Rolling Art! Sonny Warner’s Transformed 1964 C10 Shop Truck

Better Than the Average Shop Truck

Every custom automotive shop needs a mascot, and what better brand ambassador is there than an old Chevy pickup? It’s a great start for sure, but to increase the stakes dramatically, slamming the suspension, throwing on a set of 22-inch wheels, and prepping a patina-clad finish with hand-painted artwork is a surefire way to get it noticed. An advertising tool like this would surely get loads of attention, and in theory, should lead to a sharp spike in brand awareness from its targeted audience. 

This approach of street-level of marketing is just as effective as the most strategic, corporate-strength ad campaigns. Cruising around in a rolling piece of truck-shaped ad signage would undoubtedly turn more heads on the streets than the most acrobatic of sign twirlers. Sonny Warner of Sonny’s Speed & Kustom in Twin Falls, Idaho, understood the power of building a custom truck for the sake of promoting what can be accomplished through his business. The adage “seeing is believing” goes a long way in the automotive industry, and Sonny was about to embark on a classic truck project that would show off his ever-evolving skillset.

Ground Level

In a matter of only six months, Sonny completely transformed the looks and performance of the 1964 C10 he was able to get his hands on. He started the project by overhauling the factory chassis to give it an aggressive stance, as well as much better handling and ride quality. To get this done, Sonny reached out to Porterbuilt Fab to place an order for a front Dropmember system complete with tubular arms, as well as a notch and tubular trailing arms to affix to the rear portion of the factory frame. Rack-and-pinion steering was added to the list of chassis upgrades, as was a full Accuair air-management system to control ride and park heights. To build upon the list of amenities bolted onto the modified factory frame, Sonny proceeded to install 11-inch disc brake kits at each corner that sit behind a set of 22-inch transport wheels for an updated classic appearance.

Ready To Roll

To power the C10, Sonny decided on a brand-new GM crate engine to plant between the frame rails. The small block ZZ4 mill puts out a respectable 355hp and has an old-school appeal that looks right at home underneath the ’64s hood. After adding some dress-up parts, including a pinstriped air cleaner cover and a fresh set of hand-built tubs to conceal the tires, the engine bay reached show-worthy condition in no time. A custom exhaust system topped with a Black Widow muffler that exits through the passenger-bed side adds a note of aggression to the ZZ4’s growl as well as a dash of class to the C10’s exterior.

Sonny Warner of Sonny’s Speed & Kustom in Twin Falls, Idaho, understood the power of building  a custom truck for the sake of promoting what can be accomplished through his business. 

New Age Rust Busting

Speaking of the C10’s outer appearance, Sonny soon began working on modifying the factory rear wheel tubs, raising the bed floor, and creating a fresh wood plank, including a center panel that lifts for easy access to the suspension system below. Since this Chevy was designed to look like a “lowly” shop truck, Sonny felt compelled to embrace a patina-clad, weathered skin. Even though this is the style he was after, he still bodyworked the truck where he saw fit to repair severe rust damage. Next, he painted it very carefully to make it look like the turquoise paint had been left in total disrepair. This “faux-tina” method gives the truck the best of both worlds—a stylish, disheveled aesthetic combined with proper care and upkeep. To add the finishing touch to the truck’s outwardly charm, Jeff Devey of Jeff’s Graphics also of Twin Falls, was recruited to apply his sign painting and pinstriping talents in the form of Sonny’s shop logo to both doors.

TRUCKS LIKE THESE HAVE A CERTAIN FORGOTTEN-ABOUT, BARN-FIND APPEAL THAT INSTANTLY BECOME CROWD FAVORITES.

The interior of the C10 was refreshed to meet factory specs for the most part, which was right on point for this project. Quality Upholstery, another quality Twin Falls automotive business, joined the build by recovering the factory seat in fresh vinyl, as well as making new door panels for good measure. Aside from a Retro Manufacturing stereo that was added to give Sonny the convenience of shuffling through his tunes wirelessly, the cab space has been left as original as possible, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

 Trucks like these that have  that certain forgotten-about, barn- find appearance tend to become crowd favorites  no matter where they’re parked. 

Trucks like these that have that certain forgotten-about, barn-find appearance tend to become crowd favorites no matter where they’re parked. Maybe it relates to subconsciously rooting for the underdog or watching in disbelief as a truck that looks so worn-down operating so much better than expected. Whatever the explanation is for this attraction, Sonny capitalized on the sentiment by turning an otherwise boring ’64 C10 into a righteously updated shop truck in hopes to assist in building his business.

This ‘faux-tina’ method gives the truck the best of both worlds—a stylish, disheveled aesthetic  combined with proper care and upkeep. 


BUILD SPECS

Owner 

  • Sonny Warner (Sonny’s Speed & Kustom)
  • 1964 Chevy C10
  • Twin Falls, ID

Engine & Drivetrain

  • GM ZZ4 5.7L V-8 crate engine
  • 355hp
  • 2.5-inch exhaust system
  • Custom Black Widow muffler
  • GM 700R4 transmission with shift kit
  • Custom two-piece driveshaft

Suspension & Chassis 

  • Shop: Sonny Warner @ Sonny’s Speed & Kustom, Twin Falls, ID
  • 1964 GM frame
  • Porterbuilt front Dropmember kit, rear frame notch
  • Tubular front control arms, rear trailing arms
  • Accuair air management
  • Rack-and-pinion steering
  • Tanks Inc. fuel tank

Wheels, Tires & Brakes

  • 22-inch transport wheels
  • 265/35/22 tires
  • 11-inch disc brakes
  • CPP master cylinder

Body & Paint

  • Shop: Sonny Warner @ Sonny’s Speed & Kustom
  • Graphics by Jeff Devey @ Jeff’s Graphics, Twin Falls, ID
  • Factory grille, headlights, bumpers
  • Hand built front tubs
  • Modified stock rear tubs
  • Shortbed conversion
  • Repaired damage
  • Rusty faux-tina effect
  • Factory turquoise paint

Interior & Stereo

  • Shop: Quality Upholstery, Twin Falls, ID
  • Stock seats reupholstered with vinyl material
  • Retro Manufacturing stereo

 

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