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Weathered Charm: The Artful Makeover of a ’66 Chevy C10

Mike Self September 25, 2023 C10 Builders Guide

A ’66 That’s Full of Surprises

Take a good look, people, because this truck won’t look like this forever. In fact, it’ll probably be very different in the not-too-distant future since the owner, Rudy Aragon, plans on completely doing away with the patina and laying on plenty of the shiny stuff for the ’66 Chevy C10’s next incarnation. But for now, let’s take a closer look at its current state and talk about how it got here. 

Rudy has always had a thing for the first-gen C10. His uncle actually built a ‘bagged ’62 on 20s in the late ’90s, and Rudy was never able to get that truck out of his head, pretty much obsessing over it every minute of the day. In fact, he made it his mission to one day own and build one for himself. He obviously accomplished that mission, which ended up taking about five years from beginning to how the truck sits now.

The C10 had already had some work done to it and was a great head start, but Rudy wanted to make some changes to suit his tastes a bit more. These changes were, in some cases, more of an evolution of the truck rather than a transformation, yet there are some differences in store that would pretty much make the truck unrecognizable from its previous state.


The suspension was handled with tried-and-true Porterbuilt front and rear air-ride kits, including a drop member for the front and a frame notch at the rear with link setup and Panhard bar. With airbags at each corner, Rudy’s C10 is easily and quickly raised up to driving height via the AirMaxx valve block and Viair 380C compressors. Airing the truck up also has the added benefit of revealing a bit more of the 20-inch Mobsteel wheels and Diamond Back whitewalls in the process, which went on after ditching the 15-inch steelies and wide whites that were previously on the truck.

A simple engine swap utilizing a 4.8L GM truck engine built up by Straight Street Automotive was an effective addition, making the Chevy a bit more reliable due to the more modern construction and electronics. The LS1 intake manifold is not only more aesthetically pleasing, but also … well, that’s about it, actually. Hey, we’re all about style, so we understand not wanting the weird looking truck manifold sitting on top!

With all of the work underneath finished, Rudy turned his attention to switching things up with the exterior of the C10. Believe it or not, a lot of work went into the truck’s current paint scheme, but it didn’t involve decades of waiting for Mother Nature to do her thing. Here’s the twist y’all weren’t ready for: That’s not authentic patina you’re looking at!


Although the truck’s paint wasn’t pristine when Rudy got it, it was friend Mark Mora who applied the weathered look with Matrix brand Chevy Red and copper paints over the existing white paint, with pinstriping by Daddy-O. Yup, the truck wasn’t even red to begin with! But don’t worry—Rudy says that most people are fooled when checking out his ride, so you’re in good company if you were under the initial impression that the paint was OG.

Rudy kept things nice and functional inside, choosing a set of third row seats out of a Honda Odyssey, a gauge setup from Dakota Digital, and an aftermarket tilt steering column to keep things simple. This makes it easy for Rudy to just hop in and drive the thing, which is obviously the most fun part! Like we said earlier, though, Rudy is planning a full teardown of the truck, where it will shed its faux patina skin and become a butterfly or something. Guess we’ll have to wait
and see!

Build Specs


Albuquerque, NM
1966 Chevy C10

Chassis & Suspension

Porterbuilt front drop member air ride kit
Porterbuilt rear notch/air-ride kit w/ Panhard bar
Front disc brake conversion
Wisco fuel cell
Wheels & Tires
20×9 Mobsteel wheels
245/40R20 Diamond Back tires

Engine & Drivetrain

2006 GM 4.8L LS engine built by Straight Street Automotive
LS1 intake manifold
Aftermarket headers
2006 4L80E transmission
Body & Paint
Faux patina finish using Matrix Chevy Red/copper paint by Mark Mora
Pinstriping by Daddy-O
Oracle LED headlights

Interior & Stereo

Honda Odyssey third row seats
Dakota Digital Digital Series gauges
Aftermarket tilt steering column

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