There’s a new contender moving up the ranks in this thrilling world of C10 restorations: Project Rocky, a 1979 Chevy C10, poised to redefine what it means to be a classic. For those who might have missed a beat in our journey, welcome back to the show. We are refocused on this project after a long hiatus while Rocky was at the paint and body shop, as well as our dedication to Sergeant Square, our military charity build for Mission 22. But now, the spotlight is back on Rocky, and we’re excited to bring you up to speed.
Picture this: a truck stripped down to its very core. Every nut, every bolt, every inch will be transformed. The old body panels are making way for new ones from Auto Metal Direct. They will be prepped and restored to an even better version than its original.
At the core of it all lies our chassis, the foundation upon which Rocky stands. We’re not merely refurbishing; we’re enhancing. Strengthening the structure, tweaking the aesthetics, and it all starts here. While the factory frame and original cab stand resilient, everything else will be a modern version, courtesy of some remarkable American companies that support our vision.
To upgrade the suspension, we collaborated with partners like Rock Auto who provided OEM suspension components, BDS Suspension for a larger-than-life stance, and Performance Online for a brake upgrade that is necessary for a build of this caliper. The wheels have been upgraded to a dazzling new set from American Force, wrapped in 33-inch Toyo Tires.
Our cab is now rust-free thanks to the team at Street Dreams paint and body shop in Ocala, Florida, and now wears a coat of Ferrari Red. With fresh glass from National Parts Depot and rubber seals from Steele Rubber, every detail has been planned to perfection.
Under the hood, the heart of this prize fighter is a new Summit Racing 5.3-liter LS crate engine, complete with accessories from Lokar Performance. This combo promises power, performance, and a style like no other. Our story doesn’t end here. We can only fit so much into the pages of this magazine, so we invite you to join us through our video series on YouTube. Project Rocky is more than a restoration; it’s a testament to passion for any and all C10 enthusiasts. Let’s go!
It’s that time of year again! The holidays are upon us, as is the stress of figuring out what to buy for others. More importantly, it’s also prime time to fine tune and finalize your own gift wish list. That’s right—there’s nothing wrong with asking Santa or your significant others and kids for something nice for yourself or, better yet, your project truck. Remember, it’s also 100% OK to treat yourself during this very special time. Don’t let any grinches out there tell you any differently!
Buying and receiving gift cards is acceptable, but allow us to help point you in the direction of much more meaningful and thoughtful gift ideas. From useful personal items to a brand-new set of wheels or a high-end custom chassis system, we’ve collected a grouping of goods that anyone would love to find waiting for them underneath the tree. Sure, a long-to-shortbed conversion kit is a pretty specific item to buy for someone, but surely you must know somebody out there who has been saving up to buy one all year long. Do something nice and surprise that person with one or maybe even a pair of brand-new hood hinges or a cool all-purpose knife.
What we’re trying to say is that gift giving is a love language that will benefit everyone on your shopping list during the holiday season. Follow along and check out the batch of new products we have hand-selected for your consideration. Each one is sure to make the truck junkies in your circle smile big this year.
Add some spice to your life with these two-piece billet wheels from US Mags. Part of the new Street Heat wheel lineup, the Jalapeno is a ’90s inspired hot-rod style wheel that is available in 17-inch through 28-inch diameter sizes for the perfect fit on mini-trucks as well as late-model and classic full-size pickups and SUVs. Custom offsets and finishes are available, as well as five other wheel selections within the Street Heat collection.
US Mags Wheels
You may already have a trusty Bluetooth speaker, but it probably doesn’t offer the features Kicker’s Bullfrog BF100 has. First off, this unit has four speakers wired into it, along with 16 watts of power! The Bluetooth range of up to 100 feet allows for you to float free from the speaker without having to sacrifice function. Speaking of floating, the speaker is also waterproof—not water resistant. Take it to the lake or pool without worrying about it falling in the water and shorting out. To enjoy even better sound quality, download Kicker’s Connect app to take advantage of a five-band equalizer and volume control to better tune it to your ear.
