Fireball! A Drastic Transformation of a 1968 Chevy C10

A Drastic Change in Plans Yields an Amazing Result

We all have those plans: the ones we are absolutely going to stick by—that is until something changes. Nebo, North Carolina, resident Dale Lunsford knows this all too well. Owner of this gorgeous 1968 Chevrolet C10 cover model dubbed Fireball, Dale never intended for his truck to be so nice, at least not initially. But thanks to some inspiration from the pages of C10 Builder’s Guide, what was going to be a somewhat simple errand-running truck quickly snowballed into a full-fledged custom build!

“My wife wanted an old Chevy patina truck, just to drive around, eat french fries in, haul trash off, transport large items in, etc,” Dale told us about the reason for building his C10. “So, after looking at several trucks, I found one with no rust in Newton, North Carolina. I went to look at this truck, made the purchase, and brought it home.

“One evening, I went to the bookstore with my wife,” he continued. “I sat down in the magazine section and found the C10 Builder’s Guide. While thumbing through the issue, I saw some awesome trucks. At this point, the patina truck was out, and it turned into Fireball.”

After five years of building the truck of his dreams, Dale can say that he not only created a build featured in the very pages of the magazine he drew so much inspiration from, he can say it is also graced the cover of the March 2024 issue!

It’s All About First Impressions

The first thing we noticed about this truck was its incredible red paint. How could we not?

Dale expertly sprayed the Porsche Guards Red paint from Axalta with a clearcoat over the top. The paint scheme of this C10 will definitely stop you in your tracks, but it isn’t all this build has to offer. In fact, it goes much more than skin deep.

Look under the brilliant red paint and you’ll find body modifications like cut-out front wheelwells and rear wheeltubs from ChubTubz that have been narrowed by 4 inches. The truck also features a custom bed with a liftable center section, revealing added storage underneath. Beyond that, its beautiful polished chrome bumpers and trim pieces, along with custom halogen LMC Truck headlights, give the truck high-end lighting with an old-school look.

Inside, the color scheme continues with the metalwork finished in the same Guards Red color from the dash to the steering column. The carpet and upholstery follow suit, with custom leather door panels, kick panels, and a bench seat built with a TEA’s Design frame and specifically tailored foam. Even the dashpad and custom panel behind the seat were treated to custom leather work, all expertly done by Tom’s Trim Shop of Canton, North Carolina. Dakota Digital RTX Series digital gauges with a black and chrome surround, a black Billet Specialties grid shifter and matching window cranks, and a black and red Billet Specialties D-Shaped Formula 14-inch steering wheel add the finishing touches to the truck’s impressive show-worthy interior.

In addition to the upholstery and paint, Dale wanted to elevate his interior even more, outfitting it with a custom stereo system featuring a Custom Autosound USA-740 stereo with a digital head unit and built-in Bluetooth. Morel Virtus Nano Carbon 62 front speakers, as well as Tempo Ultra Integra 692 rear speakers fully envelop the interior of the truck with sound, while a JL Audio HD900/5 amplifier and 10-inch 10TW3 subwoofer add to the system’s highs and lows.

…its beautiful polished chrome bumpers and trim pieces, along with custom halogen LMC Truck headlights,  give the truck high-end lighting with an old-school look. 

Laying Low

Dale’s truck may look fantastic, but he knew it also had to ride well in order for it to be the ultimate custom. Being the talented builder that he is, Dale knew just the trick to make that happen!

While the truck maintains its original frame rails, nothing else about the chassis is stock—starting with front and rear Porterbuilt Stage 3 crossmember kits that feature control arms in the front and truck arms at the rear. Adding to the truck’s ride quality are Hyperco front and rear springs, as well as Ridetech adjustable front and rear coilover shocks. Despite having no air suspension components, the truck rides noticeably low thanks to the Porterbuilt chassis components.

Handling qualities of the truck were also elevated by using a UniSteer power rack-and-pinion steering box and a Ridetech 1.5-inch steering stabilizer. Planting the truck to the pavement are sports car-ready 255/30/R20 front and 335/25/ZR22 rear Pirelli P Zero tires with 4.5-inch and 5-inch backspacing respectively, wrapped around 20×9-inch front and 22×12-inch rear American Racing Torq Thrust SL wheels.

Wilwood 14-inch vented rotors with 6-piston rotors in the front, and 12-inch vented rotors with 4-piston rotors in the rear take care of the truck’s braking needs, along with Wilwood Aerolite 6R billet hubs, fed by way of a Wilwood 7/8-inch master cylinder.

A Powerplant Fit for a King

You don’t build a vehicle of this quality with so many top-notch components without also building an  engine of the same caliber. Luckily, Dale also had this one in the bag!

Wanting to make sure his truck had plenty of power, Dale started the engine build with a 1970 Chevrolet 454ci V-8, bored .030 over, resulting in a 468ci powerplant. And yes, we mean that LS6!

From there he added TRW forged 10.7:1-ratio pistons with Total Seal rings, as well as an Elgin Industries Pro Stock camshaft with hydraulic rollers, stock LS6 dimple rods with polished 7/16-inch rod bolts, an LS6 steel crank, and Manley roller rockers with a stud girdle.

