Oscar Leon’s Stoopid Clean ’62 C10
The “SEMA Crunch”—you hear about it every year, but it really is a thing. With a set deadline in early November, builders around the country are forced to have their project builds completed and buttoned up somewhere around Halloween to ensure timely delivery to the big show in Las Vegas.
Oscar Leon found himself in the deep end while getting his C10 ready to debut at the 2018 SEMA show, and experienced for himself the excruciating pressure of the “crunch.”
“Up to this point, I’ve always helped others with their builds, and never needed to rely on help from others,” Oscar says. “It’s a humbling experience.”
“Many hands contributed to this build. I had help from close friends, my brother and his friends LOLO and Peyton, and my sister was cool enough to go on countless beer runs for us.”
— Oscar Leon
Luckily, he didn’t find himself alone in the trenches. Oscar is more than capable in the garage, but to build a truck like the one he set out to create, he had to lean on a solid supporting cast to whip his old Chevy pickup into shape. The truck has humble beginnings and has an encouraging story of friendship and camaraderie to tell.
“Many hands contributed to this build,” Oscar says. “I had help from close friends, my brother and his friends LOLO and Peyton, and my sister was cool enough to go on countless beer runs for us.”
Even though that all sounds like a good time, there was still that deadline hanging over Oscar’s head. This was his first go at signing his name to a high profile SEMA project, so not a day went by where he felt relief from the ever-present stinging pressure.
Oscar has had his hands in projects ranging from lowriders to trophy trucks, maintenance to engine building and sheetmetal to structural work, but this C10 never ceased to keep him alert and expecting the unexpected at almost every turn.
“I originally bought the truck from a guy in Thousand Oaks, California, for $1,700,” Oscar recalls. “The poor guy’s pregnant wife was forcing him to get rid of it, and the truck looked to be in decent shape. It was a cool looking copper color, had a straight body and very minimal rust—or so I thought.”
Before Oscar would get a realistic look at the truck’s actual condition, he had the truck sitting in a friend’s backyard for a brief period before disassembling it.
“At this point, I still had no idea what I was shooting for,” Oscar says. “All I knew is that I wanted a ‘bagged truck, and to be able to attend the Brothers truck show, and possibly Dino’s Git-Down at some point down the road.”
As the truck was stripped down as far as Oscar needed it to be, he started to see that the truck was not in as good of shape as he first assessed.
“The truck does have a ton of very subtle, classy modifications, some of which may go underappreciated by those not all too familiar with how much work it takes to bring an old American work truck to this caliber of a show vehicle.”
“As the endless rust repair continued, the morale and motivation began to decline,” he says. “Even after completing the fabrication work with some help from Josh Freeman, and dropping the truck off at Ikandy Paintworks, it wasn’t until Frank Rechlin of Ikandy posted a walk-around video on Instagram showing the assembled and painted truck. That really changed my outlook on the whole build process, and that a completed truck was finally starting to become a reality.”
It was that boost in confidence that rekindled Oscar’s drive to start cranking on the motor work and suspension aspects of the truck. A GM Performance Gen 6 502 BBC now serves as the C10’s power plant, and it has been decked out with a ton of performance upgrades to really take full advantage of its natural prowess. A ’65 C10 frame was used as the nucleus of the suspension setup. Oscar, along with his brother Christian and their pal Wes Brewer affixed front and rear Choppin’ Block suspension kits, and selected Slam Specialties ‘bags, dual Viair compressors, QA1 shocks and Accuair e-Level air management to achieve a killer ride and park height while still maintaining a pleasurable ride quality.
While Oscar did get his Fireshot C10 done in time to debut to the entire automotive aftermarket, as well as the entire car/truck-loving world, he does have his reservations about the final outcome.
“In the end, I wish I had more time,” he says. “SEMA’s tight deadline didn’t allow enjoyment of final assembly, and it kind of hindered me from expressing fine detail in the build. Also, if you’re in the process of starting a build, and think you have enough money to get it all done—think again!”
