A BAGGED’82 CHEVROLET C10 ON 26-INCH WHEELS!
Growing up, we all remember getting your driver’s license and buying your first vehicle. Greg Dennis of Leesville, South Carolina, remembers purchasing his first vehicle like it was yesterday. In 1994, Greg purchased his ’82 Chevrolet C10.
“It was my first truck,” Greg recalls. “My dad had to cosign for me. I cut grass every day after school just to make the payments.”
Little did he know, this C10 would be receiving a major facelift in the future.
A few years passed as Greg continued through school. Greg’s longtime friend, James Smith, had a truck around the same time as well. They became best friends and later on roommates. One day, James showed Greg a truckin’ magazine and immediately he was hooked!
“I had caught the truck bug,” Greg says. “It has been a 25-year dream to be featured in a magazine with a truck that I built. You know you’ve arrived when you are a part of the guys that paved the way for custom vehicles.”
Although Greg didn’t start his C10 build until recently, he never lost sight of his dream.
November 2018 is when Greg decided to begin Operation TRAMP. As every vehicle enthusiast knows, it’s hard to keep a vehicle stock! Greg knew that to make this truck perfect, he would have to start from scratch. He “blew the truck apart” all the way down to the bare frame.
First things first, Greg dropped the truck off with Dwayne Heape at Xtreme Customs in Lexington, South Carolina. Dwayne and his crew immediately got to work on Operation TRAMP. Luckily, they were able to keep the original frame for the build. The guys at the shop modified the frame and added a Rydman Ranch complete front dropmember and back half. Greg wanted this C10 to lay completely on the ground, so a TRE5 Customs body-drop kit was also installed. With any custom vehicle build, there are always a few problems.
“We had a few problems come up here and there with the frame modifications,” Greg says. “Body dropping a truck is not an easy task.”
Greg kept pushing forward and never lost hope in the build. Fortunately, Greg has an extremely supportive family that kept him motivated. His wife was by his side throughout the entire process. As the changes to the frame were nearing completion, they raised the bed floor mount so that everything would line up perfectly once the build was complete. After the issues were resolved and the chassis and frame modifications were almost finished, it was time to add some air ride. Accuair e-level was installed and Greg couldn’t be happier. He was finally building the truck of his dreams and nothing would stand in his way in finishing this truck.
The framework was finished, so Greg moved on to the exterior. He says he “wanted something radical. Something that would really stand out.” He decided to keep the original chrome front bumper but swapped to a Blazer rear bumper. Greg added a billet grille to keep the clean lines of the front end. Since the truck would be laying on the ground when completely aired out, Greg knew he would have to modify the wheel wells. He installed Hart Fab inner and outer tubs so he could tuck any wheel he wanted without any issues. Another good friend of Greg’s, Bruce Casillo, also had a hand in the build. Bruce tubbed the firewall so that the truck would sit low without any rubbing. Dwayne also had to modify the radiator support for what was to come. To keep the body lines nice and clean, Greg shaved the drip rails, emblem holes, stake pockets, gas filler door and windshield wipers.
Sometimes, bits and pieces of the build don’t come out exactly as planned. Originally, Greg had the entire bed covered in red LINE X. After realizing the bed didn’t fit in with the rest of the build, it was back to the drawing board. Greg wanted a sleek design and Bruce was right there to make it happen. First, he stripped the entire bed to start fresh. A lot of hours were spent smoothing out the bed and adding the rear tubs. It wasn’t an easy process, especially with all of the body work that had to be done.
“Bruce knocked it out of the park! He just realigned everything that I wasn’t happy with when it came to the truck bed,” Greg says.
Now that the rear tubs had been added, it was time to add some wheels. TRAMP received a set of US Mags Ridgeline wheels wrapped in Delinte tires. With 24x9s in the front and 26x10s in the rear, these wheels tuck hard when Greg hits the switches to lay out the truck.
Greg’s vision for this C10 was coming to life as he moved onto the engine. He wanted the truck to sound as good as it looked, so he knew TRAMP would need an engine swap. After weighing his options, Greg decided on a ’06 LS2 from a Pontiac GTO. This huge 364ci 6.0L V-8 would make Greg’s C10 scream as he put the pedal to the metal.
He knew an engine swap wasn’t going to be easy. Two of Greg’s friends, Alex Crumpton and BJ Broxton, were there to lend a hand through this process. They started by tearing down the engine so they could add a few upgrades and clean up some of the internals. They installed new valve springs and retainers as well as adding a Texas Speed mega stick 4 camshaft. He then installed a Holley EFI Sniper intake manifold and a set of 1.75-inch Speed Engineering headers to add some extra horses to this beast. Greg knew the stock transmission would not be able to handle the added power of the new motor, so it would have to be swapped. Alex and BJ dropped the original transmission and got the truck prepped for a 2006 4L60 transmission swap. The rear axle was swapped over to a 12-bolt with an Auburn Limited Slip 4:10 ratio gearing. Before they could put in the new transmission, they had to install a Rydman Transmission crossmember so that it would bolt up properly. While the truck was still dismantled, Greg also decided to upgrade to a B&M transmission cooler.
