This month, we wanted to look back at some of the trucks that have been a stepping-stone for the modern show truck. Today, we see builders customizing brand-new trucks and getting crazier every day with the modifications. But, where did all of this madness begin?
It all originated from classic trucks like this one. Even in the concept phase, owners would customize them to their liking and style of the times. That concept has evolved, and now truck guys are going incredibly high or extremely low with modern versions of the old beauties.
Today, there is an assortment of styles that these older trucks are built around. Bruce Mitchell's '68 Chevy C10 is an example of a moderate custom, a restoration, and a weekend cruiser all wrapped up in one. It's a cleaned-up old classic that has enough tricks to consider it a custom. Bruce has enhanced it a bit from its original form, but he didn't go overboard to make it something super wild that he would be too scared to drive.
When he was younger, he caught on to cool toys like dirt bikes and always had an interest in cars. After years of playing in the dirt, Bruce moved on to a Harley-Davidson Fatboy that he went all out on. If that wasn't enough, he also got heavily into jet boats. Whatever stage in his life he was at, Bruce had a toy for whatever flavor he was craving.
Then, it was time to sell the boat, and a decision had to be made about what to do with the money he got from it. Bruce saw that the money could have easily went into improvements on their house, but then his toy funds would be gone. He needed to find something to play with, but he needed to convince his wife to spend that money on something other than the house. He kept his opportunities open until his buddy brought him a Truck Trader.
As a construction worker, he had trucks and some 4x4s to haul material around, even to our own Anaheim-based Primedia office. Though he never owned a custom vehicle, he convinced his wife to spend their money on a "family project." That was this very Chevy truck that he found for sale. At the age of 36, Bruce went out to buy his first project vehicle. The idea was that he, his wife, and his daughter could all help with the truck and go to shows or cruises together.
When he purchased the truck, it was already painted and had most of the key elements like the motor and wheels on it. The truck was not in running condition, because the 350-cid V-8 was not mounted in correctly, the wiring harness was not properly attached, and the rearend was shot. But, with some loving and airbagging, the truck came together. Add some interior work, final exterior touches, and you have this clean, driveable, classic truck.
It's not crazy modified, but it certainly is nice to look at. Also, we can imagine that it's a fun truck to go cruising in or to show. It's a good representation of how early model trucks can bring so much joy with very few mods, while also not breaking the bank.
Owner/hometown: Bruce Mitchell / Upland, California
Year/make/model: '68 Chevy C10
Engine/drivetrain: 350-cid V-8 from a '95 Chevy Silverado / a Flowmaster muffler / a 4L60E transmission / a 12-bolt rearend
Wheels/tires: (Front) 18-inch Eagle Alloy / Yokohama 255/45R18 / (Rear) 20-inch Eagle Alloy / Yokohama 295/45R20
Suspension: (Front) drop spindles / airbags / disc brakes / custom shocks / (Rear) airbags / C-notched frame
Fabricator: Bruce Mitchell
Custom Paint: Prowler Orange
Interior: '92 Chevy Silverado seats / charcoal leather on seat, dash, and door panels
Upholsterer: Mark Lopez of Elegance Auto Interiors of Upland, California
Audio/video: Stock AM/FM radio
Installer: Bruce Mitchell