It’s always a tough call when it comes down to the big show. This isn’t an uncommon reaction from builders after debuting their project at SEMA, but we have to go out on a limb and say that Oscar’s C10 turned out to be an absolute stunner. The truck does have a ton of very subtle, classy modifications, some of which may go underappreciated by those not all too familiar with how much work it takes to bring an old American work truck to this caliber of a show vehicle.
If you didn’t have a chance to see the Fireshot C10 in person at SEMA, don’t fret! Oscar plans on taking the truck out to shows in 2019. This is a truck that deserves to be seen up close in order to take in all the tricks and tweaks that make this Chevy one of the cleanest ones out there.
1962 Chevy C10
- Shop: Oscar and Christian Leon, Esteban Macias @ MP Transmissions, Santa Fe Springs, CA
- GM Performance GEN6 502 BBC V-8
- MP Transmissions Stage 2 4L80E
- Choppin’ Block engine mounts and transmission crossmember
- Comps camshafts, roller rockers, valve springs
- Ported and polished heads
- Manley Performance Race Master valves
- Edelbrock intake manifold
- Fitech Go Port EFI fuel injection
- Sanderson BB8 1 7/8-inch headers
- Borla 3-inch exhaust
- MSD Pro Billet ignition
- Color-matched March Performance serp belts, billet power steering pump
- Mechman high-amp alternator
- CFR Performance valve covers and air cleaner
- Redhorse Performance fittings
- TCI EZ-TCU transmission controller
- Gennie shifter
- Custom length 3-inch two-piece driveline by Ray at OC Driveline using 1350 joints
- Currie 9-inch rearend and axles
- Speedmaster third member
CHASSIS & SUSPENSION
- Shop: Oscar and Christian Leon, Wes Brewer
- ’65 Chevy C10 frame
- Front and rear Choppin’ Block kits
- Slam Specialties SS-7 ‘bags
- QA1 TS704 shocks
- Dual Viair compressors
- Accuair e-Level air management
- Choppin’ Block custom bodydrop mounts, front/rear swaybars, fuel cell
- CPP 14-inch big brake kit
- Dual Tilton master cylinders
- Wilwood dual master pedal assembly
WHEELS & TIRES
- 24×9 and 24×15 Intro Vintage wheels
- Pirelli P-Zero tires
BODY & PAINT
- IKandy Paintworks, Peoria, AZ
- BASF Toner Red paint
- Shaved OEM bumpers
- ’63 C10 grille
- Custom wheelwells, sheetmetal work and raised bed floor by Josh Freeman
- United Pacific LED lighting
- Shaved hood, fender and bed seams
- Grant Kustoms shaved wiper cowl and roll pan
- Color matched Raptor liner
INTERIOR & STEREO
- TMI Sport VXR vinyl and suede seating
- Dakota Digital HDX-60C-PU gauges
- Forever Sharp billet muscle half-wrap steering wheel
- Pioneer single-DIN head unit
- 6.5 Kicker Q-Series kick panel and three Q-Series L7 subs by MG Audio Design
Special Thanks From the Owner: “This build would not be possible without the love and support from all my friends and family. Christian Leon and Wesley Brewer crunched hard even when I had to go to work. Special thanks to Betty Leon, mom, dad, Josh Freeman, Payton Duran, Wayne ‘Wayniac’ Smith, Travis Burns, Esteban and Ernie Macias and the crew at MP Transmissions, Jimmy Halpin, Jeff and ‘Kelly Bundy’ Grijalva, Adrian Magallon, Ted Foster, Kyle Troutloff, John Erickson, Tony and Angel Villegas, Jeremy Rice, Select Glass, Precision Replacement Parts, C10 Club, Andy Ontiveros, ‘Jake The Snake,’ Henry Vargas, Joey Brewer, Jerry Pope, Jason Polin, ‘Tetas’ and Slightly Stoopid, Fortunate Youth and Stick Figure for the background tunes!”