Siblings can have a big influence on a young mind, and Marty Melland’s older brothers, Doug and Denny, had a major impact on him growing up. They were both into racing, and it definitely rubbed off on Marty (hopefully not through headlocks and noogies, though). He loved to hang out with them, going to races and various events in the Washington area. It became, as it does for many of us, his life.
Marty’s parents were the second owners of a ’60 C-10 that came by way of California. As is often the case with old rides, it was eventually passed down, with Marty as the lucky recipient right smack in the middle of his high school days. It was actually a decent enough truck, but the straight-six wasn’t exactly exciting for someone who was growing up around the Northwestern drag racing scene.
No, Marty couldn’t have a stock truck, it just wouldn’t be right. So, he and brother Denny took that ol’ ’60 and tubbed it, pulled out the inline-six, and put in a mild 350 with a four-speed. It wasn’t poppin’ the front wheels off the pavement, but it sounded good and looked the part, which is definitely enough to satisfy an evolving gearhead’s need for speed. As Marty shared, “I ran it that way through high school, [but] I ended up going to college out of state. Then life happened, and I moved to Arizona.” It happens to a lot of us, so we can definitely relate.
Unfortunately, Marty’s truck ended up sitting for 15 years in his parents’ garage. We have to hand it to his parents, they were certainly patient. Luckily for them, Marty (and his wife) eventually ended up moving back to Washington State for work, which meant that he would once again be with his family, and his truck.
Well, that truck continued to sit while Marty settled back in to this next chapter of his life, but he knew he’d be getting back to it soon enough. Little did he know that he was about to get a much-needed kick in the pants in the form of a very special 30th birthday present. On the big day, Marty’s wife Katie, his dad Al and his buddy Ray Brown surprised him by getting the C-10 into Ray’s chassis fab shop, Raymonized, to get the ball rolling on getting his truck back on the road.
Ray was another early influence to Marty, having built a tube chassis ’68 Pontiac back in the day. Marty never forgot that Pontiac, and it colored how he envisioned his C-10. Now, all those years later, he finally had his chance. Ray and Erik Davidson tore right into the truck, but it would take another six years to finish Marty’s dream truck.
Top priority was building the tube chassis, which uses Art Morrison components, such as the trick strut setup, and a severely narrowed Ford 9-inch. The big ‘n’ little setup consists of 15×3 Weld Drag Lite front runners, 15×15 Welds out back and Mickey Thompsons all around.
With the foundation set, Marty enlisted Gary Fagerness to help him put together a beast of an engine, a 468-ci Chevy big-block. A combination of Dart, Scat, Bullet and Crane parts went into it, with a pair of Holley 4150 750-cfm quad bores (built by Biggs Performance) on an Edelbrock intake manifold pumping in all of the air it can take. Shifting comes courtesy of a trusty Powerglide, which was built by Neil Transmissions with a Pro Torque 5,000-rpm stall converter.
While it may seem like the hard part was over, there was still plenty to do in the body and paint department. Ray Brown and Erik Davidson once again teamed up to bring even more of their expertise to Marty’s truck, such as getting a set of Honda Accord door handles to somehow look like they’ve always been on the truck, and modifying a C-30 grille for an even more custom look. Other subtle tricks include shaved rain gutters and even a one-piece wiper cowl. Not so subtle tricks are the gigantic wheel tubs, an aluminum bed floor, billet 1967 C-10 taillights and the custom exhaust cutouts in the front fenders.
With the truck sure to be a knockout, it didn’t need bright paintwork to get attention. Instead, Marty decided to keep things classy with a subdued tone, which was applied at Warren Auto Renovation. Once Doug Warren and James Jacobs were done with the finishing bodywork, they sprayed PPG Mineral Gray and Silver Birch on the truck, giving it a brilliant shine in the process.
The interior, which is both as utilitarian and custom as they come all at once, was fit with a pair of Kirkey aluminum race seats, carpet, Auto Meter gauges and that’s about it. The integrated roll cage and metalwork make it clear that Marty doesn’t do much slouching around, and that the interior is meant for taking care of business.
Six years seems like an eternity when building a truck, but with help from friends and family along the way, we bet it went by a lot faster than the previous 15 years. And in the end, the timeline was almost perfect. Marty really put things into perspective when he told us, “Now I have two boys of my own, Guy and Jax, that we intend to pass the truck down to when the time is right.” A third generation of Mellands will eventually carry the torch with an old ’60 from California, but this time around, we don’t think it’ll be left in the garage for quite as long.
Work performed by Gary Fagerness, Marty Melland and Neil Transmissions
468 Chevy big-block
Ross 14.1 pistons
Bullet flat-tappet cam
Dart Pro 1 345cc aluminum cylinder heads
Crane pushrods and roller grid rockers
K-Motion valve springs
Moroso water pump
Edelbrock Victor Ram 2-R intake manifold
Dual 4150 750-cfm Holley carburetors
Harwood air scoop
Custom Jet-Hot-coated headers
Dynomax Bullet mufflers
Aluminum four-core radiator
Spal electric cooling fan
Moroso aluminum valve covers
Black Mountain Precision pulleys
Built GM Powerglide transmission
9-inch Pro Torque 5,000-rpm stall converter
Reverse valve body with trans brake
Precision shifters ratchet shifter
Drivelines Northwest steel driveshaft
Chassis & Suspension
Work performed by Ray Brown and Erik Davidson at Raymonized
Custom tube chassis
Art Morrison strut front suspension
Art Morrison spindles
Flaming River rack-and-pinion steering
4-link with wishbone
Koni rear coil-over shocks
Wheels & Tires
15×3 and 15×15 Weld Drag Lite wheels
26×7.50×15 and 33×21.50×15 Mickey Thompson Sportsman tires
Body & Paint
Work performed by Raymonized/Doug Warren and James Jacobs at Warren Auto Renovation
Custom roll pan
Custom wheel tubs
Aluminum bed floor
Billet 1967 C-10-style taillights
Smoothed front bumper
Exhaust cutouts in fenders
Custom C-30 grille
1995 Honda Accord door handles
PPG Mineral Gray and Silver Birch paint
Interior & Stereo
Work performed by Marty Melland
Kirkey aluminum race seats
Crow seat harnesses
Grant steering wheel
Auto Meter gauges
Special Thanks From the Owner: “Katie, Ray Brown, Doug Warren, James Jacobs, Big Al, Jason Cooper and Dino Battilana.”
We could spend hours going over the details in Marty’s engine bay. The tube chassis, strut suspension, that 468-cid big-block—it just never ends!.
You might not think it at first, but Marty’s C-10 is definitely a street truck. The Kirkey seats, Crow seat harnesses and roll cage add an extra level of safety for a truck that originally didn’t even have seat belts.
There isn’t a single aspect of this C-10 that doesn’t scream, “I’m a fast truck!” The tube chassis continues into the bed area where the gigantic wheel tubs cover the 21.5-inch wide Mickey Thompson asphalt warmers.