A timeless quote, fitting for a timeless truck. As many of us in the auto world, Alabama resident Doug Kerr had been very close to his father his entire life. From father figure to role model to best friend and much more, Doug’s dad, Larry, played a big part in who he grew to be.
The 1966 Chevy C10 Stepside you see before you actually has some Kerr family history to it as well. Starting as a parts truck for Doug’s brother, it was scooped up in true hotrod OG fashion by Larry who didn’t want to see it go to waste, and he began a full, frame-off restoration of the Chevrolet. Doug received the truck from his father about 10% completed and began to build it in a style all his own.
Unfortunately, Doug’s father passed away before being able to see the truck fully completed. It is safe to say, however, that Larry Kerr is looking down, proud as can be, on Doug and this truck that contains many tributes from a loving son.
Doug’s father had given him a great jump start on getting the Stepside out on the road again. Although Doug and his father had very different end goals with the truck, many of the core build beginnings started in the same way. Seeing how it lays out today, it has changed from the status of being a stock-ish restoration build, so the suspension and frame has had significant changes—with one of the big pieces being the Stone Fab weld-in back half frame. From making the ride quality on a lowered truck astoundingly better to letting the truck air-out to its full potential, that Stone Fab setup makes a world of difference from a stock frame.
In addition to that piece of art, Slam Specialties bags are in the front and rear, it has a Choppin Block front member and a better-performing steering box for what the truck’s new life will have in store. Not to leave anything out, Doug even installed a CPP big brake setup in front and rear because, truly, who wants drum brakes ever?
When you are putting that much work into the frame and suspension of a truck, you cannot just leave the rest of the build lightly modified. Go big or go home, right? So next up on Doug’s list was the heart of the truck: the engine. So, in the “going big” mindset, he went with a massive Texas Speed stroked out and built 408 V-8, but he did not stop there. To name a small fraction of his parts list: Wiseceo pistons and rods, Texas Speed Torquer V2 camshaft, ported and polished LS4 heads, and BTR 660 springs with titanium valves—and that is not even close to all of it. We just have limited space to lay it out in this magazine.
Within that engine bay also lays a beautiful tribute to Larry Kerr, Doug’s father—a surprise from Painter Marty Miller. Laid beautifully onto the passenger side slosh tub, an Iron Horse image will always be there looking up at Doug as his father looks down on him. Luckily for us and his C10’s health, Kerr knows the importance of having a well-built transmission when you pack that much power into an engine bay. Using a fresh Hughes Performance transmission, the shortened drive shaft transfers that power effortlessly to the True Trac rear differential and its Mosher axles. So, if the question is burnouts, the answer is not only yes, but when?
Doug loved the look of the 1966 C10 ever since he first saw it: the timeless body lines, the simplicity… It had it all, but who says you cannot push for perfection? Though many of the changes to the truck’s body were very subtle, the pickup’s color is far from it. It took Doug awhile to track down the exact code for what he needed—this pale, slightly off light green shade, which turned out to be a PPG shade known as Atlas yellow. Though we have never seen this color on anything else before, there is something so correct about it for the era and vibe of the Stepside.
As if that were not enough, the interior is unique on a level all its own. Truck enthusiasts know Dixxon Flannel. It is not a shirt; it is a lifestyle. So, what did Doug do? He got with Danny Dixxon himself and had a stack of the Dixxon Flannel Oliver shirts sent his way. Taking the green accented flannels, Kerr’s interior guru Chris Snowden cut and centered the flannels within the slate gray vinyl bench seat. Add in the Dakota Digital gauges and Billet Specialties steering wheel, and spending hours cruising this truck would be effortless for anyone.
To feel the real emotion and story behind Doug’s father and this truck, we encourage you to meet Doug if the chance ever arises—or at least check out his Stepside. You can find tributes to the Iron Horse himself all throughout the truck, even down to bits of his ashes being in the paint.
While it is almost impossible to relay every thought and feeling that goes into a build that means this much, Doug would like to thank his father for everything over the many years, his wife Brie, his mother Judy Nelson, Aaron Kittrell, John MacArthur, Sal Martinez, Marty Miller, Fairhope Iron Works, Jon Cary, Mike Losh, Ben Osborne, William Morton, Craig Rowley, Chris Snowden, Boris Maryanovsky, Matt Barnes, his C10 Club family and last but most importantly God, for blessing him with the life he is able to lead.
1966 Chevrolet C10 Stepside
Build Name: The Legend of Iron Horse
Cost: Blood, Sweat, Tears, & Beers
Time Spent: Multiple years
Reason for building: “My dad started it and I took it on to finish for sentimental reasons as well as always having wanted a 1966 Stepside C10.”
Wilwood manual master cylinder
CPP big brake setup in front and rear
Stone Fab weld in back half frame
Choppin Block front member
Unisteer Mustang steering box
Many one of one chassis mods by Aaron Kittrell
CPP big brake setup
Slam Specialties Re7 bags
Boyds welding fuel tank
Qa1 Stocker Star shocks
CPP disc brake setup
Slam Specialties Re7 bags
Bilstein 5100 remote reservoir shocks
Shop: Aaron Kittrel at Hell Hound Garage
Chevrolet V-8 Texas Speed built 408 Stroker 640 hp to the crank
Wiseceo pistons and rods
Holley F-body oil pan
Texas Speed Torquer V2 camshaft
Ported and polished LS4 heads
BTR 660 springs w/ titanium valves
Holley single plane mid-rise manifold
Holley Sniper 4150 fuel injector #56
Chevy ignition computer
Speed Engineering long-tubes ¾-inch
Black Widow Venom 250s w/ H pipe
2.5-inch exhaust diameter
Hughes Performance transmission
Full custom trans linkage
Fully built 4180E automatic/manual valve body
Kiduff Twister shifter
Circle D torque converter w/ 3600 stall speed
Derale trans cooler w/ fan behind grille
True Trac rear dif with Mosher axles
Narrowed rear end
Billet Specialties SL89
Front: 20×9-inch tires: Diamondback Redline 255-40-20
Rear: 20×11-inch tires: Diamondback Redline 315-35-20
Slosh Tubz front fender tubs
Rear wheel mini tubs
Brake lights frenched into the taillight holes
Modified side steps
PPG Atlas yellow w/ matte clear coat
Pinstriping in emerald green
Shop: Paint by Marty Miller
Pinstriping by Sam Gambino
Snowden Custom Seats bench seat
Upholstered w/ slate gray vinyl and Dixxon Flannel Oliver shirts
Dakota Digital HDX gauges
Billet Specialties ST89 steering wheel
The pinstripe work on the glovebox was done with paint that contained Doug’s father’s ashes, as a tribute.
Shop: Chris Snowden from Alvarado, Texas
It is fake. “Can’t hear over the exhaust anyways.”