Mitch Henderson enjoys a well-deserved reputation for designing and building high-quality street rods, and in the recent past has turned his sights and talents to the classic pickup world as well. Mitch's awesome C10 is a perfect example of his transition into the pickup truck realm and extraordinary evidence of his commitment to quality and detail.
The truck itself has a history. Apparently it was rebuilt as a show-truck back in the 1980s, and to be kind, Mitch stated it was a less-than-attractive truck by today's standards to say the least. In the truck's post-show circuit life it changed hands a few times. After a while, Mitch's pal Keith Stephens ended up with it and stashed it aside along with his stable of future project vehicles. After languishing untouched for a few years Mitch offered to buy it and Keith acquiesced.
Once he got his hands on the truck Mitch's plan was to refurbish the pickup, transforming it from an over-the-top ex show truck into a more sedate and reliable driver. But, as we all know, the best laid plans of mice and men don't always unfold as intended. The project soon morphed from a mild resto to a detail-oriented, meticulous customization with an equally expanded investment as well.
As is the case for most classic pickup rodstorations, the truck's rebuilding began with chassis upgrading. Mitch chose to swap out the OEM suspension with a new combination of a Suicide Door brand custom front crossmember, a rack-and-pinion assembly, CPP control arms, drop spindles, Baer disc brakes, KYB shocks, and an AccuAir-controlled airbag setup. Out back a Suicide Door four-link equipped with air ride, new shocks, and disc brakes (from the same suppliers as the frontend) were installed and used to hang a GM 4.11:1-geared rearend assembly. The refurbished chassis was also outfitted with fresh brake and fuel lines as well and then lowered to the ground on a quartet of 22-inch Bonspeed wheels and Toyo tires.
With the chassis mods complete, attention was turned to the pickup's driveline. Mitch decided to keep the truck's 327-cube small-block so it was completely gone through, dressed in a bit of brightwork, and mated to a muscular TH400 trans.
Though Mitch had greatly overstepped his original clean driver plan he still intended for the truck to have a stock-style look to passersby. With that goal in mind Mitch completed a myriad of custom body mods that are both unique and subtle. The cab driprails were modified, all the body gaps made uniform, the wheel openings massaged for a much more finished appearance than were stock, and the front end sheetmetal configured into a one-piece design. He even went so far as to smooth the underside of the hood and to fabricate a custom core support as well. Also, in keeping with the OEM appearance Mitch was striving for, he retained a stock-looking two-tone custom mixed paint scheme too.
Mitch then gave the pickup's interior with the same attention to detail as he had the rest of the truck, tastefully refurbishing the cockpit in a manner as impressive as the balance of the rodstoration.
If this particular Chevy is any indication of the caliber of classic truck rodstorations Mitch Henderson Designs will be producing in the future, the classic truck world is in for a treat.
Frame: modified stock
Rearend / Ratio: GM / 4.11:1
Rear suspension: Suicide Doors four-link, AccuAir air ride, KYB shocks
Rear brakes: Baer dual-piston disc
Front suspension: Suicide Doors custom crossmember, AccuAir air ride, CPP tubular control arms, KYB shocks
Front brakes: Baer six-piston disc, CPP Hydro Boost unit
Steering box: rack-and-pinion
Front wheels: Bonspeed, Big Block, 22x10
Rear wheels: Bonspeed, Big Block, 22x11
Front tires: Toyo, Proxes, 265/35ZR22
Rear tires: Toyo, Proxes, 285/35ZR22
Gas tank: rear-mounted Chevy Blazer
Engine: 327ci SBC
Valve covers: Cal Custom
Manifold / Induction: Edelbrock Performer / 650-cfm Demon
Exhaust / Mufflers: 2½-inch stainless / MagnaFlow
Transmission: GM TH400
Style: C10 pickup
Modifications: custom driprails, custom rockers, modified fenders, modified door skins, one-piece front end, filled hood bottom, custom core support
Fenders front / rear: modified stock / stock
Hood: modified stock
Bodywork and paint by: Brian Vasting
Paint type / Color: Standox / custom mixed
Headlights / Taillights: stock / stock
Air conditioning: Vintage Air
Stereo: Kenwood, JBL
Steering wheel: stock
Steering column : ididit
Upholstery by: Andy Martin, Jake Moore
Material / Color: Ultraleather / taupe
Carpet: square-weave, taupe