About five years ago if anything newer than a ’72 model C10 appeared within the pages of CLASSIC TRUCKS there was a good chance a few complaint letters might arrive. At the top of the perturbed writer’s list was usually a claim that squarebodies were just too new to be considered classic. Who’s to say what is, or isn’t, a classic?

Still, I do remember when the ’73 C10s arrived at GM dealerships customers appeared in droves to see if there were any ’72s left. Things only went downhill from there; by 1975 even the trucks sold new in California were showing signs of premature cancer. Anywhere water had a slight chance to collect, painted steel body panels would take on the appearance of a bubbling cheese pizza. As if rust wasn’t bad enough the hood on early squarebodies liked to buckle right at the hinges. That said one might wonder why in the world anyone would ever want to own one of these trucks? The simple answer is that the good outweighs the bad.

The ’73-87 series of C10s saw the longest production run of any Chevrolet or GMC light-duty truck. Thanks to 15 years of availability it’s not hard to track down a decent example anywhere in North America at a good pricereal rusty ones have even been known to go for free. This, in conjunction with a strong support systemstreet rod shops that specialize in classic trucks, aftermarket parts suppliers like LMC Truck in Lenexa, Kansas, and websites with sections dedicated to the range--makes it pretty much smooth sailing.

The ’73 Cheyenne Super seen gracing these pages is a good example of one of the ways a person can go about building a ’73-87 for relatively low bucks. My friends at Sonoma County Street Rodz in Petaluma, California, started with a ’73 3/4-ton C20 custom camper and whittled it down using a shortbed Fleetside box with an F44 chassis. For suspension the Sonoma County crew hauled the bare frame to Sacramento, where Chris Alston’s Chassisworks installed a complete setup from its KP Components division. It’s not exactly a low-buck alternative, but going the high-quality route means never having to strip the truck down to the bare chassis again. We’ll dive into the suspension system complete with a Watt’s link at a later date, but right now the focus is setting the cab and radiator core support square on the chassis with new body mounts. Without being squared properly, vertically and horizontally, nothing but body alignment problems will follow. In addition to ensuring the ’73 won’t have squeaks and rattles emanating from the cab due to worn-out mounts that have settled, installing new body mounts is the first step to re-establishing the body lines. CT

SOURCE
KP Components
www.kpcomponents.com
LMC Truck
15450 W. 108th Street
Lenexa
KS  66219
800-562-8782
http://www.lmctruck.com
HarborFreight
3491 Mission Oaks Blvd
Camarillo
CA  93011
800-444-3353
www.harborfreight.com
Sonoma County Street Rodz
1005 Bodega Ave
Petaluma
CA  94952
707-364-3179
www.sonomacountystreetrodz.com
  • «
  • |
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • View Full Article