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40 Years of Passion: The Story Behind Marshall Rowen’s Impeccable 1972 Chevy C10

With 40 Years of Planning!

As interesting as the trucks themselves, the stories connected with the build often reveal a fascinating, behind-the-scenes view of the process. Sometimes the job is quick and easy, other times the results are unexpected. From Sanderson, Florida, Marshall Rowen shared the unique back story of his trophy-winning 1972 Chevy C10, an amazing case of a decades-long dream finally coming true.

1972 Chevy C10

Recently retired, Marshall’s former career revolved around his home maintenance business, but he has been an automotive enthusiast since he built his first dune buggy at age 12! With his enthusiast addiction ignited at an early age, he progressed to modified race cars, automotive restoration, and lately, trucks with each getting better than the last. How this ’72 arrived however, is a story from 40 years in the past. Continuing to recall events from his youth, Marshall, now a full two years older at the tender age of 14, saw a customized 1967 Chevy II that he believed had to be the most beautiful vehicle he had ever seen. He decided that one day he would have something just like it.

A lengthy four decades later, the dream finally began to take shape although it happened almost by accident. The ’72 Chevy C10 in the photos was initially purchased by his son, Blake. It was in bad shape, but Chevrolet got it right when they designed this era of truck, and its popularity has been on a continuous rise for decades. They are becoming increasingly rare and are sought after when restored. Unfortunately, time, money, and motivation took their toll and Blake ran out of all three. That’s when Marshall stepped in, deciding to fix it up just enough to get it sold.

Here’s the turning point in the story. Somewhere during the rejuvenation process, an unusual item piqued Marshall’s interest. The truck badly needed replacement door handles. When he discovered the popular aftermarket Kindig-It Design “Square Style” versions, they looked so good when installed that he began to rethink his plan. In fact, the handles turned out to be the catalyst that prompted an entire frame-off restoration!


Marshall is an accomplished craftsman and now with new motivation, he decided to create something like that dream vehicle he saw as a teenager. Choosing to start with a firm foundation, the Chevy frame was boxed, and all holes were filled, tubular upper and lower control arms from Brothers Trucks were added up front, and he installed one-of-a-kind trailing arms of his own design. Western Chassis 2.5-inch drop spindles helped with the static drop profile. While everything was apart, he pressed forward, adding four-wheel Wilwood disc brakes, Ridetech coilovers, and No Limits power rack-and-pinion steering.

Next on the list was the engine compartment. He knew that a smooth firewall would provide a perfect backdrop for the powerful new engine but decided to take it one step further. Just for fun, he hid the Wilwood master cylinder underneath the frame for a unique look. When people notice the clean firewall and wonder aloud whether the truck has brakes, he smiles and says, “This build was inspired by Fred Flintstone!” Both the firewall and the custom inner fender panels were painted to match the exterior.

Continuing his detail-oriented approach, Marshall selected Eddie Motorsports hinges to manage the hood, intrigued with their unique mechanical flavor. The hood itself is also unique since it is as smooth on the underside as it is on top. Marshall flexed his fabrication skills by crafting a single piece of sheetmetal to cover the underside, creating a seamless look. His handiwork was distinctive enough to attract the admiration of Chip Foose himself, during the Year One show in Atlanta. Foose was so impressed with Marshall’s creativity and fabrication skills that he signed a photograph of the hood. Quite an honor!

Once all the elements of the engine compartment were in place, the original 350 was eliminated and a Chevy 400 block that Marshall had been saving for a special occasion was bolted in, using motor mounts of his own design. Providing a heaping dose of louder, faster, and prettier, the built brute reads like a hot rodder’s dream sheet with Marshall orchestrating a long list of performance upgrades. Now bored to 406ci, the rotating assembly consists of an Eagle crank and H-Beam rods along with Wiseco pistons. Pro Comp aluminum heads along with an Edelbrock Performance 850 carb, intake, air cleaner, and cam come together to manage incoming air, MSD ignition lights the fire, and Hooker Competition headers scavenge what’s left through a custom Magnaflow exhaust. The combination was clearly designed for rapid transit! Adding sparkle to the mix, Billet Specialties accessories include radiator clamps, valve covers, and pulleys while the new PRC radiator and condenser ensure temps stay in the green.

Although it took about 40 years,  he knows that the image of that beautiful
vehicle that started a teenager dreaming  is finally in his garage.


Moving outside, body modifications began by creating a beautifully smooth, bumperless frontend featuring a full width chrome grille, slim LED running lights below the hidden headlights, and a smooth roll pan. Sculpted drip rails and one-piece side windows clean up the doors while filled stake pockets, smooth tailgate, and a custom rear pan dress up the rear. LED taillights from Marques Designs shine brightly at night. The bed features custom inner fender panels but was left plain to allow a functional space for lawn chairs at car shows. The tiny touch latch door in the bed floor is the filler for the repositioned gas tank. Since it was important to see the Wilwood brakes through the wheels, the final addition was American Racing rims, 20 X 9 all around on Michelin rubber.

