.
Chevy C10 Stepside
Modifications: boxed with tubular crossmembers and custom rear notches
Rearend / Ratio: GM 12-bolt, narrowed 8½ inches / 3.08 Richmond gears and Eaton posi
Rear Suspension: Chassisworks four-link, Aldan Coilovers, lowered 7¼ inches
Rear Brakes: Wilwood disc
Front Suspension: owner-built tubular control arms, Aldan Coilovers, lowered 10½ inches
Steering: Flaming River rack-and-pinion
Front Brakes: Wilwood disc
Master Cylinder: Wilwood
Front Wheels: 16x8 American Racing Torq Thrust II
Rear Wheels: 17x11 American Racing Torq Thrust II
Front Tires: 215/60R16 Firestone
Rear Tires: 275/60R17 Continental
Gas Tank: owner-built aluminum 13-gallon fuel cell
Engine: Chevy V-8, 496ci
Rotating Assembly: Eagle forged
Heads: aluminum RHS 320cc rectangle port with 2.25- and 1.88-inch valves
Valve Covers: finned aluminum
Manifold: Edelbrock RPM Air-Gap
Carburetor: Mighty Demon 850-cfm
Air Cleaner: finned aluminum
Ignition: MSD Pro-Billet distributor, MSD 6AL box, MSD Blaster 2 coil
Headers: owner-built with 2-inch primary tubes
Exhaust / Mufflers: 3½-inch / Flowmaster
Transmission: Richmond five-speed manual
Clutch: Ram Street/Strip
Style: short-wheelbase Stepside
Body Modifications: inner fenders raised and reshaped, owner-built hood hinges, smooth firewall, mini-tubs
Bodywork by: owner
Painted by: owner (engine bay)
Paint Color: PPG Acrylic Urethane Medium Green
Headlights / Taillights: stock
Front Bumper: modified ’70s Chevy van rear bumper
Rear Bumper: modified ’69 Camaro rear bumper
Gauges: Auto Gauge with Sun Super Tach II
Air Conditioning: Vintage Air
Steering Wheel: ’60s Chevelle
Steering Column: stock, shortened
Seats: stock bench
Upholstery by: Jamie Crook of Finish Line Interiors
Material / Color: vinyl / green
Carpet: rubber mat