A Look at What it Takes to Remove OEM C-10 Accessories

March 21st, 2011

Text and Photos by Marcel Venable

So who do you think coined the term “shaved,” referring to, of course, the permanent removal of an OEM accessory? From what we can tell, the term became part of hot rodders’ vernacular in the mid ‘50s when customizers began to remove unsightly door handles, side trim and other large OEM bolt-on chrome accessories. Some say that the reason for shaving parts was to streamline the vehicle to reduce wind drag, creating better aerodynamics. However, many just say that the practice became popular because it made the vehicle look better, giving it style, or more of a unique look.

It doesn’t matter whether you come from one side or the other on the origins of shaving; what really matters is that good ideas, like shaving off OEM accessories die hard. Just think, here it is 60 years later and we’re still removing all of the OEM jewelry to clean up the look of our vehicles.

Well, we’re probably not the first to tell you that the square-body C-10 body style has a lot of bolt-on OEM accessories, nor do we need to point out that removing these accessories will improve the aerodynamics of your truck, giving you some speed and fuel advantages. (Good luck collecting that data Dr. NASA.) Really, the idea is quite simple: Square bodies have too many OEM accessories and beg to be shaved.

So let’s focus on the basics, drip rails, door handles, stake bed pockets, gas door and the cab seam. These items alone can reshape your truck, bringing a new, more modern look and feel. These mods will allow you to focus on the true lines of a square body, which believe it or not, are rounder than you think.

Don’t let this kind of work scare you. It’s not difficult, but it does require some patience. Taking your time to do these steps right will save you more time and lessen your frustration later when you perform the bodywork. You will need some skill welding sheet metal to perform these mods. Square bodies are known to be a little tricky to shave, especially the door handles, due to the fact that the door skins lack sufficient inner supports. Too much heat and the metal shrinks really quickly, creating waves. Check out how we performed all five body mods on our project square body.


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