Delmo Churns out Another Timeless C-10
The term “patina” can have many meanings depending on whom you ask. A soft patina that shows the history and character of a truck and its previous owners can look good on a lower budget without the worry about little dings and scratches that a full-blown custom can bring. The textured details of wear and sun-fading can turn factory paint into a work of art throughout the decades. There is beauty in the imperfect when appreciated. Currently, in the truck and hot rod scene, a few trends have emerged that focus on performance and reliability by way of engine and suspension work. The exterior is left alone for either a classic resto look or historical patina. One of the proponents of this style has been Del Uschenko of Delmo’s Speed & Kustom in Burbank, California.
Mason Wright has always been a hot rod and truck guy since he was young, attending shows with his Grandpa Jerry. Years ago, he picked up a ’70 GMC truck, cruising it to high school as low and fast as he could. Mason struck up a friendship with Nate Porter of Porterbuilt Fabrication, one of the innovators of C-10 suspension, and Mason had Nate ‘bag the GMC. As time went on, Mason focused on starting his own construction company, but the C-10 bug bit again after he saw Del’s own Blackbird C-10 in Street Trucks. He set out in search for one of his own that Delmo to put his touch on.
By chance, both had been browsing Craigslist and online forums and came across a gold patina C-10 that would be the perfect candidate. The only problem was that it was down Mexico way, in the outskirts of Tijuana. After a drive south, a few tacos and a sketchy meeting, the truck was in Mason’s hands.
Once the C-10 cleared the border, Del started pulling the entire truck apart for a full frame-off restoration, sans the exterior, of course. The chassis was cleaned up to make way for the full Porterbuilt treatment with a Dropmember up front and rear link setup over a narrowed rearend. An AccuAir eLevel setup controls the suspension’s ups and downs. Up front, Porterbuilt tubular A-arms sandwich CPP drop spindles and disc brakes supplied with stopping power by a CPP master cylinder and stainless steel brake lines. Finishing off the suspension is a set of Delmo Special style 20 x 8 and 22 x 9.5-inch Centerline Smoothie wheels with classic center caps.
The engine is a 350 SBC out of a 1976 Corvette that has been rebuilt and cleaned up with some custom touches. A modified Edelbrock intake manifold and carb sit between 1954 Corvette valve covers with custom-made breathers. A 120-amp alternator supplies power to Rockford Fosgate speakers inside the cab. Block-hugger headers and a Flowmaster dual exhaust finish off the gold engine with rebuilt 700R4 and shortened driveshaft.
It is all about the details, and Delmo’s modifications to factory parts are functional and keep the classic form. The rear bed floor was raised and the wheel tubs were shortened, but the classic C-10 lines were modified to keep its traditional look. Under the hood, Porterbuilt hood hinges allow for custom C-10 inner fenders that were heavily modified and smoothed to accommodate the larger wheels and a full turning radius when laid out. Things were kept fairly stock inside the cab with the window armrest and door kicker patina intact. A new bench seat cover from Truck Seats was added along with the Rockford Fosgate audio system featuring component speakers and 12-inch subwoofer all controlled via iPod.
Mason finally got the truck he longed for thanks to Delmo and Nate. Focusing on the suspension and motor, and keeping the original patina ensures that he won’t be afraid to use his truck as a truck. A hidden hitch allows him to tow and load the truck up past the roofline with camping gear, quads and dirt bikes for trips to Glamis and Yosemite. He would like to thank his wife, Delmo, Nate Porter, Forrest Hamberlin, Rockford Fosgate and Bradlee Angle. Just remember, it’s Nacho Truck, it’s his.
1969 Chevrolet C-10
Long Beach, CA
Text and Photos by Jason Mulligan