Orange Slice

January 13th, 2012

Text and Photos by Jason Mulligan

Owner: Mike Gonzales; 1973 Chevrolet C-10; Visalia, CA

This Central Cali C-10 Went From Farm Truck to Phenomenal

Mike Gonzalez of Visalia, California, has a typical Central California story. He grew up working on his family’s dairy farm and has been into custom trucks as long as he can remember. The fact that his custom C-10 used to be the family’s farm workhorse is just par for the course. Like many in the Central Valley, Mike took the beat-up work truck and set out to transform it into a hot rod that would make his family proud.

To accomplish this Mike entrusted Brandon Sisco, owner of Sisco’s Fabrication in Visalia, to handle the build. Brandon started by creating a custom back half from 2 x 4 tubing and Z’d the front end up 3 inches to get the frame to lay flat on the ground. To get the square body even lower, the cab mounts were moved down an inch before it was all powder coated orange. A wishbone 4-link setup was created for the rear with Slam Specialties airbags and Pro Comp shocks. Up front, Western Chassis drop spindles were installed, and 20-inch billet wheels were procured from Esajian Wheels.

Under the hood sits a 1969 427 Chevrolet engine that has been rebuilt with Edelbrock components, including a camshaft and intake manifold topped with a Holley 780-cfm carburetor. The engine was dressed up with March Performance pulleys and other polished goodies set against the smoothed firewall and wheel tubs. A Turbo 400 transmission worked over with a B&M Racing shift kit by TRC Transmissions was installed behind the 450-horse big-block. William’s Street Rods in Tulare, California, rewired the entire truck from scratch with a Ron Francis wiring harness.

Then Sisco cut into the body of the ’73 C-10 to smooth things out and provide some custom touches. An all-steel cowl hood was added for engine clearance, and crystal eye headlights from LMC Truck (http://www NULL.lmctruck were added. Out back, a tailgate skin was used to fill in the indents, and Sisco created a custom roll pan that contours the body. Finally, Cadillac taillights were frenched in to complete the rearend. Everything else on the body was shaved smooth, and the factory trim was altered to work with the new modifications. The floor was raised for clearance inside of the bed and a Bruce Horkey wood floor kit was stained and installed with a gas filler for the custom fuel cell. When everything was smoothed, Brandon mixed up a custom PPG Orange and sprayed it over the C-10. Then Danny Fuhrman came in and sprayed Volkswagen Silver to split things up before clearing the truck.

On the inside, the regular cab is packed with plenty of custom goodies. Bucket seats from a 1962 Impala were installed and wrapped in dove and charcoal leather by Raul Espinoza. Sitting in between the seats is a modified 2004 Denali console that houses the switches and Kenwood DVD head unit. Sisco widened the dash outfitted with Auto Meter gauges to line up with the center console and contain a TV monitor as well. Bill at Performance Audio created the fiberglass-covered kick panels to house JL Audio 6 ½ components. He also made the boxes behind the seats that house a pair of 10-inch JL Audio subwoofers. With everything wrapped up, Mike brought it out to a couple of local shows and the truck is still considered part of the family.

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