When Good Just Isn’t Good Enough
Recording the amount of time that goes into a build can be a good way of gauging how much work has been invested. Strictly going by billable hours isn’t exactly what we mean, however, because more than likely, you’d be building your way right into the poorhouse in a matter of months with a truck like the one featured here. For people who are able to do their own work, or can trade labor with others, the time invested in a build means much more than an hourly rate. Hours can turn into days in the blink of an eye, but just so everyone’s on the same page, we’ll stick to 60-minute units of measurement.
Roughly 3,000 hours during the course of three years were sunk into Jeff “Speedy” Baumann’s ’67 C-10. That’s 125 solid days of round-the-clock progress. One thousand six hundred plus additional hours (on top of the 3,000) were invested inside the cab alone. We could break down this entire build into some migraine-inducing calculus equation to get more insight into the process, or we can take a more personable approach and meet the man behind this nearly flawless Chevy specimen instead.
“He’s been through the VW Bug stage and into the mini-truck era, and he has since turned his love of customizing vehicles into his profession.”
Jeff has been into custom cars and trucks since he was in high school—so, more than 20 years. He’s been through the VW Bug stage and into the mini-truck era, and he has since turned his love of customizing vehicles into his profession. He has assumed the pressure that comes with transforming other people’s personal projects into showpieces that travel the country to events. He’s always been into customization, but in the last few years Jeff has aimed to share the spotlight that shines on builders he’s looked up to throughout his years of study. “Building cars and trucks that have done well at shows and that have been featured in magazines is rewarding, but the time to create something new just for me finally presented itself,” Jeff says.
This C-10 here was a birthday gift from his wife. “It was in pretty rough shape,” Jeff admits. “It was a farm truck from Idaho and had lots of normal rust spots in the floor, rockers, drip rails, etc., but I knew exactly what was needed to get it into show-winning condition.” At this point, Jeff was just about to make a transition to become a full-time employee at Nostalgia Hot Rods (NHR) of Las Vegas. He was previously working at another shop across town, but things quickly changed after he met NHR’s owner and operator, Dustin “Bud” Hacker.
“I met Dustin about six years prior at another body shop I was working at. He would come into the shop with different hot rods and all sorts of custom cars and trucks he was working on for his customers. He had just started Nostalgia Hot Rods, and it seemed like he was taking on and handling a lot of jobs on his own. I went over to his shop to see if he needed any help to get up and going, and I’ve been Dustin’s right hand ever since.”
Of course, the more vehicles out there stamped with the NHR seal of approval, the better for the brand name. Jeff’s C-10 was already in the works when he met Dustin, and since he acknowledged that it was headed in the right direction, the guys proceeded to make the truck an official shop build. It was at the NHR compound where the Chevy really started taking shape. Jeff and Dustin were able to collaborate and bounce ideas off of each other in real time. Aside from the styling cues the two were cooking up in the shop, Jeff had always looked to his favorite builders for inspiration. “I’ve always been a fan of guys like Chip Foose, Troy Trepanier and Dave Kindig. I try to look at their projects that I like and ask myself how I could do things better or different to suit my personal preferences.”
Jeff and Dustin ended up with a plan for an asphalt-hugging suspension system featuring a custom frame that would soon be decked out with top-end accessories from CPP, RideTech, Firestone and Wilwood, just to name a few. With a solid foundation to build upon, the C-10 would then be ready to receive the magic needed to turn the old rust bucket into a regular shining star.
Jeff had begun the process of ridding the body of any unnecessary parts or contours that didn’t play along with the exact image he had in mind. The cowl induction hood, smoothed front bumper and entire rearend play a pivotal role in forming the streamlined silhouette Jeff had envisioned for a long time. Details like the flush-mounted front and rear glass also give the truck a certain look that a great deal of onlookers might not be able to call out specifically, although even the casual observer recognizes that something different is going on with the truck’s unique styling.
Considering those items, along with a custom raised bed floor and time spent in paint (including the coated chassis), there are a whole bunch of work hours invested under the hood. The inner fenders, firewall and detail work that went into creating such a clean engine compartment—not even taking into account the complete build of the decked out small-block—is pretty staggering. It begins to make sense when you consider where those 3,000 hours we mentioned earlier were spent. The crazy part comes when you remember the additional 1,600 hours represented in the cab alone. HRH Designs created custom bucket seats, mapped out a custom dashboard, and then totally jumped into the deep end. Imported Scottish leather seems to have taken over the entire cab. It wraps the custom center console, door panels, dash and the cushy seats. The material selection and craftsmanship are definitely on par with any luxury vehicle known. The interior space really helps place Jeff’s truck on a higher pedestal than most. It really is that special.
In three years’ time, Jeff and the NHR team called this project complete, and they’ve started planning its victory lap tour this year. Jeff might not have expected the truck to end up at this caliber initially, but ultimately, he’s not surprised that it did. He and Dustin used every available resource (as they do with all NHR builds) to not only get the job done, but to set it apart from all other trucks on the road.
“Now that we’re done with this one, look for it at local Vegas events and on tour at Goodguys shows across the West Coast,” Jeff says. The guys designed this Chevy to be different and invested the time to build it. If given the opportunity to see it up close, you’d be wise to seize the day and take a moment to appreciate something that took so long to produce.
“If given the opportunity to see it up close, you’d be wise to seize the day and take a moment to appreciate something that took so long
Jeff ‘Speedy” Baumann
1967 Chevy C-10
Las Vegas, NV
Shop: Las Vegas Machine, Hughes Performance
SBC 400 punched out to a 434
609 hp, 581 lbs-ft torque
2016 GM Turbo 350 auto transmission
Hughes Performance shift kit and driveshaft
COMP camshaft, lifters, pushrods, rockers and guides
Eagle connecting rods
Melling oil pump
Meziere water pump
Air Flow Research aluminum cylinder heads
GM high-rise aluminum valve covers
Be Cool radiator
Energy Suspension motor mounts
Edelbrock intake manifold
Holley 750-hp carb
Vibrant Performance 4-inch exhaust tubing
SPAL cooling fans
Billet Specialties drive accessory
Russell Performance braided hoses
Chassis & Suspension
Shop: Nostalgia Hot Rods, Jeff Baumann
GM suspension geometry
RideTech tubular control arms
CPP 2 ½-inch drop spindles
RideTech front shocks, FOA rear shocks
Rear triangulated 4-link
.250 wall 2×4 frame tube
Chevrolet rearend narrowed 9 inches
Wilwood six-piston calipers front, four-piston calipers rear
Cross-drilled and slotted rotors
Wilwood master cylinder
Wheels & Tires
20×8.5 and 22×12 Budnik Sweepers polished wheels
275/35/20 and 305/40/22 BFG tires
Body & Paint
Shop: Nostalgia Hot Rods, Sin City Paint
House of Kolor Pavo Purple and Orion Silver
Flat Cement gray pinstriping
Smoothed front bumper
One-piece tailgate, roll pan molded to bed
Shaved door handles, emblems and taillights
Harley-Davidson gas filler
Flush-mounted windshield and rear window
Interior & Stereo
Shop: Darren of HRH Designs
Custom bucket seats
Imported Scottish leather
Budnik steering wheel
Billet Autoloc switches
Auto Meter gauges
Hidden electric poppers
Samsung tablet custom mounted in console
Kenwood head unit
MB Quartz speakers, subwoofer, amplifiers and processor
Dynamat sound deadener
Special Thanks From the Owner: “Thank you to my loving wife for her support and for putting up with many late nights and overnighters while I traveled to shows. Most importantly, thank you to Dustin at Nostalgia Hot Rods for making my dreams a reality.”