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IRON MAN | A Family Owned ’63 C-10

A Solid Hand-Me-Down

At first glance, the colors of this C-10 harken back to the Marvel comic book hero Iron Man with the strategic use of red and gold paint. While that’s what the Chevy’s owner, Joe Oritz, may have been going for stylistically with the classy color combination, deep down there’s more than meets the eye with this truck.

THE LS ENGINE, ALONG WITH A MIXTURE OF OTHER HIGH-QUALITY COMPONENTS, HAS HELPED TURN THE ENGINE BAY INTO A VISUAL FEAST FOR THE EYES.

INSIDE THE CAB, THE DEMENTED CUSTOMS CREW KEPT THINGS SIMPLE WITH A PAINTED DASH, ONE-OFF DAKOTA DIGITAL GAUGES AND A CHOICE SELECTION OF BILLET ACCESSORIES.

There are certain items you might remember seeing around your grandparent’s house that bring back memories of a simpler time. Some may think back to grandma’s plastic-covered floral-print couch, or they might recall some of the weird stuff gramps collected during his travels. It doesn’t really matter too much what the object is, there’s always something you remember fondly or wish you could take home and keep for yourself. Luckily for Joe, the piece of his grandfather he was able to snag was this ’63 C-10.

“This story is as good as it gets. it’s always exceptional when sentimental value outshines Bluebook value. Last year marked the moment when Joe decided to get to work on the old Chevy.”

“This truck has been in the family since ’63,” Joe says. “My grandfather bought it brand new then and has held onto it ever since. For years it sat under a carport in Tucumcari, New Mexico.” This story is as good as it gets. It’s always exceptional when sentimental value outshines Bluebook value. Last year marked the moment when Joe decided to get to work on the old Chevy. He wasn’t sure how long the truck had been left to bake in the sun, but he was positive that the time to act was now.

WHILE THE C-10’S FRONT FEATURES ORIGINAL STOCK COMPONENTS, THE CONTRASTING HOUSE OF KOLOR ZENITH GOLD FEATURED ON THE GRILLE AND BUMPER GIVES IT A REGAL APPEARANCE.

Although Joe wanted to turn the wrenches on his grandpa’s truck himself, he decided it was better to entrust the job to restoration and customization professionals. Joe has spent most of his life in New Mexico and wanted to go with a local builder he could trust, but he was scheduled to leave town for an extended period and time was short. “I’m in the Air Force, and I was about to deploy to Japan when I finally heard back from James Torrez at Demented Customs, in Hobbs, New Mexico. I had seen him on TV and was impressed by the work he was doing on other custom vehicles. I was very lucky to have found him in time.”

 

Throughout the years, James has been pumping out some amazing builds for very high-profile clients. A majority of his clientele are professional athletes and notables in other fields, but what James knows best, aside from turning regular cars and trucks into works of art, is family. James works alongside his three sons, Jaime, CJ and Paul, at the shop, and together they build cars for the real workingman as well as for hard-hitting football players. “I always dreamed of driving my grandpa’s truck when I was a kid,” Joe says. “It was a good feeling to start what would soon make that finally happen all these years later.”

RACELINE SCOUNDREL WHEELS OFFER A MODERN TWIST ON A CLASSIC FIVE-SPOKE DESIGN.

The truck was delivered to the Demented Customs compound where James sized up the job. The truck was in fair condition considering its age, and since Joe was interested in modernizing it as much as possible, a large portion of it was going to be blasted apart and built back up from scratch. James and his boys are used to jobs like this, and they work well with tight timelines. “When I was at the shop with James, I asked him about the chances of being able to debut the truck at SEMA ’17, since it has also been a dream of mine …” Joe admits. “The experience of having it there at the show would be amazing, but the guys would’ve only had 11 weeks to work with in order to have it done in time. I knew it sounded like I was asking a lot from them, but it was worth a shot.”

THE SEATS FROM PROCAR OFFER BOTH COMFORT AND STYLE FOR AN UNFORGETTABLY PLUSH DRIVING EXPERIENCE.

