David Kass & QA1’s Bolt-On Road Warrior
When Dave Kass set out to build his ’72 C10, he had a very good idea what he wanted out of it, but more importantly, he had a realistic approach on how to make it happen.
“I basically wanted a well-rounded custom classic truck that could go anywhere and do anything,” he says. “I wasn’t really in a hurry to get it done either. I figured if I set an overall goal, built it in chunks, and not allow myself to get stuck for too long on any one part that I would have it looking good and driving right before I knew it.”
With a laid-back, casual attitude at the forefront of the project, Dave began breaking down the C10’s existing suspension system while chalking up a redesign as the tired OE parts were coming off. Dave wanted his Chevy to sit low, but he wasn’t interested in piecing together an air-ride system. Conveniently at the time, QA1 was beginning discussions about introducing their own suspension system for these trucks. Timing on Dave’s project made it the perfect development truck for all ’63-’72 suspension components in their inventory, which is a pretty cool honor to have.
The objective was to drop the frontend of the C10 down 6.5 inches with a 7-inch drop at the rear, which isn’t exactly “mild” by any means. Dave was serious about lowering the ride height of his pickup, and to get it down to his desired altitude, QA1 springs and MOD shocks were utilized at each corner, which act in bringing the Chevy down while adding lots of great customizable features to make it a delight to whip around road courses, which was a huge bonus for Dave.
I’d love to add more miles to the odometer, create more memories, see new places and get lost on some back roads now and again.
Also included in the QA1 kit was an impressive tubular crossmember, truck arms, Panhard bar, and rack-and-pinion steering. Best of all, this whole roundup of chassis components all feature 100% bolt-on installation—that’s the real kicker! Upgraded Wilwood brake kits were then affixed at both ends just before Dave selected a set of 20-inch Rocket Racing “Attack” wheels and wrapped them in Nitto NT555 rubber.
ROAD COURSE READY
With the C10’s chassis system well taken care of, Dave then moved onto the task of pinning down the right powerplant to propel his truck through the twists and turns that were awaiting him. For this, he turned to Blueprint Engines for a 525HP V-8 unit. The engine didn’t need much else other than the CVF front serpentine kit, Edelbrock intake and ignition, Summit Racing headers, and the custom 2.5-inch exhaust that Dave opted for, along with a fresh Mechman alternator and Optima battery to keep the truck properly charged. Next, Dave contacted GearStar Performance Transmissions for a GM 4L60E, which he topped off with an aftermarket trans cooler to boot.
“This was a custom built transmission,” Dave adds. “I wanted it to shift hard and fast, and GearStar delivered!”
QA1 also provided a one-piece carbon fiber driveshaft complete with 1350 U-joints to the build. These performance shafts are lighter and stronger than aluminum, steel, and other carbon fiber units out there, which make them the perfect addition to not only slim down the C10’s overall weight but to ensure that it will not buckle under the high-performance output Dave has put together for the rest of the truck. Things were looking up for the ’72 so far, as the reworked chassis and drivetrain systems were now both complete and ready to rumble.
CLEAN AND CLASSY
Next, all Dave had to worry about was his C10’s exterior appearance, which he wished to keep looking clean and classy without going too far overboard with unnecessary modifications. The sea foam green paint is as cool of a classic color as anyone could ask for. It looks great on just about any older vehicle, and it really is tough to beat on this ’72 pickup.
The factory grille and front bumper were still good to run on the build. And to give the front wheels and tires some additional breathing room, Sloshtubz inner fenders were ordered and bolted into position. Auto Metal Direct provided the rear bumper to finish off the back end as well as rear wheel tubs to properly conceal the rear meats.
“I wasn’t going for perfection,” Dave says. “I just wanted to get the truck back on the road. Adjustments can always be made when needed.”
Dave ran with this similar plan of action inside the cab as well. A TMI Products brown leather bench seat and dashpad made the biggest difference in increasing both comfort and style right off the bat.
“The new seat also allows my wife and daughter to ride along whenever they want with no worries about everyone having enough room,” Dave says.
Along with the upholstery upgrades, Dakota Digital RTX gauges and an Eddie Motorsports “Launch” steering wheel were added to round out the list of notable upgrades to the interior. The list of amenities was kept relatively short to allow the cabin to feel refreshed without going into the red with refurbishment costs.
The completion of the build took Dave the better part of four years, but he conveniently spaced it out throughout his down time during the winter months.
“Since the truck has been finished, I’ve been able to also complete four long-haul Hot Rod Power Tours with it,” he says. “I’ve also been to Street Machine Nationals, Motor State Challenge, and numerous road rallies as well as QA1’s own #goDRIVEit cruises. This truck is a longbed that doesn’t act like one. I’d love to add more miles to the odometer, create more memories, see new places and get lost on some back roads now and again.
“The truck community has been so supportive and appreciative along the way, and I have become proficient in new and different aspects of truck building along the way,” he continues. “This has been a great experience and my C10 came out just the way I had hoped it would.”
- 1972 Chevy C10
- Elko, MN
Engine & Drivetrain
- Engine buildup and modifications by BluePrint Engines and owner
- 525HP V-8 long block
- Forged pistons
- Edelbrock Performer intake manifold and ignition
- Fitech 600hp fuel injection kit
- Summit Racing headers
- Custom 2.5-inch exhaust system
- CVF front serpentine kit
- Mechman alternator
- Optima battery
- GM 4L60E transmission by GearStar Performance Transmissions, Akron, OH
- Yank torque converter
- Derale transmission cooler
Chassis & Suspension
- Complete bolt-on suspension kits from QA1 including front springs, MOD Series shocks, tubular crossmember, rack-and-pinion, truck arms, Panhard bar
- 6.5-inch front drop/
7-inch drop at rear
- QA1 carbon fiber driveshaft w/ 1350 U-joints
- Quick Performance Ford 9-inch rearend
- Boyd Welding fuel tank
Wheels, Tires & Brakes
- 20×8.5 and 20×10 Rocket Racing Attack wheels
- 255/45/20 and 295/40/20 Nitto NT555 tires
- Wilwood 13-inch 6-piston front brakes/4-piston rear
Body & Paint
- Sea foam green paint
- QA1 vinyl graphics by Print Lab Wraps, Lakeville, MN
- OE grille and headlights
- Auto Metal Direct rear bumper and rear wheel tubs
- Front inner fenders by Slosh Tubz
Interior & Stereo
- TMI Products brown leather bench seat
- Eddie Motorsports Launch steering wheel
- Dakota Digital RTX gauges