Some women with a classic truck-addicted guy feel like they might be a close second in their man's heart when compared to their trucks. That said, I didn't believe that there's an understanding woman on Earth who would ever allow a mistress. That's not the case for Greg Kathrein whose lovely lady Christina not only allows a mistress, but doesn't mind Greg spending some time and money on her either.
OK, for the record his mistress is a hammered 1966 GMC and the only one she'll allow. Like many, Greg's passion for classics started as teenager. His stepdad owned a shop and wisely leveraged Greg's free time to keep him out of trouble. Greg began to notice more of these 1960s era trucks being laid out, particularly with air-ride suspension. This sparked his desire to build one and the hunt was on. In April of last year, a friend spotted this truck for him and after a single call the deal was sealed. The first thing he did was get some "before" pics and he immediately put plans in motion, tearing it all apart.
It was in fair condition with minimal rust and stock running gear. Greg had saved some cash getting it for the right price, and being a painter by trade, stretches the paper even further. Enter Nate Porter of Porterbuilt suspensions; he got down on the frame mods using his own A-arms and drop member, then used 2½-inch drop McGaughy's spindles and Slam Specialties bags to set its attitude. A Flaming River rack-and-pinion provides an ability to push corners. The narrowed track width makes way for the foursome of Centerline smoothies. He had the increasingly famous Del "Delmo" Uschenko, make a crazy-cool set of center caps that gives the wheels some serious appeal.
In back, a 4.56-geared Dana 44 differential rests under a Porterbuilt back half and more Slam bags. Greg and his friends Mike Dandurant and Brighton Collision got busy replacing rockers, cab corners, and lower fender sections. They decided to clean up some lines by welding the hood and rocker seams. They also shaved the wipers, tailgate chains, and the antenna, keeping the body tight. Greg covered her in primer, but the next skin tone will be Diamont Desert Sage Green Metallic. He's painted the engine bay and it's a seductive color that is going to make this mistress irresistible. The engine is an '80s era 350 bored .010 over and built by Wilkies Machine in Mesa. It houses JE hypereutectic pistons and a Comp cam. A Demon 650 carb sits atop a Holley Street Dominator intake and forces fuel to the cylinders fired by Mallory ignition. Iron manifolds and Flowmaster mufflers usher spent fuel through a 2½-inch exhaust system. The muscular mouse motor is backed by a 700-R4 transmission.
In the cab sits the stock bench seat covered in gray tweed. It has a basic black carpet kit that makes a practical combination as he completes its transformation. An AccuAir E-Level controller automatically sets ride height at the touch of a button and constantly maintains ride height regardless of load changes. This is slick, but not as trick as where he mounted the controller. He found an old ashtray, then formed and flush mounted it right into the dash. It looks factory and it adds that personal flavor to the dash that Chip Foose has signed…how cool is that?
The SoCal steering wheel highlights the custom touches made so far – with many more to come. Even though it's not finished, that hasn't slowed Greg from running it at least twice a week and lovin' every minute of it. His most memorable experience was recently going over 200 miles to the Brothers show in Southern California and meeting many new people that are now his friends. A build like this only happens through the support of others. Greg would like to thank Christina and everyone who's helping him see his vision to reality.
1966 GMC Fleetside
Frame: modified stock
Rearend / Ratio: Dana 44 / 4.56:1
Rear suspension: Porterbuilt back half, C-notch by Nate Porter
Rear brakes: factory drum
Front suspension: Porterbuilt A-arms, dropped crossmember
Front brakes: 11-inch dIsc
Steering box: Flaming River rack-and-pinion
Front wheels: Centerline Smoothies 22x9
Rear wheels: Centerline Smoothies 22x9
Front tires: Falken 265/30 ZR22
Rear tires: Falken 265/30 ZR22
Gas tank: Brothers OEM 1972 Blazer tank
Engine: 1980s-era 350 bored .010 over
Heads: factory cast iron
Valve covers: aluminum
Manifold / Induction: aluminum / Holley Street Dominator
Headers: cast-iron manifolds
Exhaust / Mufflers: 2½-inch / Flowmaster
Transmission: late-model 700-R4
Shifter: Lokar column
Style: ½-ton Fleetside
Modifications: shaved wipers, antenna, and stake pockets
Fenders front / rear: factory
Bodywork and paint by: Greg Kathrein, Mike Dandurant and Brighton Collision
Paint type / Color: Diamont Desert Sage Green Metallic
Headlights / Taillights: original
Bumpers: stock, de-chromed
Dashboard: modified stock, custom-built controller pod
Gauges: Auto Meter
Air conditioning: none
Steering wheel: SoCal Speed Shop
Steering column: 1990s GM tilt
Seats: original-style bench
Material / Color: smoke gray tweed
Carpet: factory black