EVERYONE TOLD HER THE truck was coming back—she had even followed the build on Facebook—but seeing the GMC roll to a stop in front of her home was enough to make Carol Barber believe in miracles. Until that moment, despite what she had been told, the truck was as good as gone.
Years after he passed, Mrs. Barber would eye her husband’s ’84 GMC High Sierra through the kitchen window, watching the rain and elements punish the truck as she reminisced about the E places and the memories it had given them.
Since James Barber Sr. had left the rig to their son and grandson, Mrs. Barber knew one of them eventually had to take it. After a few years, she asked her grandson Kody to get it running again. Kody came and picked it up, but he didn’t do much with it. Racing late-model dirt cars, helping his father run several businesses and raising two toddlers didn’t leave Kody much time to fiddle with the truck. Months passed. Mrs. Barber figured if the truck was going to sit in a yard, she might as well have the pleasure of watching it rust. So, Kody brought it back, and it sat in her yard again. But something was nagging Kody. His grandfather’s truck was a symbol of his legacy, a machine that represented a lifetime of work, not something that should languish in the weeds, forgotten by most everyone. Kody rallied his resolve and dialed his childhood friend. If anyone could help him restore the rig, it would be Chris Stafford.
The problem, interestingly enough, was that Stafford was in the final stages of building a high-powered, low-sitting ’66 C-10 named, Clyde. Despite the current project, Stafford said he would help if the Barber family could wait. And wait they did, for another whole year. In the meantime, Stafford focused all of his energies on Clyde, and it paid off. Clyde took SEMA 2014 by storm, became the hottest new thing in the C-10 world, and established Stafford as a legitimate project manager. By the time he wrapped up things at Vegas and drove back to Louisiana, Stafford’s Garage had found a place on the map.
The request was simple: “Let’s just get this thing running again.” However, Stafford explained that if he got involved, chances were the truck would not only run, but folks would hear about the truck and create a little buzz on social media; perhaps sponsors would take interest.
When James Barber Jr. witnessed what Stafford had managed with Clyde, he threw a generous budget behind the build. He wanted it to run, better than it had before, and he wanted it to look good, too. Giving full creative control to Stafford, he told Kody that if need be, Kody could get off work early during the week to lend Stafford a hand. With the green light, Stafford laid out plans for a silver-and-gray, unique, low-sitting masterpiece of subtle beauty. No truck, and no shop, would ever be able to replicate it. To that point, the newly formed gang took the truck to Harahan, Louisiana. Click. Click. Boom.
To start with a clean slate, the team took the truck to Kirkfield’s Powdercoating and had the body stripped and primed. Then Stafford began making phone calls and taking pictures. Before anyone knew it, the truck had a name, SilverFox. A solid fan base was starting to develop on Facebook, as well, generating comments and creating excitement. Mrs. Barber was among the followers.
C-10 BUILDER’S GUIDE
Popeye’s Rod Shop
Having enlisted the help of some local talent, Stafford took the truck to Popeye’s Rod Shop with instructions to lay it out over the massive billet rollers and ensure SilverFox had a one-of-a-kind engine bay and bed floor. As Cody Stout (aka Popeye) had a reputation for working with metal, it was a straightforward request. But soon after, the group received a call. Popeye explained that if he was going to make this a true one-off build, he wanted to ditch the factory frame in favor of a full custom one using mandrel-bent rails. Stafford agreed, as did James Barber Jr., and before anyone could POPEYE MADE A FULL CUSTOM FRAME USING ART MORRISON RAILS, AND DEVELOPED A NEW CHASSIS ALONG WITH A CUSTOM STEEL BALANCED DRIVESHAFT. say otherwise, SilverFox was getting built from the ground up.
