A LOT OF SHOPS BUILD CUSTOM VEHICLES TO SERVE AS A ROLLING BUSINESS CARD— AN ADVERTISEMENT FOR THE TYPE AND QUALITY OF WORK CAPABLE OF BEING DONE. VanNatta Fabrication of Sedalia, Missouri, has built its latest ’69 C10 with this idea in mind. But instead of the truck solely representing the quality of craftsmanship the shop provides, it also acts as a menu of sorts of custom products it fabricates and stocks for the C10 platform.
It’s been a lot of work and trial-by-error testing, but it’s something that Jason VanNatta has been striving to achieve, and now he has it with his latest truck build finished. Spreading his own brand of the C10 gospel has been his sole mission since its completion.
Trucks aren’t the only type of vehicle that VanNatta Fab caters to, although the C10 market has proven to be the company’s top seller among products it makes and sells, which includes parts for muscle car and other model pickups. When building his ’69 Chevy, Jason made it a point to carry the products he used in the project, which were sourced from smaller specialty builders and larger-scale manufacturers alike. The final result has turned into a great point of involvement for show-goers when he takes the truck to set up at the many shows he has been attending lately.
“The response to the C10 has been great so far, and it gives other builders the opportunity to look at the truck and ask us questions about how we did certain things to it and why,” Jason says. “They can see it, and figure out what we can help them with, whether it be custom fabrication, parts that we make ourselves or product from other brands that we carry.”
Before Jason was able to take part in any of the perks that come with showing a completed truck of this caliber, he went through nearly five years of work, including a full demo, tons of research and countless hours of labor, to get the C10 to where it is now.
“I didn’t realize the overall poor condition of the truck when I first bought it,” Jason says. “There was a mocked-up pipe acting as a trans crossmember, lots of funky wiring and plumbing and other things that just made scrapping the entire chassis for an untouched ’68 frame much easier to work with.”
With a clean slate to build from, the guys at VanNatta got to work altering the frame with their own rear monster notch and a 1.5-inch Z to the front. To get the correct ride height and function Jason was after, they chose a set of Slam Specialties ‘bags were chosen, as well as Fox 2.0 race shocks, Porterbuilt control arms, a Hotchkiss frame stabilizer and a rear triangulated four-link for good measure. The overall objective was to get the truck down low yet allow it to have the ability to hop on an autocross course. With a set of Wilwood brakes, Forgeline wheels and quality tires just begging to get smoked, the crew was off to a very promising start.
The truck’s original frame wasn’t the only thing to find its way into the scrap pile, as many of the aftermarket add-ons that came with the truck when Jason bought it were sold off to help fund the rebuild. Even the original bed and bumpers were cast away for a fresh new start that would eventually draw inspiration from unlikely sources.
“With the original front bumper gone and a Modshop Metalworkz roll pan attached, the front of the truck was higher than the sides, and I wanted the bottom of the truck to sit on the same plane at all angles,” Jason says. “I kept looking at a ’67 Camaro spoiler I had lying around, so I clamped it to the bottom of the roll pan, and it had the perfect race truck look.”
To get the spoiler to translate better, Jason transferred the dimensions to metal, extended it about 18 inches longer and shortened it by an inch or so, and the C10 was soon equipped with an ideal front spoiler. Just like that, VanNatta had a new part in regular production, which was soon followed by a rear spoiler for the truck (which is also available on the shop’s site).
The truck’s exterior has obviously received a lot more work than the spoilers. As great as the killer bodywork and paint turned out, the hardest part of the entire project for him is stashed away in plain view inside of the cab.
“I get a lot of compliments on the dash,” Jason says. “A lot of time and patience went into it, and I had to stop where I was with it a couple of times only to start all over again to get it right. I spent every night on it for weeks. Because it’s so curvy to begin with, it was hard to get my measurements precise from point A to B.”
Drawing a picture of the target result was the best way to keep the image constant and true until Jason was able to pin it down.
Aside from the incredible dash, the rest of the interior is also just as impressive. From the TMI seats, door panels and headliner to the one-off center console, color matched carpet and other top shelf accessories, the inside of the cab has been decked out rather lavishly. The audio system even features VanNatta’s own production kick panels, which help add more sound to the C10’s single cab.
At this point, you may be wondering what other parts on the VanNatta C10 can be purchased to use on your own truck. Well, the ’67-’72 pro touring engine bay kit is an impressive package that can be ordered, which would make a huge difference in your own truck. Just check out how it frames the LS in Jason’s truck—it all fits together seamlessly, especially when added with the company’s firewall kit. We’re telling you—there is some sort of subliminal shopping experience that occurs when closely analyzing this truck, but perhaps that is by design. Seriously though, take a minute of your day to check out all the parts VanNatta Fab creates especially for the C10 market. You’ll be amazed at all the parts and detail pieces you won’t have to stress out over when working on your own truck.
That’s what this build is really all about. Jason and his crew took the time to document every modification they were doing that could be duplicated for parts production. This extra effort now allows other builders of the same-era trucks to have a source to turn to when piecing their own projects together, and that’s what makes this type of build so great. If you especially like something about the build, you can more than likely include it into your own truck—except the dash. You’ll have to contact Jason directly and see if he’s up to making another one.
Are you itching to check this truck out to see what all the fuss is about? Track Jason and the rest of the VanNatta crew, as they will be making stops at shows all over the map for the remainder of the year. He’ll be there to answer any questions and assist with any type of planning ideas you may have for your own ride. Pssst…on the down low though, ask him about recreating that dash and let us know what he comes back with. We’re just as curious as you are.
1969 Chevy C10
- Shop: Rebuilt by Carlos Astros, top end by owner
- 2001 LS V-8
- Balanced and blueprinted
- Eagle H Beam connecting rods, rings and pistons
- 408 Stroker crank
- Texas Speed Torquer V4 camshaft
- FAST LSXR intake manifold
- Doug’s Headers
- Custom 2.5-inch exhaust system
- 2001 Tremec T56 transmission by Chris Noble
- Shifter relocation kit
- Bronze bushings, billet shifter keys, LS2 clutch
CHASSIS & SUSPENSION
- Shop: VanNatta Fabrication (Jason VanNatta)
- 1968 Chevy C10 frame Z’d 1.5 inches, monster notched, shaved and painted
- Porterbuilt control arms
- Slam Specialties RE7 front and rear ‘bags
- Fox 2.0 rear shocks
- Triangulated rear 4-link fabricated by owner
- Hotchkiss stabilizer
- Ford 8.8 rear drive axle, 4:10 gears
- Wilwood 14-inch front and rear brake kits and master cylinder
WHEELS & TIRES
- 20×9.5 and 20×11.5 Forgeline DE3C-S wheels
- 265/35/20 Nitto and 305/30/20 Pirelli rear tires
BODY & PAINT
- Shop: VanNatta Fabrication (Jason VanNatta)
- Axalta single stage Torch Red
- Factory grille
- Modshop Metalworkz roll pans
- VanNatta custom inner fenders
- AVS LED lights
- Custom hood, shaved drip rail and stake pockets, flattened roof
INTERIOR & STEREO
- Shop: TMI & VanNatta Fabrication
- TMI Pro VXR seats, red/ charcoal vinyl
- Dakota Digital VHX gauges
- Billet Specialties steering wheel
- Pioneer DMH-1500 head unit
- Custom dash built, custom kick panels by VanNatta Fabrication