The Fun Is the Same Once You Get Behind the Wheel
BUILDING A TRUCK FROM THE ground up or taking on a comprehensive customizing effort is an amazing experience, but it’s not for everyone. If your workspace is out at the curb and your tool set fits in the kitchen drawer, buying an already-completed truck solves lots of problems. One look will tell you if the style is right, and a test drive deals with the rest. Even experienced builders occasionally enjoy the benefits of instant gratification.
As an active enthusiast for the last 50 years, Giuseppe (Joe) Ciottariello from Randolph, New Jersey, has done it both ways, building and buying additions to his collection. Born in Italy, Joe arrived in this country at the ripe old age of 15. He started out pushing a broom, but his dedication and work ethic kept opening doors of increasing responsibility.
“The love of cars, trucks and nicer things meant working hard,” Joe says.
From the outset, he was always intrigued with cars and mechanics, even owning a Sunoco gas station for a while before moving to his current occupation as a landscape contractor. Over the years, the hard work paid off. Joe and his wife, Debbie, enjoy a collection that includes a ’56 T-Bird, ’68 Camaro SS Convertible, ’74 Stingray, and a 700hp ’05 Mustang. There’s one more addition that played a significant role in this story. A Harley trike is also part of the family collection and it’s the reason why Joe owns this 1972 Chevy C10 Pickup.
Joe went by the local Harley dealership in New Jersey planning to buy some rain gear for the trike and was surprised to see this beautiful Chevy on display inside. The truck was originally built by Bob Mulvihill, a friend of the dealership owner. Decked out in Harley colors and loaded with custom touches, the truck was stunning and for Joe, it was love at first sight. Joe brought Debbie back to look and within moments, they had a deal. Clearly, it was a situation that we are certain has happened to many of us. You go in looking for a raincoat and come out with a custom truck!
Joe and Debbie have become snowbirds and within days were leaving New Jersey for their second home in Springhill, Florida, for the winter. Unfortunately, that meant the new truck stayed behind. Thankfully, their daughter Debra and son-in-law Chris came to the rescue, transporting the truck and the family trike in their 20-foot trailer. That’s when the real fun began with Joe getting to learn the details of his new ride.
Loaded with options, the truck runs all the modern extras beginning with an updated chassis featuring power steering, four-wheel disc brakes and a Ridetech air suspension. A polished stainless fuel tank was relocated between the rear frame rails and the truck rolls on a set of Billet Specialties 18x8s up front and 20x10s in the rear. The original 350 V-8 was replaced with a big honkin’ 502 crate motor producing a tire-frying 550hp, thanks to an Edelbrock Endurashine 850 four barrel carb and intake, GM HEI ignition and Hedman Hedders that feed a rumbling Borla stainless exhaust. Everything on the motor was highly polished and the bright orange engine room showcases the glistening V-8. A 700R4 trans directs the 550hp to a Chevy 12-bolt Posi rear.
Inside was another pleasant surprise, with the black leather ’94 GMC bucket seats as comfortable as they are good looking. The center armrest provides handy storage and blends smoothly into the new center console, holding the controls for the air suspension and the vents for the air conditioning. The painted-tomatch dash keeps the driver in touch, thanks to the collection of Classic Instruments in a polished aluminum bezel. Adding to the fun is the Kenwood stereo controlling a pair of Kenwood amps—a mono and a 4-channel in the console—driving a Kenwood 10-inch sub and 6.5-inch component sets behind the seats along with a second pair of 6.5s in the kick panels. Black leather covers the custom kicks and sculpted door panels.
Although the beautiful interior and powerful motor were exciting, it’s the combination of colors that generally catches your eye first. Sprayed by Dale Behre of Dale’s Custom Auto in Hackettstown, New Jersey, the truck’s primary shade is House of Kolor Tangelo Pearl teamed up with Super Black and accented with Indian Silver graphics. Subtle custom touches to the body include the billet grille, cowl induction hood, side view mirrors eliminated, one piece glass in the doors, a custom roll pan in the rear and LED taillights from Classic Enterprises. The gas filler cap was relocated to the bed and stainless steel strips separate the Oak planks. It’s obvious that every inch of the truck was carefully customized in some way.
But Joe says the best part is getting behind the wheel of his new ride and enjoying the Florida enthusiast community.
“I have made so many friends in such a short period of time, thanks to the cruise-ins, shows, and events,” he says.
It could be that old Harley raincoat just might lead to a pair of New Jersey snowbirds becoming Sunshine State regulars! Their cool custom C10 has already begun to pave the way.
JOE AND DEBBIE CIOTTARIELLO
Randolph, NJ (summer); Springhill, FL (winter)
1972 Chevy C10 Pickup
- GM 2008 502 V-8 crate motor, 550hp
- Polished aluminum front cover
- Polished aluminum water pump
- 80 amp chrome alternator
- Polished engine pulleys
- Polished aluminum valve covers and air cleaner
- 850 Edelbrock Endurashine carb and intake
- GM HEI electronic ignition
- Hedman Headers
- Borla stainless dual exhaust
- 700R4 trans
- -2-inch DJM drop spindles
- -Tubular A-arms front
- Trailing arms rear
- -12 Bolt Chevy Posi 3.55 rear
- 4-Wheel disc brakes
- Ridetech air suspension
- Shock Waves
WHEELS & TIRES
- Front Rims: Billet Specialties Rails 18X8
- Rear Rims: Billet Specialties Rails 20X10
- Front Tires: Dunlop Sport Maxx 245/40ZR 18
- Rear Tires: Dunlop Sport Maxx 275/50 ZR 20
BODY & PAINT
- Dale Behre of Dale’s Custom Auto in Hackettstown, New Jersey sprayed the
- House of Kolor Tangelo Pearl with Super Black and Indian Silver graphics.
- Cowl induction hood
- Billet grille
- Side view mirrors eliminated
- One piece glass in the doors
- Custom rear roll pan
- LED taillights
- Filler cap relocated to the bed
- Stainless steel strips separate Oak planks in the bed.
- Painted to match the exterior
- Black leather ’94 GMC bucket seats
- Custom center armrest and console
- Upholstery done by Josh Frone in Hackettstown, New Jersey
- Vintage Air
- Classic Instruments package
- Kenwood stereo built by Exoticustom in Hackettstown, New Jersey
- Kenwood KDC MP828 in-dash CD/ MP3 stereo receiver
- Kenwood KAC 8152 1100W mono amp in the center console
- Kenwood KAC 8452 800W 4-channel amp in the center console
- JVC 10-inch sub behind the seats
- Two Kenwood KXP 1300 6.5-inch component sets (front)
- Two Kenwood KXP 1700 6.5-inch component sets (rear)
- Chrome Ididit steering column
- Chrome Billet Specialties wheel
SPECIAL THANKS FROM THE OWNER: Joe and Debbie send special thanks to the truck’s original builder, Bob Mulvihill, along with the talented craftsman who added their skills to this beautiful truck.