Dreams are fleeting, most are usually forgotten by the time we wake up and rub our eyes, but there are some that stay with us and eventually become an obsession. For Omar Delgado of San Jose, California, one of those dreams involved trucks, specifically, C-10s.
From the time he was just a kid, Omar wanted nothing more than to own an old Chevy. At 19, he finally made his dream come true, although it would soon become a nightmare. Omar bought a ’70 C-10 short-bed, but he was inexperienced and didn’t realize that he was buying a cleverly disguised rust bucket; its only saving grace was a nearly pristine bed. As Omar described the ordeal, “After really inspecting the truck after I bought it, I was pretty much just forced into parting out the rest of the truck and just keeping the short fleetside bed.” In over his head and short on funds to fix everything required, he unbolted the bed and sold the rest at a loss.
It was another three years before Omar could afford another C-10, but this time he was much better prepared to find a solid build candidate. After a lengthy search, Omar discovered another ’70. It did have minimal rust, but it was far less than the first truck. As a lot of us know, “minimal rust” in the C-10 world is about as good as it gets. “Finally, in November of 2009 I bought another project. I learned the hard way, but it was on from there,” Omar told us.
By now, Omar was in a better position to put a lot more time and funds into the build, and with help from Jorge Catañeda of Way’s Customs and Jose Castro of Castro’s Custom, Omar had the right recipe to build an amazing truck. The winning combo is comprised of the custom mandrel-bent frame rails and sectioned front cross member, which help put the body (and the rest of the truck) flat on the pavement. To raise it back up to speed-bump-clearing height, a rear air ride setup with 2-link and wishbone was installed out back, and another set of ’bags was bolted in up front with Choppin’ Block control arms and McGaughy’s drop spindles. The result was a suspension that could easily swallow up the 24-inch Intro Rally wheels and Pirelli tires, although the rear 1996 Impala axle needed more than half a foot of width removed in order to fit the 15-inch-wide rear hoops.
Omar’s longtime friend Jesus Ramirez then stepped in for the months-long task of relieving the body of anything and everything that stuck out. This included the basics, such as door handles, but Omar wanted Jesus to go wild, so he did things like molding the 1967 front end to the cab for a streamlined look. You’ll also notice the smoothed out bed floor and shaved drip rails, but we bet there are some subtle mods you might not be able to pick out unless you know these trucks inside and out. Once Jesus was finished working the metal, he sprayed everything in PPG Viper Red, which is always a winning choice.
With the chassis, suspension and exterior cosmetics handled, Omar wanted to make sure that the engine would meet the casual observer’s expectations, and he wanted to be able to chirp the 405mm-wide rear tires on occasion as well. He accomplished what he was after by putting together a Vortec 350 with an Edelbrock intake manifold, 750cfm Edelbrock carb, Sanderson shorty headers and a bunch of other bolt-ons that yielded 380-hp, plenty enough to haul ass down the highway. With a ton of detail thrown in for good measure, Omar’s engine compartment is a work of art.
As work tends to go with truck builds, the interior was last on the list of things to get buttoned up, but as you can see, it was worth the wait. Daniel Arevalo of Daniel’s Custom Upholstery masterfully reshaped the bench seat and wrapped it in spice-colored leather, along with the custom door panels and kick panels. The Big Al’s billet door handles really brighten things up and accentuate the lack of window cranks and side windows. Daniel also put together a matching custom carpet before Omar added the Billet Specialties Stiletto steering wheel and full complement of flush-mounted Equus gauges. Of course, you can’t miss the fully smoothed dash, either.
With his truck completed and cruising the streets of San Jose, Omar’s dream is a reality, and it’s even better than he imagined. With support from his friends, Omar Robles and Efren Martinez, on many late nights when he sometimes felt like giving up, Omar is now enjoying the result of years of hard work, patience and a very vivid imagination.
San Jose, CA
1970 Chevy C-10
Ground Zero Truck Club
Engine & Drivetrain:
2000 Chevy Vortec 350 engine
Edelbrock Vortec intake manifold
750-cfm Edelbrock carburetor
K&N air filter with finned aluminum housing
Finned aluminum high-rise valve covers
RAB Performance polished pulleys
Dual electric fans
200-amp polished alternator
Chassis & Suspension:
Work performed by Way’s Customs and Castro’s Custom
Custom frame back-half
Narrowed 1996 Impala rearend
2-link with wishbone
Fox rear reservoir shocks
Sectioned front cross member
Choppin’ Block upper and lower control arms
McGaughy’s drop spindles
McGaughy’s front shocks
Airbags front and rear
RAB power brake booster and master cylinder
Stone Fab aluminum fuel cell
Wheels & Tires:
24×9 and 24×15 Intro Rally wheels
255/30R24 and 405/25R24 Pirelli P-Zero tires
Body & Paint:
Work performed by Jesus Ramirez at 3R Auto Body
Cali combo roll pan/tailgate
Shaved handles, marker lights, drip rails and wiper cowl
1967 C-10 front end molded to cab
Custom hood hinges
Custom grille inserts
Sheet-metal bed floor
Flush one-piece taillights
Projector headlight housings
PPG Viper Red paint
Work performed by 3R Auto Body and Daniel’s Custom Upholstery
Smoothed dashboard, shaved glove box door
Dynamat sound deadener
Custom tan loop carpet
Custom-shaped bench seat with spice-colored leather
Custom door panels and kick panels
Big Al’s billet door handles and arm rests
Billet Specialties Stiletto steering wheel
Tan lap belts