A Truck Tailor-Made for Work
Starting a business is tough. It’s all about offering a valuable product and making a good impression so that it sells. This is a lesson that Garrett Harmola knows all too well. When he assumed ownership of the now-popular suspension company, Aldan American, success didn’t arrive overnight. Garrett admits that with business ownership comes many long hours, but thanks to his determination, passion and devotion, his company has grown leaps and bounds, with help from many quarters, including this ’71 C-10
Like many of us, Garrett wanted a better life and strived for new opportunities. He went to college to study business and started a career in sales at a publishing company. As he made calls to pitch his services to automotive aftermarket companies, he came across Aldan. The owner at the time was older and had lost some momentum with his company, which specialized in making coil-overs for hardcore chassis builders. Garrett saw an opportunity to take over and build the brand. Since then, he has expanded the product line and increased distribution for increased sales.
“What really drives a guy like Garrett is that he’s a true enthusiast at heart. He and his brother, Spencer, are bona fide car buffs, and they’ve built numerous vehicles throughout the years.”
What really drives a guy like Garrett is that he’s a true enthusiast at heart. He and his brother, Spencer, are bona fide car buffs, and they’ve built numerous vehicles throughout the years. When Garrett took over Aldan, he had a great idea on how to promote the brand and incorporate a build. He and his brother had wanted to build a C-10 for a while and thought this was the perfect time to get started. The initial concept was to buy a modestly priced truck, drop in a salvaged drivetrain and use Aldan’s coil-overs. It sounded like a recipe for success, and it was all the motivation they needed to get the ball rolling.
After searching eBay, the brothers found this ’71 C-10, which was basically a farm truck with a 383-ci stroker engine. They lost the bid but contacted the seller afterward and discovered that he still had the truck. They struck a deal and transported the truck to Spencer’s garage in Northern California to start the build.
“Now that the truck is finished, Garrett plans to chase low lap times on a full schedule of autocross events, while testing new coil-over products and making lasting impressions with spectators.”
Next, they went in search of an engine. Craigslist came to the rescue this time when they found an LS from a 1999 Camaro for sale. Apparently, it was owned by a guy who’d run from the cops and got caught after spinning out. Before he headed off to jail he sold everything, including the engine. Then the brothers found a Borg-Warner T-56 six-speed manual transmission to bolt on behind it.
Through Garrett’s deals at Aldan, he’s familiar with Scott’s Hotrods ‘N’ Customs. Scott’s is a distributor for Aldan coil-overs and is well-known for producing high-quality suspension components for classic vehicles, including C-10s. Garrett ordered a Scott’s bolt-on IFS that was later installed with a set of Aldan single adjustable coil-overs. Taking care of the rear is a boxed-style trailing arm system from Performance Online. Custom mounts were made to adapt another pair of coil-overs on the outside of the frame to support the suspension, which holds the 12-bolt rearend in place.
With the chassis and drivetrain under control, it was time to move on to the exterior. The truck was in fairly decent shape, but because it had lived most of its life in Michigan, there were inevitable rust issues. They were primarily minor, and a few simple patch panels fixed everything up fine. Though the front wasn’t too bad, the brothers decided to start fresh with a new set of fenders. A set of pans from Brothers Truck Parts cleans up the front and rear, replacing the bulky stock bumpers. For paint, they contacted a friend of a friend, Orlando Herrera, who laid down Porsche Fashion Gray paint during a weekend. Then a set of Intro Bullet wheels with Falken tires was attached for style and traction.
As for the inside of the cab, things were left to the basics because this truck’s future lies on an autocross course. The bare innards of the cab received a custom-made roll bar to minimize body flex for safety. Keeping their butts planted inside the truck during hard cornering is a set of Recaro racing seats with G Force Racing Gear harnesses. Speedway Motors steering column with a Sparco wheel help pilot the truck. A set of Dakota Digital gauges monitors vitals, while a push-button ignition starts up the LS engine.
Now that the truck is finished, Garrett plans to chase low lap times on a full schedule of autocross events, while testing new coil-over products and making lasting impressions with spectators. This style of business suit is much more attractive than the usual coat and tie you would expect a company owner to wear. Talk about life goals!
1971 Chevy C-10 Super Cheyenne
- Work performed by Garrett and Spencer Harmola
- LS engine salvaged from 1999 Camaro
- Wiseco pistons
- Edelbrock camshaft
- TSP-fabricated intake
- Summit Racing 102mm throttle body
- Spectre Performance cold-air intake
- Hedman headers
- Custom exhaust with Flowmaster mufflers
- Champion radiator
- Summit Racing electric fans
- Performance Online aluminum gas tank
- Borg-Warner T-56 six-speed transmission
- Aluminum driveshaft
- McLeod clutch
- 12-bolt rearend with 4.11 gears and Eaton Posi
CHASSIS & SUSPENSION
- Work Performed by Garrett and Spencer Harmola
- Aldan American Regulator Series single adjustable coil-overs
- Scott’s Hotrods ‘N’ Customs bolt-on IFS with splined sway bar
- Wilwood Pro spindles
- Performance Online cross member and boxed-style trailing arms
- Outlaw Customs Watt’s link
- Custom rear coil-over mounts on the outside of the frame
- Wilwood 14-inch front and 12-inch rear disc brakes
- Wilwood master cylinder
- Hydroboost brake assist
WHEELS & TIRES
- 18×10 and 18×12 Intro Wheels in Bullet design with black powdercoat
- 275/35ZR18 and 315/30ZR18 Falken Azenis
BODY & PAINT
- Work Performed by Garrett and Spencer Harmola, Orlando Herrera (paint)
- Brothers Truck Parts front and rear pans
- Brothers Truck Parts front fenders
- Brothers Truck Parts headlights
- Brothers Truck Parts taillights
- Brothers Truck Parts single side glass
- Shaved firewall
- Sikkens paint mixed to replicate Porsche Fashion Gray
INTERIOR & STEREO
- Work Performed by Garrett and Spencer Harmola
- Custom roll bar
- Speedway Motors steering column
- Sparco steering wheel
- Recaro racing seats
- G Force Racing Gear harnesses
- Dakota Digital gauges
- Push-button ignition
- Hurst shifter
From the Owner:
“To my brother, Spencer, who brought this truck to life along with Alex Valdez, Scott’s Hotrods ‘N’ Customs, Cortez Tire, Performance Online, Wilwood Brakes and McLeod.”