With an engine swap comes a lot of extra work and parts.
“I worked a lot of sunup to sundown days to pull it off,” Greg recalls.
A Rydman Ranch mounting kit was installed along with running a new PSI engine harness. After a lot of long nights in the garage, they were finally able to drop the new engine into the belly of the beast. Once the engine was bolted up, they removed the stock air box and built a custom cold air intake. TRAMP made another pitstop at David’s Garage where it received an overhaul on the exhaust system. They installed a full 2.5-inch Black Widow Widowmaker exhaust to make this C10 rumble. He also installed a push button start for convenience since Greg had every intention of driving this truck. The braking system needed some upgrades now that the truck was putting down some serious power. A Wilwood master cylinder along with Wilwood 6 piston brakes were installed to make this truck stop on a dime.
TRAMP was passed off to Evan Hite to complete the full paint job. Paint color was a huge decision for Greg because he wanted something that would really stand out. With so many options, it was difficult to narrow it down. However, after flipping between a couple colors, he finally chose Hydro Blue. Greg knew this would cause a debate because it was a Chrysler color.
“I like hearing the haters talk about, ‘Why would you put a Chrysler color on a Chevy?’ My vision all along was to make this truck different and that’s what I set out to do,” Greg says.
As Evan laid down the paint, Greg knew he had made the right decision. Seeing the deep blue paint for the first time sparked the idea for the interior. Once the paint was finished, Trey Steele stepped in to lay down some graphics. Custom multicolored diamonds were added to the front wheel tubs as well as the valve covers. When Greg pops the hood, the multicolored graphics really stand out against the hydro blue paint.
TRAMP was on the road again but this time, it was for the interior. Wanting to make sure the interior stood out just as much as the exterior, Greg knew he had his work cut out for him. Every single piece of the interior was stripped in order to get a fresh start. TRAMP was back in the hands of Dwayne at Xtreme Customs to start the rebuild of the interior. Red TMI Grand Sport seats were installed for ultimate comfort and design. The dash was wrapped to match with red TMI vinyl. The lower part of the dash was paint matched to the exterior in Hydro Blue. A US Mag Redline steering wheel was added to contrast the blue and red color combination. For Greg, it’s all about the details. Dakota HDX gauges custom made with matching graphics from under the hood were installed in the dash. Next, it was time for door panels. To keep with the red theme, Xtreme Customs installed TMI panels with the same stitching as the seats.
Now that the seats and dash were complete, Greg focused on a sound system. TRAMP was dropped off at Ultimate Audio where it would receive a custom center console. Once the console was built, it was wrapped in red TMI vinyl to match the rest of the interior. The guys at Ultimate Audio installed a Stinger ELEV8 radio in the console along with a pair of JL Audio speakers. The kick panels were redesigned to fit another set of JL Audio speakers. A custom-built subwoofer box with two 8-inch JL subs was installed behind the seats to give this truck a little extra bump. A red carpet kit was installed to really tie everything together. This was the final stage in the build, and it was finally complete.
After a year of hard work and determination, Greg was finally able to stand back and take in the beauty of his C10.
“I love everything about the truck,” he says. “I could not have done it without the support of my family and friends who helped me every step of the way.”
Although building a custom vehicle can be a daunting task, Greg has a few tips to make the process a little easier.
“Take your time and do not rush it,” he says. “Enjoy the amazing friendships that you make along the way. Do not give up.”
Greg debuted TRAMP at Orange Beach Invasion 2020 and brought quite the crowd.
“I came up with the name after realizing that it took multiple people to build this truck,” Greg says. “The C10 had traveled around to several shops where the work was done by various craftsmen around the area. The joke is everyone had a hand on her.”
Leesville, South Carolina
’82 Chevrolet C10
Chrysler Hydro Blue
Rydman Ranch front dropmember
Rydman Ranch back half
TRE5 Customs body drop kit
Rydman transmission crossmember
’06 Pontiac GTO LS2
364ci 6.0L V-8
Rydman Ranch engine mount kit
PSI engine harness
New valve springs and retainers
Texas Speed mega stick 4 camshaft
Holley EFI Sniper intake manifold
1.75-inch Speed Engineering headers
2006 4L60 transmission
B&M transmission cooler
2.5-inch Black Widow Widowmaker exhaust
US Mags Ridgeline wheels
24×9 Front and 26×10 Rear
Auburn Limited Slip 4:10 ratio gearing
Wilwood master cylinder
Wilwood 6-piston brakes
Raised bed floor
Blazer rear bumper
Hart Fab inner and outer wheel tubs
Shaved drip rails, emblem holes, stake pockets, gas filler door and windshield wipers
LINE-X bed coating
Red TMI Grand Sport seats
Dash wrapped to match
TMI door panels
US Mag Redline steering wheel
Dakota HDX gauges
Stinger ELEV8 radio
JL Audio speakers
8-inch JL Audio subs
Red carpet kit