The Slidebar stereo for 1967-1972 Chevy trucks features a classic analog face that disappears to show a digital radio, offering the ultimate in classic style with modern functions. The Slidebar boasts a digital tuner with 300 watts of power, a USB port, a CD changer controller, and built-in Bluetooth capability. This unit is also the only in-dash radio that Custom Autosound offers with a subwoofer pre-out and a customizable multi-color display. Installation is simple as the Slidebar radio fits into the stock dash location without any modifications required.
Custom Autosound Mfg.
Boost your MXT400 performance to the max with this powerful package that features the 40-watt MXT400 MicroMobile two-way radio, antenna mounting bracket, antenna cable, and 3dB gain ghost antenna. This bundle has everything you need to boost your communication to new levels while out on the trails.
Available for ’55-’59 and ’67-’72 Chevy truck applications, Eddie Motorsports’ Kinetic hood hinges feature a more custom machined window design for enthusiasts looking to show off stronger visual appeal. These babies are CNC machined to perfection in the USA from high-quality 6061-T6 billet aluminum and function with the enhanced help of nitrogen-filled gas struts and sealed bearings. Treat your truck to new, better looking hood hinges that will deliver a smoother operation that you’ll fall in love with. These hinge kits are available in a machined or polished finish or choose from Eddie’s selection of custom Fusioncoat colors.
This direct-mount front brake kit for 2010-2018 Ford F-150 models provides better holding power and more thermal capacity for high-demand highway use, including towing and hauling. The components used are engineered for direct mounting on stock knuckles and eliminate the need for additional brackets, which makes the kit more affordable. Forged aluminum AERO6-DM 6-piston calipers deliver increased clamping force and are compatible with OEM rear brakes, master cylinder, and onboard computer systems. If your truck is equipped with 17-inch or larger diameter wheels, this braking kit is designed to fit your application.
TCI has designed multiple chassis setups for ’63-’87 C10 and ’69-’72 K5 Blazer models. Those who are looking to go as low as possible with their project will be able to lay frame with the Grounded system, and builders hoping to whip around the track will be able to get their kicks in with the Pro Touring frame. Both options are laser cut and jig-welded for the utmost precision and strength, and they feature widened front frame rails to allow more room for headers and upgraded steering components. The narrowed rear allows for outboard-mounted shocks and wider tires, and the 12-piece center section will stay ultra-rigid no matter how much horsepower and torque are applied to it. While many optional add-on parts are available, all TCI chassis come standard with a complete Currie 9-inch differential including 31 spline axles with your choice of gearing.
Total Cost Involved
Clean up your brake lines, cables, and more with these handy-dandy clamp kits from Lokar. Molded from nylon, these will not fade or stain and will withstand contact with all automotive fluids. These are truly built for the long haul. Each kit contains a variety of T-clamps designed to keep your lines in place and includes stainless steel hardware that comes packaged in a convenient plastic storage case.
Available for most 1967-2010 GMC and Chevy trucks, Western Chassis’ rear flip kit can drop the rear 5 to 8 inches by relocating the rear axle to the top of the leaf springs. Each kit comes with 3/8-inch plate axle relocator saddles, fresh U-bolts, six-hole plates, and all the fasteners required for successful installation. Visit Western Chassis’ website or give customer service a call to order the exact kit you’ll need to slam your truck with the quickness.
Avoid excessive damage to your truck’s engine by keeping better tabs on oil pressure with this 52mm accessory gauge from Prosport. It features a fully programmable warning feature that allows for much safer, worry-free operation. This is especially valuable when your truck is out on the track. Choose from two color choices and install with ease with the included wire harness and mounting base.
The Guardian 3.5 sheepsfoot knife (top) is a great working tool that is ideal for compact carry yet comfortable for extended periods of duty. The sheepsfoot blade offers a flatter cutting edge for better slicing, and the rounded tip allows for a safer working end. The Guardian 5.5 (bottom) offers improved grip and better security than the Guardian 5. Whether you are working or traveling, either of these knife options are great tools to have while camping, hiking, or enjoying other outdoor adventures.