Inside, Marshall’s craftsmanship is once again on display, beginning with the custom dash that features a second steel glovebox door, now repurposed as a mirror image to the original and holding five smaller Omega Kustom analog gauges. The larger speedometer and tachometer flank the new additions. A Lecarra wheel turns on an Ididit column and a Lokar shifter controls the Turbo 350. Driver and lucky passenger enjoy the six-way power seats from a 2004 Acura TL, complete with bolsters, head rests, and lumbar support. Vintage Air keeps everyone cool during warm Florida summers. Road trips take on a new dimension thanks to the Kenwood head unit that controls speakers behind the seats and in the kick panels. Larry’s Trim Shop installed the combination arm rest and door handles, but Marshall did the rest of the leather and vinyl upholstery, even to the Brother’s Trucks headliner and seat belts. The four-year team effort saw Marshall doing the bodywork and after the gaps were set to perfection, son Blake laid down a deep layer of the ChromaBase Marina Blue final color.

How is the finished truck to drive? At the Year One Show in Atlanta, out of 100 cars judged, Marshall was gratified to know that his talents were recognized, finishing in the top 10. Although it took about 40 years, he knows that the image of that beautiful vehicle that started a teenager dreaming is finally in his garage. Marshall sends special thanks to his wife Tanyia for her unending support and encouragement.



Marshall Rowan

  • Sanderson, Florida
  • 1972 Chevrolet C10
  • Chevy 400 block bored to 406ci
  • Custom motor mounts
  • Eagle crank and H-Beam rods
  • Wiseco pistons
  • Pro Comp aluminum heads
  • Edelbrock Performance 850 carb and intake
  • Edelbrock Performance cam
  • MSD ignition
  • Hooker Comp headers
  • Magnaflow exhaust
  • Engine work by owner
  • Turbo 350 automatic
  • Hughes converter with 2500 Stall
  • Todd’s Transmissions, Jacksonville, Florida
  • Original Chevy frame boxed
  • Brothers Trucks tubular upper and lower control arms
  • Trailing arms of his own design.
  • Western Chassis 2.5-inch drop spindles
  • Four wheel Wilwood disc brakes
  • Ridetech coilovers
  • No Limits power rack and pinion steering.
  • 20 X 9 American racing rims
  • 255/45ZR20 Michelin Pilot Super Sport rubber
  • Front and rear bumpers removed
  • Full width chrome grille
  • Watson’s Street Works LED lights
  • Smooth roll pan
  • Sculpted drip rails
  • One-piece side windows
  • Kindig-It Design “Square Style” door handles
  • Bed stake pockets filled
  • Custom inner fender panels
  • Tear drop shaped, touch latch, gas filler door
  • Smooth tailgate
  • Custom rear pan
  • Marques Designs LED taillights
  • Bodywork by owner
  • Marina Blue Chromabase
  • Paint by Rowan’s Rides, (Blake Rowan) Glen St. Mary, Florida
  • Custom dash with Omega Kustom analog gauges
  • Lecarra wheel
  • Ididit column
  • Lokar shifter
  • Push-button start
  • Acura TL power seats
  • Vintage Air
  • Kenwood DDX319DVD receiver 2-Din In Dash Stereo
  • 3 X 5 monitor
  • Kenwood 6 X 9 subs, 5-inch component sets
  • Stereo install by owner
  • Brother’s Trucks headliner and seat belts
  • Black leather and vinyl upholstery by owner


Connecting Through Trucks: The Heartbeat of the C10 Community

It Takes a Village to Keep Our C10 Community Thriving

The give and take. The yin and yang. No matter what you call it, it’s crucial in all parts of our life to keep the balance right. In our C10 community, we are so lucky to have that balance. We have the trucks, the aftermarket support, truck shows, and most importantly, the community. So where do YOU come in? What can you do?

Honestly, there are so many things you can do! First up, if you haven’t yet, buy a truck! (I realize they aren’t as cheap as they used to be—but what is?!) Even if it’s a project or a fixer-upper, you will have fun working on the truck and have plenty of aftermarket support.

Another great way to “give” is to befriend someone who is trying to get into the scene. Maybe they are new to the C10 Nation and have questions, or maybe they have an idea that they would like to bounce off someone. If you have a buddy or two in the middle of a project, you might be able to lend a hand—even if you’re not a master mechanic, they will appreciate the help and, you never know, you might learn something along the way!

What else can you do? You can hit up a local cars and coffee or meet-up and show off your truck. After that, you can hit up a bigger truck show, maybe a C10-specific show. Meet-ups are a great way to meet new people and connect, but they can also be very motivating. If you go to a bigger show, you’ll see some very motivating builds and some vendors that have some really amazing parts and upgrades for our trucks.