Popeye built a full custom frame using Art Morrison rails and a Longshot Fabrication Builder series front cross member. Essentially, SilverFox was inheriting an entirely new skeleton, and with a new, strong frame, it could safely rest on a set of Air Lift 2,600-pound Dominator airbags working with Classic Performance Products 2-inch drop spindles and Longshot Fabrication custom arms. An AirLift Performance 3H air management system was added, and in the rear, Popeye fabbed a custom-built 6-link with Watts-link to keep the rearend in place. To handle stopping power, a Classic Performance Products (CPP) big brake kit was introduced to the vehicle, complete with a CPP Hyrdastop kit, chrome master cylinder and rear disc brake conversion. Of course, Popeye came through and tucked the 22×9- and 24×12-inch Raceline Hooligans (wrapped inside Toyo Proxes ST IIs) underneath his final product. Popeye also made the custom inner fenders, firewall and splashguards in the wheel wells. Under the Hood Underneath the new stock replacement hood from LMC Truck, several members of the team turned wrenches at various points. In the end, a rare LS 427 with a forged steel crankshaft, forged Mahle pistons and Blueprint Engines’ aluminum cylinder heads replaced the original block.
Painless Wiring chassis and engine wiring harness with VMS heat shields were installed by Stafford, Hilton and the Barbers—all diehard gearheads in their own right. As previously mentioned, the drivetrain was custom built, but now featured mid-length Sanderson headers and a 2.5-inch mandrel-bent Flowmaster exhaust system fabbed by Popeye, complete with dual Flowmater HP2s. To breathe cold air into SilverFox, a K&N cold air intake was installed, while a TCI transmission directed power down the line. With a solid new chassis and QA1 Motorsports shocks, Kody wouldn’t have to worry about his need for speed if he ever chose to waste away the Toyo Proxes ST IIs.
Back to the Body
Without having to get towed, SilverFox made its way over to Jeremy Pounds at Mo’s Paint and Body, where the team once again went to work, pulling long nights and burning through weekends. Now, the vision for the truck, which had been resting in Stafford’s mind and rendered by Brian Fields of Keg Media, was beginning to come to life. The straight body, two-tone paint job, shaved antenna, third brake light and stake pockets were all created at Mo’s Paint and Body by the hands of Pounds, Stafford and Joe Vincent. The gripping R-M Diamant Switchblade Silver and Fusion Grey Metallic paints were slathered on, bringing the primed body back to life with the class and confidence of a Southern gentleman. New handles and trim were added by Stafford and the team, in addition to LMC Truck front and rear bumpers.
Precision Parts sealed the build with new windows and weather-stripping. A stock replacement grille from LMC Truck was also installed in the front, but tying the look together was a carefully raised custom bed floor. If you climbed inside, you’d see a super-slick paint job on the inner walls and wheel tubs of the floor as well. Look Inside Now, the first thing anyone notices, beyond the custom cab floor, is the killer blood-red interior made by Lawrence Bergeron and Rudy of LB Upholstery. The red interior with red seat belts has become a trademark look of Stafford’s Garage, but the leatherwrapped factory replacement dash from LMC Truck truly made the interior unique. The seats were reshaped and covered with “V” emblems, and with Auto Custom Carpets rugs placed underneath the driver’s feet and a custom steering wheel from Raceline Wheels within reach, what else could anyone want?
The request was simple: “Just tell me where you want to go, grandma, because I have to get to SEMA soon.” Despite the clear speech and a rumbling, street- scraping beauty parked in front of her home, Mrs. Barber couldn’t decide if she wanted to go to church, dinner or just stand in her driveway. It was back, the SilverFox. What began as a humble request to see her husband’s prized vehicle restored, was now the product of 14 months of hard work and a truck of mild renown. Shoot, members from Precision Parts had requested that SilverFox grace their corner of SEMA to help attract the thousands of ogling automotive junkies and businessmen to their shop’s business. Before they took off to Vegas, however, Kody knew he had one stop to make. It was only fitting that Mrs. Barber would get to savor a joyride in the truck that had been the pride of her husband, the pride of her family, and now, had become the pride of Bogalusa.
