Le Phong * Humble, Texas
'84 Chevy C10
Years ago, the term "square" was just another way to say nerd. Well, today, square is being put in front of the word "body" to form a phrase for a cool truck style. "Square-body" refers to the Chevrolet trucks built from '73 to '87. The '67 to '72 trucks have been at the top of cool mountain for a long time now, but they are about to get knocked off by the square-body C10. These trucks are a little easier to get your hands on compared to the predecessors, and factory parts are still on some shelves. Le Phong of Humble, Texas, has been working at a Dodge dealership for 14 years, but you won't find anything with ram horns in his driveway. Le is a Bowtie fan and his most recent '84 C10 project should tell that tale pretty well.
Le and his brother Bobby have been surrounded by custom stuff since a young age because their father owned and operated a custom body shop. Unfortunately, their father passed away some time ago, but the body shop lives on with Bobby at the helm. With one brother at a custom body shop and another at a dealership, it was only a matter of time before one of them built a high-profile truck. As nice as this truck is now, it started out as something totally different. Le bought the truck from a neighbor, but instead of it being stock or even mildly lowered, it was lifted high into the air over 35s. Knowing the suspension could be brought back down, Le took on the build and dragged the mammoth of a truck into the shop. Le and Bobby stripped it down to the bare frame, ditching the lifted stuff in the process.
The crew at Chaotic Rods & Customs in Conroe, Texas, were enlisted to build the airbag suspension. Chaotic Z'd the frame up front and built custom upper and lower arms which allowed the frame to kiss the asphalt instead of the crossmember. Out back, the shop fabbed up a new four-link to hold the rearend in place, and grafted in a 9-inch notch to let it suck up into the truck. Slam Specialties 'bags reside at all four-corners and are plumbed with 1/2-inch copper hard line. All that suspension work was needed to get the truck low over the 22-inch Billet Specialties and Pirelli wheel-and-tire combo.
To power the truck, Le and his brother built a nasty little 355ci small-block motor. The block is stuffed full of performance goodies that produce well over 500 ponies on 110-octane race fuel. All of that power is transferred to a performance TH350 transmission with a 5,500-stall converter, down to the 12-bolt rearend with 4.10 gears. Headman headers and a set of two chamber Flowmasters lets the healthy mouse motor sing the perfect gearhead song.
The body of the truck was in bad shape-but it was nothing a bunch of new parts and some elbow grease couldn't fix. All of the sheetmetal, except for the cab and bed, are new OE parts from GM. Le decided to upgrade to the later '91 Suburban front clip instead of his original '84 stuff. Remember, Le works at a dealership and his connections run pretty deep, so the hit to the wallet could have been much worse. With all-new-metal hung, Bobby got to work shaving useless things like the cab seams and side markers. After the welding and grinding was complete, Bobby proceeded to block it all straight. The freshly worked body was then coated in a custom-mixed blue from PPG. When the paint was dry, everything was color-sanded and buffed to let the meticulous bodywork shine though.
Inside of the truck, just about everything was upgraded to the '91 Suburban stuff. Even though these are factory parts, all of them have been customized by Joe at Advanced Auto Trim in Houston, Texas. Joe used a combination of ostrich and suede for the seat, door panels, and headliner, while all of the plastics were dyed a matching color. To add a little flash, Le installed a Billet Specialties Stiletto steering wheel and column dress-up kit. To solidify the race part of the truck, a B&M Street Bandit Hi-Tek shifter sits on the floor. Le picked up a one-piece window kit from One Piece Products to delete the vent window and clean up the side glass.
Even though this truck has not been done for very long, Le has already moved on to his next project, a '68 C10. Le said "It will be just as clean and detailed as the '84", so we can't wait to see it. Right now we are sure Le is happy to drive his truck, knowing it's one bad ass square body.
'77 350 V-8 bored 0.30-over / Summit Racing crankshaft / TRW 11:1 pistons / Jegs aluminum cylinder heads / Comp Cams camshaft / Holley 950cfm carburetor and HP Series fuel pump / Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake / Hedman headers / 3-inch exhaust system with two-chamber Flowmaster mufflers / complete MSD ignition / AFCO radiator / March pulleys, alternator and power steering pump / TH350 transmission / TCI 5,500 rpm converter / 12-bolt rearend with 4.10 gears and a Positraction / Optima RedTop battery
By: Rheas Chevys, Humble, Texas
Front: 22x8 Budnik Diamond Light with 3 inches of backspacing
Rear: 22x12 Budnik Diamond Light with 9 inches of backspacing
Front: 265/35ZR22 Pirelli Scorpion Zero
Rear: 305/35ZR22 Pirelli Scorpion Zero
Front: 3-inch Belltech spindles / Slam Specialties RE7 'bags / KYB shocks / custom upper and lower control arms
Rear: Custom four-link / Slam Specialties RE8 'bags
Accessories: GC 450EXT valves / 1/2-inch copper line / Viair 400 series compressor / custom painted air tank / custom aluminum fuel cell / SSBC front disc brakes and master cylinder
Chassis: 3-inch Z up front / 9-inch notch out back
By: Chaotic Rods & Customs, Conroe, Texas
Shaved mirrors, drip rails, stake pockets, side markers, cab seams, and gas door / Chaotic roll pan / '91 Suburban hood, fenders, grille, headlights, doors, front bumper, core support, and tailgate all new from GM / One Piece Products one-piece window conversion / sheetmetal bed floor
By: Bobby Rheas, Rheas Chevys / Chaotic Rods & Customs (bed floor)
PPG custom mixed blue / color matched Rattle Guard spray-in bed liner
By: Bobby Rheas, Rheas Chevys / Chaotic Rods & Customs (bed liner)
Stock bench seat cover in ostrich and suede / cup holder inset in the center of the seat cushion / '91 Suburban dash and door panels / ostrich and suede headliner / cut pile carpet / B&M Street Bandit Hi-Tek shifter / Billet Specialties Stiletto steering wheel and column dress up kit
By: Joe at Advanced Auto Trim, Houston, Texas
Petitioning member of Severed Ties
God, my wife and kids Le, Leah, and Leaha, my brother Bobby at Rheas Chevys, the whole Chaotic crew, Joe at Texas House of Dubz, Ivan, Darrel Tracy media. A final word to my wife; if you are reading this, don't get mad at how much the next one is going to cost.