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It May Be a Grouch, But It’s No Slouch!

JASON BOWMAN HAS BEEN DOING this whole truck thing for a while now—in fact, it’s what he does day in and day out at his shop Big 10 Garage and previously at Arclight Fab. As you can probably guess by his shop’s name, Jason especially digs working on C10s. Even more specifically, he loves laying them flat on the ground and putting big power behind them!

One of his personal builds is this ’69 C10 named Oscar, which he uses as both his guinea pig and his biggest marketing tool. When he first picked it up, it had a few sloppy layers of white primer sprayed all over it, which didn’t really do the truck any favors in the looks department. Jason doused the cab and bed with lacquer thinner to remove every bit of primer, revealing the original (yet very worn) Yellow Green finish underneath. It just looked too awesome to mess with any further, so he decided to leave the rest of the body alone.

Wait—no he didn’t. We forgot to mention that the truck was also a longbed, which just isn’t Jason’s style. He carefully and meticulously sectioned a few inches out of the front and rear of the bed, then welded it back up into its new, sportier size without disturbing the truck’s natural patina.

Jason doused the cab and bed with lacquer thinner to remove every bit of primer, revealing the original (yet very worn) Yellow Green finish underneath. It just looked too awesome to mess with any further, so he decided to leave the rest of the body alone.

Of course, that meant that the frame and wheelbase were now too long, but instead of shortening the frame behind the cab, he decided to lop it off and build a custom frame section from scratch. This, along with a custom rear link setup, some crossmember mods up front and the appropriate airbags all around brought the C10 down to a much more respectable level. An AccuAir e-Level air management system works in tandem with a big ol’ Oasis compressor to quickly bring the truck up to driving height when Jason heads off to work or on a cruise.

As a lot of you know, the steering situation on these trucks can get complicated when going extra low, so Jason adapted an SN95 Ford Mustang steering rack to simplify things and avoid a jungle gym of rod ends and steering shafts. Another example of Jason keeping things simple is the set of 22×9 GM transit wheels, which are cost-effective while giving an updated but classic smoothie look.

ALTHOUGH THE ACCUAIR CONTROLLER IS A DEAD GIVEAWAY THAT JASON’S C10 HAS SOME 21ST CENTURY TECHNOLOGY IN IT, THE DAKOTA DIGITAL RTX GAUGES AND VINTAGE AIR CLIMATE CONTROL ARE DEFINITELY MORE SUBTLE.

And while the finished exterior of the truck looks bitchin’, it doesn’t give much of a hint as to what’s under the hood. We could see anything from a 250-CID inline six to a blown big block looking right at home in Jason’s truck, and there’s really no wrong choice to be made here. Still, we were giddy to see that he went with an LY6 LS-based engine out of a 2008 GM truck, and backed it up with a Tremec T56 6-speed out of a 2005 Caddy CTS-V that uses an upgraded Textralia six-puck race clutch. The 6.0L engine was already a beast from the factory, but that wasn’t enough for Jason, who decided to boost the crap out of it with a Precision 7675 LS-series turbo. The setup, which was fabbed up by Jason, includes custom-built headers and 4-inch exhaust piping, while the engine itself received a secret-spec cam from Competition Cams, Comp Cams 921 dual valve springs, a high-rise Holley Hi-Ram intake manifold and 1000cc injectors from Fuel Injection Connection. All told, this combination is good for almost 700 horsepower to the wheels at 14psi using the stock bottom end.

YEAH, THAT 6.0L LS IS JUST ABOUT PERFECT, WOULDN’T YOU SAY? PAY NO MIND TO THE RUSTY BRAKE MASTER CYLINDER—THIS OL’ GROUCH STOPS JUST FINE WITH ITS MANUAL FRONT DISCS AND REAR DRUMS.

Now that you’ve seen the engine compartment, it won’t be too much of a shock to find that Jason has put just as much detail into the interior. Fresh carpet, a GM Comfort Grip steering wheel, and some repro “buddy buckets” from Slosh Tubz (which were upholstered by Brent at Sculpt Garage) keep things comfortable and maintain the late ’60s vibe, although the custom shifter definitely let you know that something’s up on the other side of that firewall.

Jason plans to keep working on the truck and says that he will be adding Wilwood brakes, and he may even put some fresh GM Yellow Green paint on it in the future. We know that he hits all of the major truck shows, so be on the lookout for a new and improved Oscar soon!

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