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It’s not always easy staying grounded when raising a family. The stresses of work life and home life can sometimes seem like a lot to deal with all at once, but Robert Maese of Coral Springs, Florida, has been able to apply a method that has proven to alleviate a lot of potential issues.

“I have a wife and four kids (three boys and one girl),” Robert informs us. “I love when we head to car show. My oldest son goes in the garage and picks a car to take, and I jump into a different ride, and we cruise there together.”

Chevy LS 5.3LRobert developed his love of custom vehicles when he was just a kid himself, and he’s so very thankful that he has been able to successfully pass that same love into the hearts of his own children.

“I’m a firm believer in teaching your kids about all the cool stuff we used to do to create a close family bond,” Robert says. “Luckily for us, cars and trucks help us with that.”

The clean, welcoming interior is painted in the same sea foam green color as the exterior.

A Perfect Foundation

Knowing that every auto project he starts now has the family’s preapproval, Robert takes comfort in the fact that obtaining a new and exciting vehicle benefits his entire tribe and not just himself. Since Robert has been a self-admitted pickup truck fanatic since his high school days, he figured he’d keep a lookout for an older classic pickup to work on next. What he found was a ’66 C10 from Texas that would serve as the perfect foundation for a complete ground-up restoration/customization project.

1966 Chevy C10 custom interior “I’ve owned this truck about two years now, and considering it’s a 60-year-old model it was in pretty good shape when we first found it,” Robert admits. “Thankfully, we were able to reach out to some talented shops and individuals to help bring this truck back to life.”

Cool, Classic Exterior

One of the first stops for the truck was at Texas Best Classics where they began working on the exterior, which wasn’t too terrible to start with, but the work was necessary to get the truck right where Robert had in mind.

 While it is easy to go crazy with a build like this,  Robert has always been one to keep things on the simple end of the spectrum.

The truck’s surface was cleaned up and finally prepped for new paint. The ultimate theme for the truck was cool and classic—that’s it. There’s no wild graphics going on or any interpretive metalwork at play on this Chevy (not that there is anything wrong with either of those). Simplicity was key here, and the power of the sea foam paint color is bold enough to make a statement all on its own. With a few dashes of white painted accessories, the C10 was dressed up just enough to fit right in at any occasion.

While it is easy to go crazy with a build like this, Robert has always been one to keep things on the simple end of the spectrum.

“I typically like and enjoy any classic truck, especially if it’s lowered and clean,” he says. “I’m a low and slow kind of cruiser, but I like to know that my truck can get up and move whenever I want to. Going into this build, I went ahead with a method that I’ve stuck to with my other projects, which is to basically wing it. If I like something then I go with it. This might not work for everyone, but I build these trucks for myself, and this approach has worked well so far.”

Low and Slow …

To achieve the level of low he’d be happy with, Robert enlisted Yaril Customs of Miami to tweak the factory ’66 frame and outfit it with modified lower control arms and a full air-ride system to lay out over a set of 22-inch GM transport wheels. The ride height sits just where Robert had envisioned it, and there’s no better feeling than airing the truck out to park.

This current setup has served its purpose well enough, but the C10 will be getting some extra attention in the very near future to get it sitting a few inches lower, which is always a welcomed sight.

… with Get Up and Go

When selecting the engine for this particular project, Robert chose a tried-and-true LS 5.3L power plant due to its overall compatibility with the C10 platform. There’s no losing with LS power, and there’s so much to be said about its reliability too.

1966 Chevy C10Robert’s truck might not be moving all that slow now thanks to Ian Friedman who prepped the engine for installation. With the strategic addition of performance products, the amount of sheer horsepower and torque has been properly upgraded to make even the shortest trip around town much more interesting.

Texas Best Classics was once again sourced to dial in the cab by painting the dash, door panels and roof the same sea foam color as the exterior, and recovering the bench seat in white leather for the sake of clean continuity. A complete sound system and Vintage Air A/C give the cab all the comforts and conveniences Robert and his family can enjoy while on the road to the next big show.

Dakota Digital gaugesFinal Fine-Tuning

In a year’s time, the Maese family C10 is complete, save for a few updates that will be coming in the very near future. While the additions will not change the look and feel of the truck, they will help in fine-tuning the Chevy for ultimate enjoyment.

“Thankfully, there haven’t been many obstacles we’ve had to overcome during the build,” Robert says. “I have to give credit to the guys at Texas Best Classics for that. The best highlight of this process will come when we finally reach the point where we stop dumping money to fund the project. We are almost there. But we have been enjoying the truck so much as it is, and that’s really what it’s all about.”

While building a truck may not be cheaper than family therapy in the traditional sense, it has given Robert and his wife and kids the perfect opportunity to come together and take part in a tradition rich in teamwork and good times at every turn.

Build Specs

OWNER

Robert Maese
Coral Springs, FL
1966 Chevy C10
Dukes Car Club / Envy Classics

Engine/Drivetrain

  • Shop: Ian Friedman, Coral Springs, FL
  • Chevy LS 5.3L
  • 2002 4L60E
  • Custom motor mounts
  • Custom trans support and driveshaft by Texas Best Classics, Conroe, TX
  • Speedway trans cooler
  • Painless wiring
  • Eagle connecting rods
  • Wiseco pistons
  • Texas Speed BFD ‘Bigfoot’ cam
  • Ported stock heads
  • Velocity intake manifold and fuel rails
  • MSD fuel injection
  • Shorty V-Band headers
  • Magnaflow 3-inch exhaust
  • Custom cold air intake
  • Ididit shifter

Chassis/Suspension

  • Shop: Yaril Customs, Miami, FL
  • Factory 1966 frame w/ mini C-notch
  • Modified lower control arms
  • Lowering blocks
  • Digital Airmaxxx air pressure gauges
  • Full air ride system
  • Belltech front and rear shocks
  • Longer adjustable track bar
  • Boyd Welding fuel tank

Wheels, Tires & Brakes

  • 22-inch GM Transport wheels
  • Disc brakes
  • Wilwood master cylinder

Body/Paint

  • Shop: Texas Best Classics
  • Custom seafoam colored paint
  • Original grille and front stock wheel wells
  • Custom rear wheel wells
  • AMD bumpers
  • Raised bed floor with wood planks

Interior

  • Shop: Texas Best Classics
  • Custom seats w/ white leather upholstery
  • Dakota Digital gauges
  • Raptor steering wheel
  • Vintage Air A/C
  • Custom painted dash
  • Retro Sound head unit
  • Kicker subwoofer and amp

 

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