Did the assembly line workers at GM’s plant in Pontiac, Michigan ever foresee back in 1963 what would become of this humble, hardworking Chevrolet C10 pickup that had just rolled out of the factory doors? Probably not, but then one of the pleasures of car modification is the freedom to do the unexpected, and to stir up conversation and, occasionally, controversy.
There will always be those who view patina as something to be repaired and restored out of existence. Equally, though, there are those for whom it’s a badge of honour and a sign of a life lived, adding a layer of character to a car in the way that the flavour of a whisky is subtly altered each year by the wood of the cask it’s stored in.
This is certainly the case with Sam’s Chevrolet C10, resplendent with mismatched paint and the marks of decades of golden Californian sunshine. While those that don’t understand might wonder why it wasn’t left in a scrapyard on the other side of the Atlantic, those that do will appreciate every blemish as a mark of character, care and preservation.
A look at the truck’s internals, too, is a perfect advertisement for not judging a book by its cover. The 355 cubic inch small-block V8, hand-built by Sam in his living room, gleams, as the do the exposed workings of the air suspension that allows the truck to sit so deliciously low.
Applying a contemporary sheen to the classic stylings of Americana is a running theme with the C10. The original head unit remains, but controls a modern Pioneer sound system, while a digital gauge cluster near perfectly replicates the original analogue units.
It may be far removed from the truck that first turned its wheels almost 60 years ago, but this is precisely why Sam’s C10 perfectly embodies the joy of modification.