LIFE IS A CRAZY THING. Even though you may think you’re doing it all right, you just never know when it’s going to slap you upside the head and turn you any direction other than the one you were already headed. Sometimes things work out great from the start and other times, well, you’ve just got to roll with the punches and figure out how to sidestep the next potential blows.
More often than not, the building of a project vehicle comes to a screeching halt when life turns up the heat. When guys start planning families, or make a change in careers or even hobbies for that matter, their ability and/or desire to continue on their truck can drop dramatically. In very rare cases, we find someone in the exact opposite position.
Josh Freeman of Freeman Fabrication, and most recently of Gas Monkey Garage fame, has always had his hands in creating custom cars and trucks—mostly for others, though. It wasn’t until he purchased this ’64 C10 that he was able to sink his teeth into a build that was fueled by the pride of crafting a ride for himself, as well as helping to keep a level head while experiencing the twists and turns associated with raising his young son, Gage, who has autism. This truck turned into Josh’s release when frustration and uncertainty settled in during the early stages of Gage’s life. It became a safe place to channel that emotion and ended up becoming a dedication piece to the person who inspired him to work that much harder through the difficult times—his boy.
Before things got too heavy though, Josh was turned on to giving a first generation C10 another shot given their mass popularity in recent years.
“I used to hate these trucks when I was younger,” he admits. “I had one a while back that I sold off so I could buy a ’55 Chevy truck, which I was much more drawn to aesthetically.”
Josh found his recent ’64 where a good amount of classic car shopping takes place—Craigslist.
“Even though the truck was a longbed, small-window piece of crap, it did come with an LS engine and matching transmission, which really sealed the deal for me,” he says.
With a new project in that fit the bill for what’s currently “in” style, the charm and natural charisma of this particular C10 was finally breaking through Josh’s once icy feeling towards the model as a whole.
SINCE JOSH’S SON IS OBSESSED WITH SHARKS OF EVERY KIND, AND WITH THE TRUCK’S WIDE FRONT APPEARANCE AND THE LOOKS AND COLORS OF THE GRILLE, HAMMERHEAD SEEMED LIKE THE PERFECT MONIKER.
“I told my wife that my goal for the truck was to make it a simple, reliably running truck that we could take to shows, but more importantly, drive around and enjoy,” Josh says. “I estimated spending $15-20K on it. That’s exactly what I envisioned, but of course things always evolve, and the price of evolution adds up mighty quickly these days.”
For those who may not know, Josh Freeman is an ultra talented dude. His metalwork skills are incredible, and his attention to detail is impeccable. Save for a few portions of the build, like the spraying of the paint and the troubleshooting of some odds and ends, the current state of the truck is a product of his own two hands. With a full custom frame underneath it, a ton of very cool and ultra subtle body mods featured on the surface, and a “less is more” approach to its overall styling, this ’64 was starting to take shape in a major way.
“A friend of mine who works at Vortech Superchargers approached me about getting the truck ready for the SEMA ’15 show,” Josh says. “Obviously, I was thrilled to be given the opportunity, but I knew the reality of getting it done to meet that deadline was going to require a major amount of quality work to be done in a shorter timespan than I had ever anticipated for the project.”
Josh began hustling like never before—working his fingers to the bone as he kept an almost inhuman work schedule. The spending of dollars also increased since he wanted the truck to have nothing but the very best when it rolled onto its big debut stage.
“The final tally for the build was something near or over $50K, which was more than twice the high side of the budget I first set,” Josh says. “It was the largest investment for my wife and me, but I had an idea to double down on it by quitting my job at a body shop and giving it my all to the truck in hopes of it being a jump-off for something bigger and better for us in the form of a grander opportunity. Once she said she was onboard with the idea, there has been no looking back.”
The name of the truck came from two different places. Since Josh’s son is obsessed with sharks of every kind, and with the truck’s wide front appearance and the looks and colors of the grille, Hammerhead seemed like the perfect moniker.
“I didn’t know it when I first started, but this truck was meant to be built for my son,” Josh says. “He essentially became the reason why I started on it in the first place.”
At the time of this writing (mid-April 2019), we were happy to share the news with Josh that his creation would soon be gracing our cover. What we didn’t know—and what Josh was eager to point out to us—is that April is Autism Awareness month. This unexpected piece of the puzzle wasn’t planned to work with this story, it just happened that way, a lot like the creation of Hammerhead itself.
A big congratulation goes out to Josh, wife Kathryn, son Gage and two daughters on the much-deserved amount of success that has found them. We expect to see more great things from the Freeman camp in the future, but until then, keep on grind, pal.
Josh and Kathryn Freeman
1964 Chevrolet C10
Little Elm, TX
- 2002 Chevrolet LQ9 6.0L V-8
- Custom motor mounts
- Transmission cross member set back 10 inches
- Holley Hi-Ram intake manifold
- Holley fuel injection
- 92mm fast throttle body
- Custom headers and 3-inch exhaust system
- Supercharged Vortech V2 intercooler
- Relocated coils
- MSD plug wires
- Chevrolet Performance valve covers
- Pinned harmonic balancer
- F-Body oil pan
- 2002 4L80E transmission
- Lokar shifter
- Transmission cooler
- Custom length driveshaft
- 12-bolt Chevy rear end, Richmond gears
- Baer six-piston calipers all around and 14-inch front rotors, rear 2010 Tahoe 13-inch rotors
- Wilwood reverse mount dual reservoir master cylinder
CHASSIS & SUSPENSION
- Full custom CNC cut chassis by Josh Freeman
- Three-link rear setup
- AccuAir e-Level system
- FLO air tank
- Slam Specialties ‘bags
- Sadistic Ironwerks modified valve body
- Ididit steering column
- Custom fuel tank
- Porterbuilt front crossmember
WHEELS AND TIRES
- 22- and 24-inch US Mags Plain Jane wheels
- 265/35/22 and 305/35/24 Falken tires
BODY AND PAINT
- Custom mix paint color
- Modified headlight buckets
- Original C10 grille
- Smoothed stock front bumper
- Accessory LED lights from Truck Lite Co.
- One-piece hood/cowl
- Front fenders extended to match bumper
- Flush mount glass
- Raised bedsides
- Full-custom tailgate, taillights, drip rails, etc.
INTERIOR AND STEREO
- ’88-98 OBS Chevy bench seat
- Black leather upholstery
- Dakota Digital VHX gauges
- Factory steering wheel
- Color matched paint within the cab
- Big back window