James understood that this build was of the utmost importance for Joe, and he knew he had enough time to make a SEMA debut happen, but he was unsure if there were any open spots since the show was less than three months away. After making some calls and firing off a few emails, James locked down prime space in Magnaflow’s booth. With the reservation booked, the next toughest part was to plan for a steady influx of parts to keep up with the workflow. There was no time to lose, and every single day had to count. James got a solid plan together and started placing orders for parts.

THE UNDERSIDE OF THE TRUCK HAS BEEN GIVEN JUST AS MUCH ATTENTION AS THE PORTIONS THAT ARE READILY VISIBLE. QUALITY SUSPENSION PRODUCTS PLAY A HUGE PART IN THE TRUCK’S EXCELLENT RIDE QUALITY.

The guys wanted to keep the truck streamlined, yet full of custom cues, in other words, impressively understated. To start, James settled on a suspension system built around TCI control arms and a rear torque arm setup. With Ridetech coil-overs thrown into the mix, the C-10’s stride was set to deliver more high-stepping agility than ever before. With large diameter Raceline billets and two-tone paint from House of Kolor making an appearance, trying to keep pace with the truck’s exterior transformation proved increasingly tough for the Demented crew. The guys planned to keep things simple, but it took a whole lot of work to keep the truck looking that way. The cab features the most concentrated area of bells and whistles because it’s been filled with comfortable and stylish seats, a heap of Kicker audio goods, billet accessories and painted dash and door panels. The engine compartment may house the most excitement, however, with a neatly planted LS engine that symbolizes the dream of the truck’s new owner who’s wanted nothing more than to drive the truck for as far back as he can remember. Quite a bit happened in those 11 weeks—that’s for sure.

“I couldn’t believe the guys were able to pull off what had been a fantasy of mine for so long,” Joe says about the truck’s outcome. “James and his sons are talented, there’s no arguing that, but the deadline they were up against was as tight as could be, and they still were able to make it all take shape.”

Gramps would sure be proud of what has become of his old beater. Now Joe will have something to pass down to his sons when the time comes. Maybe another iteration is in store for the Chevy in the far off, distant future, or maybe it will be preserved just how it looks now. It’s too early to guess, but Joe will certainly cherish the truck he has now.

TRUCK SPECS

OWNER

Joe Ortiz
1963 Chevy C-10
Hobbs, NM 

ENGINE

 CHASSIS & SUSPENSION

  • Shop: Demented Customs
  • TCI tubular control arms and front cross member
  • Wilwood spindles
  • Ridetech coil-overs
  • Rear TCI torque arm setup and notch braces
  • Wilwood brakes, booster and master cylinder
  • Currie Posi rearend
  • Custom fuel cell from Rick’s Tanks

WHEELS & TIRES

BODY & PAINT

  • Shop: Demented Customs
  • House of Kolor Apple Red mixed with Burgundy and Brandywine candy paint with Zenith Gold for the cab and accessories
  • Stock hood, bumper, grille and front fenders
  • Rear roll pan
  • LMC Truck wood bed
  • Widened stock rear wheel wells to fit 22×12 wheels and maintain factory appearance
  • Gas filler shaved
  • Auto City Classic windows
  • Halo projector headlights

INTERIOR & STEREO

  • Shop: Demented Customs
  • Procar by Scat vinyl seats
  • Custom console
  • Painted dashboard
  • Wood-grain and billet steering wheel
  • LMC Truck hook-and-loop carpet
  • Dakota Digital custom one-off HDX series gauges
  • Lokar polished handles
  • Old Air AC and heater
  • RetroSound head unit from LMC Truck
  • Kicker 6.75 KS series and RT shallow-mount subs, KX series amps
  • Dynamat sound deadener
  • Interstate battery

Special Thanks From the Owner: “Thank you to James, Jamie, CJ and Paul Torrez from Demented Customs who built the truck in-house, my wife, Maria, for her support, and to all sponsors who believed in the project, especially Magnaflow for featuring the truck in their SEMA 2017 booth.”

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