Keeping up with the Joneses can be a very daunting task especially when Mr. and Mrs. Jones own Corvettes. Not all of us can afford an expensive sports car, but that’s not the end all when it comes to having fun with our trucks. For several years now, companies like Hotchkis Sport Suspension have been taking what they learned from the performance car market and shoving that technology into a C10 truck. You may be asking yourself why they’d ever want to do that. Well for one, the price of getting a new or used Z06, Camaro, or sports car is far past my budget, plus I’m a truck guy, and if you’re reading this hopefully you are too.
The stock ’67-72 C10s already come with a great setup compared to a straight axle truck of ’50s, but the C10 has its limitations. The rear is equipped with a trailing arm suspension that NASCAR still uses today, and stamped upper and lower control arms in the front. The stamped control arms featured rubber bushings that make the ride nice, but allow the alignment to change when worn out and/or under hard cornering.
Speaking of alignment, the stock stamped control arms don’t have enough caster to create the desired handling characteristics that Hotchkis is used to in most performance cars. So with the Hotchkis kit, the lower arms are redesigned to extend the wheelbase 1.8 inches and add up to 9 degrees of positive caster.
The control arms also use a much bigger 4130 CNC-machined cross-shaft with bronze and Delrin bushings. The bronze bushings help support the load, while the Delrin lets the suspension move freely without squeaks or binding. Bumpsteer is also a problem with anything that has been lowered because the increased angle that the tie-rod ends and centerlink are under. Hotchkis reduced the bumpsteer by making the tie rods and centerlink travel on the same plain with the upper and lower control arms. This means when you are driving down a curvy road, the steering wheel will not shift in the opposite direction of the turn when you hit a bump in the road.
One of the cool things about Hotchkis is its rich history in racing and testing its vehicles on the street and track. So when I had the opportunity to head out to Willow Springs Raceway in California to test the before-and-after results of our C10 I was very excited. Who wouldn’t be? The first test we threw at the C10 was a 600-foot slalom and the stock C10 did OK – 51 mph at 7.99 seconds. After the Hotchkis TVS C10 suspension was installed it managed to jump up to 60 mph and 6.85 seconds. Even owner John Hotchkis was impressed with the slalom results.