Nice guys are supposed to finish last, right? That's how things are supposed to work in the real world. Mike Cotten's world is a bit different, though. His world includes his own shop, the talent to cut, modify, and paint custom trucks, and a wife that is so cool that she not only stitched together the leather interior in his C10, but she also let him spray metalflake over their kitchen floor just because he thought it would look cool. How cool is that? His dad may have left this world too soon, but we're sure he's looking down and smiling not only at the truck but at the memorial Mike created.

The 411

Michael Cotten / New Baden, Illinois

'80 Chevy C10

5.7L Chevy LS1 small-block / ported and polished LS6 heads and intake manifold / Nitrous Express 500hp two-stage N20 system / Nitrous Express 90mm throttle body / Granatelli MAF sensor / Walbro 255 fuel pump / Mezierre electric water pump / Stainless Works headers and 3-inch exhaust with MBRP mufflers / MSD ignition coil packs and wires / Lokar polished throttle cable and oil dipstick / GM 4L80-E AOD trans with a 3,500-stall converter / Ford 9-inch rear axle
BY: Elite Motorsports of Fairview Heights, Illinois, built the engine / M&B Hot Rods of Eureka, Missouri, built the rearend / engine tuning by Super Boomer Tuners of St. Louis, Missouri / installation by Midwest Images

Front: 22x8-inch one-off Intro
Rear: 24x11-inch one-off Intro

Front: 265/35ZR22 Kumho
Rear: 305/35ZR24 Kumho

Front: Chassis Tech tubular upper and lower control arms / SSBC 3-inch drop spindles / Chassis Tech 3,600-pound airbags / Chassis Tech chrome shocks
Rear: Chassis Tech airbags / Chassis Tech chrome shocks / triangulated four-link
Accessories: Chassis Tech 3/8 solenoid valves / Air-Zenith compressors
Chassis: C-notched framerails / LS1 motormounts / 20-gallon custom fuel cell / SSBC four-wheel disc brakes
BY: Mike Cotten and Jeff Rakers of Midwest Images in New Baden, Illinois

Body Mods:
Everything has been shaved, including the driprails, stake pockets, and marker lights / custom front and rear Sir Michaels roll pans / bed molded shut / custom rear wheeltubs and engine cover / 7-inch body drop / pie-cut rocker panels / bed moved forward 1 inch
BY: Jeff Rakers / Mike Cotton

Custom Paint:
House of Kolor yellow, black, orange, and Cotten Green / custom airbrushed fades with Molly Orange, Tangelo Pearl, Ultra Orange, red, and Gold Ice Pearl
BY: Mike Cotton

Pontiac Grand Am bucket seats / one-off sheetmetal dashboard and door panels / Auto Meter NV gauges / one-off billet steering wheel / leather as far as the eye can see / custom fiberglass amp racks and sub enclosure
BY: Upholstery by Gina Cotten / metalwork by Mike Cotton

Hidden radio in the rearview mirror / Polk Audio SR Series mid and high component speakers / Polk Carbon Series c400.4 amplifier / four 10-inch Polk Audio SR Series subwoofers / two Carbon Series C500.1 amplifiers / 7-inch touch-screen monitor by Chassis Tech / Painless Wiring
BY: Nate Rombach / Midwest Images


Special Thanks:
His wife, Gina, mom, Sue, daughter, Kyra, for putting up with him during the build. Jeff Rakers, Scott Brogan, Mike Bettis, Kevin Dedmon, Walt Bennet, Bob Arney, JB Monken, Scott Meshey, Dan Reeb, and Craig Collier-a great set of go-to guys. Also, MSD Auto Meter, Nitrous Express, B&M, Stainless Steel Brake Corp., Chassis Tech, Stainless Works, Car Wear, House of Kolor, Intro Wheels, Kumho Tires, Air-Zenith, Polk Audio, MBRP Exhaust, Vertex, Painless Wiring, Granatelli, Rushforth Art, Elite Motorsports, and M&B Hot Rods