John Mata Jr. November 17, 2023 Buyer’s Guides
THE CLIMATE of custom classic trucks is one that ebbs and flows with current trends and fads. This environment slowly changes and evolves as time goes by, but whatever style is the most popular at the time does tend to saturate the show scene after a while. This is what makes drastically standing out from the norm so important in terms of leaving a lasting impression among those who are paying attention.
Building to stay relevant within the given times does have its place; don’t get us wrong. Without mainstay stylings, there would be no discernible sense of automotive fashion of any given era, but there is always a welcomed space saved for the renegades who dare to go against the grain.
Doug DeBerti and his son Brad are just the types of custom auto builders who live to blow right past conformity. Those might recognize Doug’s name from back in the day as he was the guy behind the Trenz brand that served the show truck community back in the ’90s and into the 2000s. His company was pivotal in supplying enthusiasts with high-quality, good-looking parts that were seen on influential pickups featured in magazines and taking home trophies at shows nationwide. Funnily enough, Doug has grown very interested in avoiding being trapped by current trends since selling his company just about 15 years ago. This approach has also played a very large part in Brad’s developing penchant for extreme modifications and tendencies of turning established styles upside down.
Currently, Doug and Brad are doing business simply as DeBerti—a brand that is geared toward creating high-end quality parts for enthusiasts and professional builders who focus on pure excitement—not far off from the family’s previous venture. Not a whole lot has changed at the very core of things, as both Doug and Brad stay true to doing what they love—building one-off custom vehicles that appeal to their senses first and foremost. If you need a physical example of what they have been into, just check out their most recent, insanely cool 1965 Chevy C10 project. At the nucleus of the build the truck is an old school, vintage vibe that best represents Doug’s background. The wild, kick-you-in-the-face design concept—that is all Brad’s contribution. It is this combination of throwback aesthetics with boundary-pushing bravery that has worked so well for the DeBerti duo.
While the original C10 donor truck started out looking like a decent enough restoration project, it really was in worse shape than its strategically touched-up exterior let on. That didn’t matter much though, since the guys only planned on utilizing the cab, but even that required a new floor and firewall to be constructed. Granted, they both imploded on themselves when Doug attempted to jump the truck soon after they got it to their shop. Luckily, there is video proof of this happening on Brad’s YouTube channel. It’s totally worth the watch if you’d like to give your eyes a break from reading to enjoy this entertaining piece of evidence.
With a little bit of joking around out of the way, the guys started on the build process by requesting the assistance of entrusted Scott’s Hot Rods to fabricate a full custom chassis system that they could fine-tune to jibe with truck’s upcoming dual rear 9-inch pumpkins. Brad first envisioned this project having six wheels, and he never wavered from that initial design even after hearing from every direction just how crazy it was going to be. There was never a doubt in Brad’s mind that Scott’s did deliver on a perfect frame for the C10 complete with a set of Mittler Bros Hydroshox to give the truck 5 inches of adjustability—from an aggressive ride height to low-as-hell parked stance. The wheel selection just had to be killer to fit in with the whole theme of the build, and nothing short of a six-pack of 20-inch Govad G67 wheels wrapped in 275/35/20 Michelin Pilot Sport high-performance tires would do the trick.
While the chassis system was still developing, Brad and his dad decided to take a big turn in going through with a huge suggestion made during the project’s brainstorming phase. The guys wanted to get as close to 1,000 hp as they could, which isn’t all that obscure of a goal on its own as impressive as it is. The twist was that they wanted to get to that output while still being able to run regular 93-octane pump gasoline. With that kicker in mind, they contacted Chevy Performance and what was prescribed for the proper power plant was a 2020 GM LSX-B15 V-8 small-block crate engine since it could handle a ton of forced induction without anything extra having to be done to it.
After jumping on the opportunity to collaborate with Chevy Performance on the B-15 engine, the guys soon lined up a Whipple blower to add to the mix. After that, an extra fuel-injected 8-stack served as the cherry on top of this supercharged slice of cake, and with the assistance from HP Tuners, the team was able to dial in the factory ECU to run smoothly—exactly the way the guys were hoping for. Maybe “smooth” isn’t the right word, as the healthy revving sound is damn near frightening. From the engine back, a 4L80 auto transmission with manual valve body from Auto Transmission Design makes both cruising and shredding driving scenarios possible on any given whip around the block.
While an entire issue could be dedicated to this truck’s individual specs alone, we’ll go ahead and move on from its wicked performance gains to another aspect that initially lures attention from onlookers. When first mocking up the design of the C10 Slayer as this truck has been dubbed, Brad imaged it to have a JDM-inspired wide body design without the use of proper bedsides as to show off all the internal components that make this truck so unique. To help bring the rendering that only existed on the computer screen to life, Advanced Fiberglass Concepts joined the project to machine the wide body parts, front diffuser, rear fenders and the wing connected to the back of the cab from foam before it was molded into their final fiberglass form. Even though this C10 lacks a proper box, it does have a one-off tailgate panel that contains portions of the rear fenders to create the correct visual proportions.
Matte black was the only color the guys even considered for the exterior finish. The truck was initially painted, but it now receives a new matte black wrap whenever the amount of melted rubber from roasted tires cakes up beyond cleaning. The look does lend a certain “rat rod” quality to the truck, but there is absolutely nothing ratty about this truck at all. You could spend all day attempting to locate a flaw, but we’d suggest to save your precious time as we can attest to the fact that not a single bolt has gone overlooked while building this truck.
Inside the cab, you’ll notice the freshly built floor pan, as well as a transmission tunnel that was constructed to sit higher than usually in order to house the shifter at an ideal height. OMP Racing Seats and steering wheel were added to give the Slayer the comfort and performance that this style of truck demands. The factory dash has been kept to maintain a level of period correctness, while the digital AEM instrumentation and Scosche M8RX1 8-channel relay switch systems give the DeBerti boys state-of-the-art tech control over the truck’s ignition and other important functions.
This wicked 6-wheeled Chevy sits comfortably in a category of its very own. It’s lightyears outside the box of what’s considered commonplace in the C10 scene and is still far beyond even the most extreme specimens out there. A bar has been set by Doug and Brad DeBerti with the completion of this project, and it will be a while before it is matched, let alone topped. They may be the only ones wild enough to attempt to do so, but as for now, there’s nothing left to do but to behold the truck bearing the rightful C10 Slayer moniker. Competitors fear it. Even its handlers must respect the sheer power that it possesses. If Kong were a truck, this would be it.
ENGINE & DRIVETRAIN
WHEELS, TIRES & BRAKES
BODY & PAINT
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