TMI Products has recently introduced the Saddle Brown vinyl into its insanely popular, budget friendly Cruiser Collection lineup. The front buckets are offered in two distinct styles: the Cruiser Pro-Classic and Cruiser Low Back. The former selection (pictured) features moderate bolstering with a slightly wider design, which makes them a great fit for trucks and larger vehicles. The latter seats (not pictured) are engineered with much more aggressive bolstering to keep you planted for hours of comfortable excitement. Fans of bench seating will dig the 55- or 60-inch Cruiser bench that boasts a split-back design for easy access to the rear seat or storage area behind them. All three of these seat options are designed with a universal fitment to adapt with most vehicles, including the truck you’re either driving or building.
Designed for ’63-’72 Chevy C10 longbed trucks, this shortbed conversion kit will give you everything you’ll need to successfully shorten your truck’s longbed frame with basic hand tools that you probably already have in your home garage. This kit does require welding to finish the conversion, but with the included steel inner braces, you’ll be able to safely transport your truck to an experienced welder if need be. Don’t wait any longer to get the wheelbase you truly want.
All American Billet’s serpentine kits are a great way to clean up any engine compartment. Made in the USA, these packages come standard with high-quality accessories. The brackets are constructed of 6061-T6 aluminum, and they’re offered in your choice of a machined, polished the company’s exclusive Silverline Series finish. Choose from two different pulley styles—classic (with no holes or cutouts) or original (with triangular cutouts). Further customize your serpentine kit with an optional Flex Fan option instead of an electric fan, standard slotted or smooth classic design pulleys, and more.
All American Billet
This ’73-’87 GM Squarebody dash kit just won the Goodguys People’s Choice Best New Product for 2023, and it’s now available to include in your very own truck project. Reignite the timeless charm of the ’70s and ’80s with New Vintage USA’s NVU M-102 Series dash, which is a groundbreaking leap into the combination of retro inspiration and modern engineering. This Detroit-built kit includes all mounting hardware and senders, and features an easy wiring design.
New Vintage USA
This budget friendly, highly convenient dual pack features two 444C compressors with the newly developed head assembly with patent pending intercooler head, which are each capable of a maximum 200 psi with 100% duty cycle. This compressor pack can power a full air suspension system with power to spare and is available in an optional chrome or stealth black finish. Find this dual pack in stock and ready to ship before the holidays!
Low Rider Depot
The Classic Fit premium columns are designed as direct bolt-ins for specific cars and trucks. These feature the appropriate length and mounting locations, four-way flasher, and wiring installation, and are available in satin black or chrome finish for Ford F-100 and Bronco models along with C10 applications in OE length or 1.5-inch shorter measurements.
Classic Performance Products
One day during a visit to the shop he caught a bad case of hot rod fever. An affluent customer arrived trailering a ’32 Ford coupe hot rod that needed some work. The instant the rod’s blown engine was fired up, Ron was hooked; he never stopped dreaming of one day owning a real hot rod of his own.
Not until he was in his early forties did his dream become a reality. Ron hooked up with Garret Kitchens, owner of Garret’s Rod Shop in Columbus, Ohio. The foundation of Ron’s dream rod was a TCI frame. The front suspension consists of TCI Mustang II upper and lower control arms with a pair of Carerra coil-over shocks. A second pair of Carerras suspends the Ford 9-inch rearend. To achieve traction and style, a set of 15-inch polished aluminum American Torque Thrust II wheels is consumed in BF Goodrich wide white rubber up front and Coker Firestone wide white cheater slicks out back. Bill Lemon machined and assembled the healthy Ford 460-ci engine equipped with a BDS 8-71 supercharger and a pair of Holley 700-cfm carburetors. Grabbin’ gears is done with a Tremec five-speed manual transmission. A New Age Motorsports 1932 Ford coupe body was mounted highboy style (above the frame rails). The frame, body and grille shell were painted by Chris Hayes using House of Kolor Tangelo Orange. The interior was cut and stitched by Mark Davis and Bob Mosher at Portage Trim.
It’s always cool to see a long-time dream come to fruition. Ron’s three decades of hoping and dreaming thoroughly paid off.
“The foundation of Ron’s dream 1932 Ford Coupe was a TCI frame. The front suspension consists of TCI Mustang II upper and lower control arms with a pair of Carerra coil-over shocks.”
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A version of this article first appeared in the October 2014 print issue of Drive Magazine.