EVER HEARD of the 10,000- hour theory? The basic concept asserts that if you put 10,000 hours into a task, you’ll become an expert at it.
Scotty V Nadeau of Mesa, Arizona, put in his 10,000 hours a long time ago. He’s spent years working on and customizing 1967-72 Chevrolet trucks, and since he’s worked on them for so long, he knows the body style better than most. But in all that time, he’s never brought what he felt was the ultimate 1967-72 to life. Why? Time, money, the perfect base truck—all of those things were factors at one point or another—but when the stars aligned in the mid-2000s, he was ready, and that’s when he started on the FIFTY/50 project.
The truck is a ’67 C-10 standard cab short-bed that he found in Auto Trader. It was ’bagged at the time, and even though it wasn’t in the best shape, finding these trucks was getting increasingly difficult. After all, 1967 is considered by some to be the most desirable year of all the body styles, and with the exception of a few outliers here and there, the short beds are also higher up on the priority scale. Finding this diamond in the rough at a price he could afford was amazing, so Scotty scooped it up.
As a seasoned builder, you’d think that Scotty would’ve torn into it himself, and normally you’d be correct. But at the time, even though he had the money to work on the truck, his space was limited. He hooked up with a local shop and the build began.
One year and a lot of cash later, he had a disassembled truck and no progress, so he pulled it from the shop and decided that he needed to take things into his own hands and do the bulk of the work himself. That was the plan, and then 2008 happened.
As we all know too well, the economic collapse of 2008 sucked the money right out of a lot of people’s pocketbooks. Scotty wanted to make sure that he survived the downturn, so he put FIFTY/50 on hold. For three years the truck sat with only a few minor things being done to it here and there. In the meantime, he got his workspace situation sorted out, and once things felt right, he got cranking away again on the truck.
Let’s step back for a second and assess what Scotty was trying to do. For him, the goal was to build a truck that was a little bit custom with some refinements that the factory would likely have added—if it could have—in the late ’60s. Gaps would be tightened, the handling would be improved substantially and little details would be tweaked until the truck was nothing short of perfect. On top of all that, he wanted it to appeal to men and women from a wide range of age groups. As he puts it, he wanted it to look like a “three-piece Armani suit with a bit of Bonnie and Clyde attitude.” The goal was not only to take home trophies, but also set a new standard for this body style. Oh, and he was doing most of the work himself in a home-built shop. No pressure or anything.
The results speak for themselves, and the truck is packed with details that even accomplished builders might not notice. For example, the squirters on the cowl are shaved, but the cowl still looks stock. The gaps on all of the panels were tightened according to plan, and one-off hood hinges and supports were machined due to Scotty’s efforts to get those ugly springs out of the way. Even the Rock Valley stainless steel fuel tank was customized to his specs: The slopes on the bottom of the cell match those on the bedsides. All told, there are more than 50 modifications to the body of this truck, but most people would have a hard time finding them all. Combine that with a stellar interior and a suspension that’s above and beyond the competition, and you’ve got a truck that’s ready to take home some awards. That’s exactly what it’s done so far, garnering two Goodguys Top Ten Builder’s Choice awards.
As they say, the grind never stops, and Scotty still has more trucks that he wants to build. Right now he has a ’71 long-bed at his house that will soon be a good allaround truck that he can drive around with his dog riding shotgun, plus a ’69 short-bed that’s pretty special. It’s a 396 big-block with every factory option and it’s in spectacular shape. Whatever he does next, it’s going to be hard to top the FIFTY/50, but if anybody can do it, Scotty can. After everything that he’s invested, what’s another 10,000 hours?