Jeff first laid eyes on his Chevy 14 years ago. The pickup was part of a backyard collection of old cars and trucks owned by a local gentleman by the name of Joe Harmon. Mr. Harmon and his collection (Camaros, 1967-72 C10s, 1955 and 1957 Chevy two-door hardtops, and a 1934 Chevy coupe) are pretty well known by the car guys in the Stigler, Oklahoma, area, but as anyone who's stopped by to try and purchase any of his treasures will tell you they're quickly sent down the road empty handed. Not for sale, nothing to see here – now run along.
Luckily, Jeff has known Mr. Harmon for a good 25 years, and though it took him a while, he finally approached him and asked if he could buy the old Chevy longbed sitting out back. Mr. Harmon surprised Jeff when he told him he could go ahead and build it. Knowing Mr. Harmon as he does, Jeff could tell that he was almost as excited about the prospect as he was.
After the deal had been made Jeff recruited his brother, Justin, and best friend, Steve Murray, to help him get the pickup out of Mr. Harmon's backyard. The truck had been sitting there for around 20 years and the three had to cut down a couple of trees that'd grown right through the rotted-out wood of the bed floor before they even began to think about towing it home to the shop (Ballard Motorsports). Once there, Jeff and his band of helpers (Justin Ballard, Joe Harmon, Steve Murray, Nabe Murdaugh, Devlan Osman, and Jeff's son Ty) began the project. Jeff's plan was to keep the body in the same patina that it wore when rescued from Mr. Harmon's backyard, but to upgrade it mechanically so it could be driven anywhere and enjoyed fully.
Jeff and his brother Justin yanked out the Chevy's original driveline and then stripped the chassis of its stock suspension and plumbing, and shortened the rails to shortbed length. Up front, Jeff chose to run a Porterbuilt IFS front crossmember and tubular control arms along with a pair of McGaughy's 2-inch drop spindles and 13-inch disc brakes, Slam Specialties airbags, KYB shocks, and a Unisteer rack-and-pinion. The pickup's rearend and suspension was replaced with a Cody Keller-built GM 12-bolt held in place by a Porterbuilt lowered trailing arm kit, Big Boy frame notch kit, and rear drop member. Suspension-wise Jeff and Justin again used Slam Specialties airbags, and KYB shocks to get the truck down on the ground when parked and raised as little as possible for cruising. Next, the brothers bolted up a quartet of 22-inch Coys C-5 five-spokes wrapped in Nexen low-profile tires and lowered the truck to the floor.
With the chassis handled, the pickup's driveline and final assembly came next. The original engine and trans were replaced with a powerful but reliable 5.3L LS backed by a 4L65E overdrive transmission and the body's patina cleaned, but not too much. In fact the most attention shown to the pickup's exterior was the bed shortening, superbly handled by Steve Murray of the Okie Speed Shop. Jeff was pleased by the way Steve and Devlan handled the body, while camouflaging the cut and still maintaining the patina. The newly shortened cargo bed was treated to a bunch of pecan floorboards cut, stained, and fit by Joe Harmon and Randy Mayhall as well. All in all Jeff's C10 ended up exactly as he'd hoped – a body patina'd by Mother Nature and a driveline and suspension that'll carry him and his family anywhere without a care in the world.
1966 Chevrolet C10
Frame: modified stock by Ballard Motorsports
Rearend / Ratio: GM 12-bolt by Cody Keller / 3.73:1
Rear suspension: Slam Specialties airbags, KYB shocks, Porterbuilt rear drop member, trailing arms, and Big Boy notch
Rear brakes: McGaughy's disc
Front suspension: Porterbuilt IFS, tubular control arms, McGaughy's drop spindles, Slam Specialties airbags, KYB shocks
Front brakes: McGaughy's 13-inch disc
Steering box: Unisteer rack-and-pinion
Front wheels: 22x5.5 Coys C-5 in matte gray
Rear wheels: 22x5.5 Coys C-5 in matte gray
Front tires: Nexen Roadian 255/30ZR22
Rear tires: Nexen Roadian 295/30ZR22
Gas tank: 1972 Blazer
Engine: 2001 Chevrolet LS6
Valve covers: black wrinkle-finish stock
Manifold / Induction: stock / injected
Headers: GM F-body manifolds
Exhaust / Mufflers: aluminized / Thrush Turbov
Transmission: GM 4L65E by Turner Bros Transmission
Style: C10 Custom Cab
Modifications: shortened cargo bed by Devlan Osmon, Okie Chop Shop
Fenders front / rear: stock
Bodywork and paint by: Mother Nature
Paint type / Color: original / multi
Headlights / Taillights: stock
Air conditioning: factory option
Steering wheel: stock
Steering column: stock
Upholstery by: Chevrolet
Carpet: rubber mat