Ray Atkinson's Stroker-Powered C-10Ray Atkinson enjoys cruising the streets of his hometown of Forest Hills, Louisiana, in this yellow shortbed he built for his son. Ray wants to be the cool dad who passes over the keys when the boy is old enough to drive, as long as he proves he can handle the responsibility of horsepower and keep his grades up in school. How's that for motivation to keep up the GPA?
Ray bought the truck from a high-school buddy; the same truck they tore up the town in years before. It just felt right to pass on something that made him happy as a teen, but a serious rebuild was in order before it could be driven. Into the garage the truck went so that the motor could be snatched out and sent to Wall 2 Wall motors in Baton Rouge to be beefed up.
Once the mill was there, Ray started in on the chassis. He ripped out the upper and lower arms up front along with the coils and threw them in the "one of my friends might need it" pile. After a little frame clean up, he bolted on the new tubular upper and lower arms fitted with 'bags from Air Ride Technologies and a new set of Toxic shocks. Out back, Ray replaced the factory rear setup with some adjustable ladder bars and a matching set of Air Ride 'bags. To supply the new 'bags with some air, Ray installed two 5-gallon tanks and a Viair compressor, then connected it all up with 3/8-inch line. To complement the suspension, drilled, slotted, and polished Aero Space Technologies binders found a new home on each corner behind the Boyd Coddington Impulse wheels that have been skinned in Michelin rubber.
With the suspension finished, Ray went back over to Wall 2 Wall and picked up his freshly rebuilt Mouse motor. The guys there had stretched the stroke of the small-block and stuffed in 9:1 slugs, turning it into a 383. A Holly 750 double pumper and an Edelbrock manifold were used to feed the hungry Mouse, but Ray figured a 250hp dual-stage nitrous system couldn't hurt either. Ray placed the plant between the framerails and hooked up the headman headers and Flowmaster 3-inch exhaust system. Behind the motor, Ray installed a 400 TH from a '69 Chevelle, a custom driveshaft, and a freshly rebuilt posi rearend.
Now it was time for the skin of the body, and Ray had no intention of just painting it; he was going to throw in some subtle changes to bring the classic up to date. To smooth out all protrusions, the brake lights and blinkers were flushed out and the door handles shaved, then he recessed the headlights and installed a '71 phantom grille from Trenz. The front bumper is a sectioned and massaged blade from a '98 fullsize Chevy. Once all the rough bodywork was completed, the truck was taken to Roberts Body shop in Lecompete, Louisiana, for the final block and the new Competition Yellow hue.