OK, who are the takers? Well, in this case, I am not really sure that many are out there. Let’s take a look at the guy who pulls the old truck out of the field and gets it back into the mainstream for someone to buy. Now we have the truck available to rebuild and bring back to life—so, in all honestly, he is sort of a giver, too. Even though he might be making a little scratch, that’s OK! He just saved a truck!

How about the venders and the aftermarket? They are in business to make money, but a lot of these vendors are creating, designing, and engineering some of the latest and greatest parts for our trucks. So, I would challenge them to keep making great parts that support our builds and keep going to shows and events. Being able to go to a truck show and talk with a vendor is truly invaluable. Ironically, the flip side is that the vendors gain so much knowledge from talking with customers and prospective customers. It’s beneficial to both.

The bottom line is that it takes a village, and the C10 community is one of the biggest classic vehicle villages around! Think about that. You are part of a community with more aftermarket support now then when these trucks were new—not to mention more truck shows and gatherings than ever before!

So keep loving them, building them, and cruising them. Ultimately making friends and memories along the way is giving back to the scene, the community, the C10 NATION!


Preserving the Past: Protecting and Enhancing the Patina on a 1967 Chevy C10

Protecting the Patina on a 1967 Chevy C10

If you’re like me, you LOVE original-paint classic trucks. There’s something about looking over the original paintjob and getting a glimpse at how the truck was treated—or abused—in the past. My OG paint ’67 C10 has a lot of character and most of it came from work on a farm. Now that this original-paint beauty earned its stripes and now resides indoors, it’s time to protect that original paint that has been neglected for 56 years. There are a couple of different ways you can protect and preserve your original paint.

01. Sweet Patina sent us its Trio Kit plus Century Polish. This kit includes its Century Polish, Patina “Sauce,” Happy Ending Final Detail Spray, and So Fresh and Clean All-Purpose Cleaner.
02. The first step of applying the “Sauce” is to get rid of dirt, grime, and contaminants on the paint. Spray a generous amount of the All-Purpose Cleaner. With a light scrubbing pad, gently scrub to loosen up the contaminants and then rise with water. I used a light gray Scotch Brite pad, but you can also use steel wool to smooth the rough surface.

1. Clearcoat the Original: You can go with a more permanent solution by applying a clearcoat over the original paint. I have never been a fan of this method. If the clearcoat were to ever fail, it is highly unlikely that one would be able to strip just the clearcoat off of the original paint, which means you may have to strip the entire vehicle. While there is essentially zero maintenance on this method, the risk of losing or damaging the original paint is too high for me. If this is the route you would like to go, Sweet Patina sells a matte and gloss clearcoat designed specifically for preserving patina.

03. Now that the paint is clean and dry, I can move on to polishing. This step is not necessary, but it will add gloss and depth to the paint that is left on the truck since this polish is designed to be used on the worn, weathered, and oxidized paint that hasn’t reached the surface-rust stage. Take a look at the first section I polished (far right). The Century Polish removed all of the chalk and brought back some color and depth to this 56-year-old paint. I used an orange light cutting pad, making sure to clean it out regularly because the single-stage paint will clog your foam pad.

2. Go with the Sweet Sauce: You can use a product like Sweet Patina “Sauce” that acts similarly to a carnauba wax. Not only are you preserving and protecting the paint, but you’re also not applying a permanent topcoat, so there is no risk for this product to fail since it naturally wears off the paint over time. This method does require you to reapply the “Sauce” a couple of times a year, but it’s so easy to do and essentially has zero risk of damaging the paint. This is the method I prefer to use, and that’s where Sweet Patina comes into play.

04. Here’s another image comparing just how well the Century Polish worked. The front clip of the truck is polished while the door and bedside are not.
05. Once the entire truck was polished, it was time to do a final wipe-down to get rid of any residue left by the Century Polish. Applying the “Sauce” is as simple as wipe-on, wipe-off. Using a microfiber towel, I applied the “Sauce” using a circular motion similar to applying wax. Once I let the product sit for 15-20 minutes, I simply wiped it off with a new microfiber towel—and that’s it!

Sweet Patina has developed a product it calls the patina “Sauce” that has more than 20 ingredients that make up the proprietary blend, making the product one-of-a-kind. The patina “Sauce” provides a luminous finish that shows the character, depth, and beauty of your patinaed ride. It helps prevent further deterioration, preserve the patina, offer a layer of water-resistant protection that helps inhibit rust, and polymerize to a hard finish.

06. The “Sauce” repels water like a wax. Here, you can see the water droplets beading on the surface of the paint. Now that the surface is protected, we can use the Happy Ending Detail Spray between washes to help keep the paint clean and potentially prolong the life of the “Sauce.”
07. I love the way this came out, and the truck looks much better now that the paint has new life. Sweet Patina has more than 120 years of paint and refinishing experience on its team, and they know paint rust and refinishing.