Laid Out, but Always Ready to Roll
You might be thinking to yourself, “That’s one of the most amazing C50s I’ve ever seen!” But you’d be wrong. Surprisingly, it would be more accurate to say, “That’s one of the most amazing C10s I’ve ever seen!” Say what? Yeah, because although 100 out of 100 truck enthusiasts would instantly recognize Israel Espinoza’s Chevy as a C50, it’s actually a ’72 C10 in C50 clothing.
As a custom fab shop owner of the Centavo Shop in Aguascalientes, Mexico, Israel is used to building unique rides, both for himself and for clients in and around his hometown. And, as a member of the Chevroleteros Ags., Mexico, car and truck club, Israel definitely has an image to uphold. Building a truck that looked like everyone else’s just wasn’t going to cut it!
This was no “stop, drop and roll” build. Israel had to do quite a bit of custom cab and chassis work just to fit the C50 bodywork as well as the utility bed. And as you can tell, he didn’t stop there! A lot of extra fabrication went into laying the truck down on the ground, including a scratch-built airbag suspension and modifying the sheetmetal to clear the custom three-piece 24-inch billet semi wheels, which were built by Teniente Modified Wheels in Monterrey, Mexico. These rollers are definitely a work of art and use 8- to 10-lug adapters with 6-inch spacers up front for the proper clearance and look.
The truck’s tired engine was pulled out and replaced with a 5.3L LS, which was left pretty much stock except for bolt-ons to maintain long-haul drivability. Transmission of choice is the proven 4L60E, which gives plenty of gear for highway use, but will still bark the tires at a blip of the throttle. Israel didn’t go crazy with the mechanicals since he knew he’d be driving the truck a lot, but he didn’t want the engine compartment to be boring either, so he fabbed up a custom smooth firewall and bead-rolled inner fenderwells.
THIS WAS NO ‘STOP, DROP AND ROLL’ BUILD. ISRAEL HAD TO DO QUITE A BIT OF CUSTOM CAB AND CHASSIS WORK JUST TO FIT THE C50 BODYWORK AS WELL AS THE UTILITY BED. AND AS YOU CAN TELL, HE DIDN’T STOP THERE!
Once all the dirty work was done, Israel rolled his Chevy into the spray booth and squirted out some GM Electric Blue paint inside and out, including the engine bay. With everything buffed out and sparkling, Israel moved on to putting together the amazing interior, which was restored to pretty much stock condition except for the Intro billet steering wheel. When you’re working on a second-gen C10, you can’t go wrong with the original styling.
When asked about any difficulties during the build, Israel said, “The hardest part was adapting the C50 frontend. It took me a month to properly secure and fit it!”
AFTER TAKING HOME THE PROMOTER’S CHOICE AWARD, IT’S CLEAR THAT THIS TRUCK CAN HAUL PLENTY OF TOOLS, ASS AND TROPHIES! HOPEFULLY WE’LL GET A CHANCE TO SEE IT AGAIN AT LST 2021, ALONG WITH WHATEVER NEW PROJECTS ISRAEL MAY HAVE UP HIS SLEEVE!
With the truck just recently completed a few months ago, it’s already proven itself to be solid and reliable. In fact, it made the drive to Lone Star Throwdown 2020, which was a 14-hour, 840-mile drive each way! And after taking home the Promoter’s Choice award, it’s clear that this truck can haul plenty of tools, ass and trophies! Hopefully we’ll get a chance to see it again at LST 2021, along with whatever new projects Israel may have up his sleeve!