• Assembled by Blueprint Engines, work performed by owners and Cody “Popeye” Stout
• R-M Fusion Grey Metallic-painted Blueprit Engines LS 427-ci with forged steel crankshaft (650 hp)
• K&N cold air intake
• Custom-built fuel tank
• Forged Mahle pistons
• 2.165 swirl polished intake valves
• 1.590 swirl polished exhaust valves
• Dual coil .650-inch lift valve springs
■ Proform polished aluminum valve covers
• Big Willie’s Garage fuel rail covers
• Vintage Air Frontrunner accessory drive
• Custom-built Moser 9-inch rearend
• Sanderson ceramiccoated mid-length headers
• 2.5-inch mandrel-bent Flowmaster exhaust tabbed by Popeye’s Rod Shop
• Dual Flowmaster HP2 mufflers
• Custom Flex-a-lite radiator with dual electric fans
• Painless Wiring chassis and engine wiring harnesses installed by Hilton Schillings and owners
• TCI custom-built transmission with 2,200-stall torque converter and transmission control module
• Lokar shift linkage
CHASSIS & SUSPENSION
■ Work performed by Popeye’s Rod Shop
• Custom-built chassis using Art Morrison mandrel-bent rails
• Longshot Fabrication front cross member and custom arms
• Classic Performance Parts 2-inch drop spindles
• CPP big brake kit with Hydrastop booster/ master cylinder
• Custom built 6-link with Watts-link
• Air Lift 2,600-pound Dominator front airbags
• Air Lift 2,600-pound Dominator rear airbags
• QAl billet adjustable shocks
• Airlift Performance 3H air management system
WHEELS & TIRES
• 22×9 with 5.25-inch backspacing in front, 24xl2 with 4-inch backspacing in rear polished and powdercoated Raceline Hooligans with VMS Racing stainless steel lug nuts
■ 265/35R22 front and 305/35R24 rear Toyo Proxes ST II
■ Work performed by Jeremy Pounds and Chris Stafford of Mo’s Paint and Body, Popeye’s Rod Shop, Joe Vincent
• Body drop
• Stock replacement hood from LMC Truck with Quiet Ride Solutions AcoustiHood
• Grant Kustoms custom cowl
• LMC Truck LED taillight
• Custom-built bed floor with access door by Popeye’s Rod Shop with paint/body and colormatched bed liner by Mo’s Paint & Body
• LMC Truck tucked the stock replacement front and rear bumpers closer to body
• LMC Truck roll pan
• LMC Truck stock replacement door handles and trim
• Shaved antenna, third brake light and stake – pockets by Mo’s Paint & Body
• Precision replacement parts windows and seals
• Custom-built bed floor and engine bay by Popeye’s Rod Shop
• LMC Truck H4 conversion headlights
• LMC Truck stock replacement grille
• R-M Diamont Switchblade Silver, Fusion Grey Metallic base and DC53335 Glamour Clear
• Pinstriping and twotone by Joe Vincent of Vincent Dezigns
INTERIOR & STEREO
• Red leather interior by LB Upholstery and stereo by Hilton Schillings and Chris Stafford
• Reshaped and covered factory seat with “V” emblems from Krist Kustoms
• LMC Truck leatherwrapped factory replacement dash Truck
• Custom Raceline Hooligan steering wheel
• Custom red seat belts
• Auto Custom Carpets carpet kit
• ldidit steering column with touch-and-go start
• Lokar billet handles
• Dakota Digital HDX series gauges
• Vintage Air retrofit AC
• LMC Truck RetroSound head unit
• Kicker 6 ½-inch speaker components
• Kicker l0-inch subwoofer
• Kicker five-channel amplifiers Silent Coat sound deadener Kinetic battery
SPECIAL THANKS FROM THE OWNER:
“Cody Stoute, Chris Stafford, Brian Fields, Alan Kirkfield, Jeremy Pounds, Stephen Corker, Joe Vincent, Gerald Cosse, Bob Grant, Doug Turnage, Hilton Schillings, Daniel Roach, Derek Churchyard, Jeff Gau, James Rachel, John O’Neil, Rory Griffith, Shane Craft and the wives, Beth (my wife) and Morgan (Chris’s Girlfriend), for not killing us during the project.”