SEMA 2015: 1969 Chevrolet K10 Pickup

1969-k10-pickup-rearFor many people, owning a vehicle is not just a way to get from Point A to Point B – a vehicle is a blank canvas upon which to creatively express yourself. Within the world of custom cars, communities have developed around certain platforms and models. From the ’32 Ford and the ’49 Mercury to modern day platforms like the Subaru WRX and Mazda Miata, custom cars are woven into the fabric of our culture.

One platform that is huge among customizers is the family of GMC and Chevrolet full-size trucks built between 1967 and 1972. With a wide variety of both original and aftermarket parts available, these C/K pickups are an excellent starting point for a custom build.

While walking the show floor at SEMA 2015, I passed by the Doug Thorley Headers booth and saw this 1969 K/10 pickup which belongs to Brad & Sara.

I couldn’t find a lot of details on the truck, but I did notice a newer generation LS engine swapped under the hood along with a color-matched intake manifold and valve covers. The whole thing looked very clean in the engine bay with the smoothed firewall. The truck was equipped with Doug Thorley headers, a Painless wiring harness, and an IDIDIT steering column with Dakota Digital gauges.

This K/10 was laying frame thanks to Airlift Performance parts and Viair compressors. At normal ride height, it handles well thanks to its Specialty Suspension components and QA1 shocks. I’ve got no idea about which wheel and tire combo they went with. It was painted a beautiful metallic blue paint job with House of Kolor paints and a light shade of wood in the bed.

Because of the popularity of these trucks, you will find that no two are alike! Every owner has customized theirs in a unique way. I like what Brad and Sara did with this one – nice job on the cool custom truck!

SEMA 2014: Radial Engine Swapped Chevy Truck

radial-engine-pickup-sema-2014-frontThe idea of putting an airplane engine into a car is certainly not new. The guys from Blastolene have done it, and there was an episode of Top Gear where Jeremy Clarkson recreated the Battle of Britain with two larger-than-life airplane-powered vehicles (a 27-liter Spitfire-engined Bentley and “Brutus,” 46-liter BMW aircraft-engined custom build).

However, this enterprising hot rodder has put a completely new spin on the idea of an aircraft-engine swap into an automobile. What we have here is a 1967 Chevrolet C10 pickup with a radial engine which looks completely wild!
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1957 Chevy Truck “QuikSilver”

I don’t normally post about trucks, but this one is really something special.

This customized 1957 Chevrolet truck belongs to Alan Beers of Owasso, Oklahoma. When I say customized, I don’t mean that the owner bolted on a couple of go-fast parts and a rollpan. I mean that every body panel on this truck has been altered in some way!

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1989-1991 Dodge Dakota Sport Convertible Truck

The early 1990s were an interesting time for compact trucks. For some reason, auto manufacturers got the idea that pickup trucks were just too boring and that they needed to be more fun and exciting and sporty!

In 1991, General Motors released the one-year-only GMC Syclone. This compact pickup featured a powerful turbocharged 4.3L V6 engine that produced 280 horsepower and ran circles around everything else on the road. With its blacked-out appearance and lowered stance, the Syclone was essentially a factory hot rod that became instantly collectible.

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Ford Ranger GT

Back in 1959, Ford introduced a rather unusual vehicle called the Ranchero. It was a half-car, half-truck creation that offered car-like handling with the utility of a small pickup truck. Ford ended production of the Ranchero in 1979, and they haven’t built anything like it since then.

While driving around the other day, I spotted something that caught my eye. This enterprising driver has taken it upon himself to create his own version of the Ranchero…sort of. Whereas the Ranchero was a car with truck-like abilities, this driver has created a truck with car-like abilities.

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1937 Diamond T Model 80D Pickup

I must confess, dear reader, that I had never heard of a Diamond T until I was standing in front of one. If you’re not familiar with them either, don’t feel bad. This Chicago-based company was mostly known for producing heavy trucks for the military during World War II. They only made a very small number of pickup trucks between 1938 and 1949 (less than 400 total). One of these was the Model 80D seen here.

This truck originally had a Hercules QX series 6-cylinder engine. This has been swapped out for a Tuned Port Injection 305 cubic inch Chevrolet V8 engine. It has also been fully restored with new paint and hardware throughout.

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1980 Chevrolet C30 Military Pickup Truck

Get this, long before Tesla’s were rolling down the assembly line that very same facility was cranking out Chevy trucks.. This particular 1980 C30 was also produced there, for the US government. There are some interesting things about it though I’m not sure which modifications were added after the government took possession. Continue reading