On top of that, Dale equipped the engine with LS6 ported and polished heads, a Dart Machinery high-rise, single-plane intake manifold, and a 800cfm Holley 4150 carburetor. Helping the engine fire is a Malory ignition system, while CVF Racing and Front Runner components make up the AC, alternator, and power steering drive system for smooth charging, cooling, and wheel turning.

The engine is fed via an 8-quart oil pan, as well as a Boyd Welding fuel tank. Spent fuel from the engine is expelled through coated Hooker headers with a 2-inch primary and 3-inch collector, tied to a 3-inch custom exhaust system with side dump featuring oval Nascar tips to accommodate for the truck’s low clearance.

Backing the built 468 is a 1995 Tex Racing close-ratio manual transmission, featuring a magnesium case, polished and coated gears, a long HT-4000 shift kit, and a Chevrolet LS6 Chevelle clutch. The built transmission spins a custom two-piece driveshaft with a Spicer 1350 U-joint and big carrier bearing, leading to a stock 12-bolt rearend with custom Moser axles narrowed 8 inches, and a limited-slip Eaton posi-traction with 3.73 gears encased in a TA Performance rearend girdle.

From top to bottom, tip to tail, Dale’s 1968 Chevy C10 is one incredibly impressive build. With every inch of the truck featuring custom features and some of the best components in the industry, we guarantee this truck could be a national-level trophy winner. Because of that, we’d love to see what future inspiration from these pages can do for Dale, but he tells us he’s “too old to build another one with this much work.”

We definitely disagree, Dale!


BUILD SPECS

Owner 

  • Dale Lunsford
  • 1968 Chevrolet C10
  • Nebo, NC

Chassis & Suspension

  • Porterbuilt Stage 3 front crossmember kit with control arms
  • Porterbuilt Stage 3 rear crossmember kit with truck arms
  • Hyperco front and rear springs
  • Ridetech adjustable front and rear coilover shocks
  • Porterbuilt bodydrop kit
  • UniSteer power rack-and-pinion steering box
  • Ridetech 1.5-inch steering stabilizer
  • All frame and chassis components powdercoated

Wheels & Tires

  • 20×9-inch front and 22×12-inch rear American Racing Torq Thrust SL wheels
  • 255/30/R20 front and 335/25/ZR22 rear Pirelli P Zero tires with 4.5-inch and 5-inch backspacing  respectively

Engine & Drivetrain

  • 1970 Chevrolet 454ci V-8 bored .030 over resulting in a 468ci powerplant
  • TRW forged pistons with Total Seal rings with a compression ratio of 10.7:1
  • Elgin Industries Pro Stock camshaft with hydraulic rollers; 0.625-inch lift and a .237 duration at 0.050-inch lift
  • Stock LS6 dimple rods with polished 7/16-inch rod bolts
  • LS6 steel crank
  • Manley roller rockers with stud girdle
  • LS6 ported and polished heads
  • Dart Machinery high-rise, single-plane intake manifold
  • 800cfm Holley 4150 carburetor
  • Coated Hooker headers with 2-inch primary and 3-inch collector
  • 3-inch custom exhaust system with side dump; oval Nascar tips for low clearance
  • Mallory ignition
  • AC/Alternator/Power Steering drive system with CVF Racing and Front Runner components
  • 8-quart oil pan
  • Boyd Welding fuel tank
  • 1995 Tex Racing close-ratio manual transmission, featuring a magnesium case, and polished and coated gears
  • Long HT-4000 shift kit
  • Chevrolet LS6 Chevelle clutch
  • Billet Specialties grid shifter
  • Custom 2-piece driveshaft with a Spicer 1350 U-joint and big carrier bearing
  • Stock rear 12-bolt rearend with narrowed 8-inch custom Moser axles
  • Eaton posi-traction, limited-slip rearend with 3.73 gears
  • TA Performance rearend girdle
  • Wilwood 14-inch vented rotors with 6-piston rotors in the front, and 12-inch vented rotors with 4-piston rotors in the rear; rear e-brake
  • Wilwood Aerolite 6R billet hubs
  • Wilwood 7/8-inch master cylinder

Body & Paint

  • Custom halogen LMC Truck headlights
  • Front wheelwells cut for clearance
  • ChubTubz wheeltubs in the rear, narrowed by 4 inches
  • Custom bed with liftable center hatch with storage compartment underneath
  • Axalta Porsche Guards Red paint with clearcoat

Interior & Stereo

  • TEA’s Design bench seat frame with custom tailored foam
  • Custom door panels and kick panels
  • Custom panel behind the seat
  • Custom red leather upholstery to match the exterior paint, done by Sam’s Trim Shop
  • Dakota Digital RTX Series digital gauges
  • Billet Specialties D-Shaped Formula 14-inch steering wheel
  • Custom Autosound USA-740 stereo system with digital head unit and built-in Bluetooth
  • JL Audio HD900/5 amplifier
  • JL Audio 10-inch 10TW3 subwoofer
  • Morel Virtus Nano Carbon 62 front speakers, and Tempo Ultra Integra 692 rear speakers

 

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