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They Turned This 1967 Chevy C10 Into A ’60s Muscle Car

HOT ROD logo HOT ROD 7/26/2017 Hot Rod Network Staff
1967-chevrolet-c10-three-quarter They Turned This 1967 Chevy C10 Into A ’60s Muscle Car

The number 67 has special significance for Rick Zipperian. For one thing, 1967 is the year he graduated from high school. For another, he's also always been a fan of 1967 Chevy C10 pickups. This year marks the golden anniversary of 1967 Chevys, and is also the year that Rick celebrated his 67th birthday. Best of all, maybe, this is the year that Rick's 1967 C10 and his son's 1967 Chevelle made their car show debuts side by side at the Cavalcade of Customs in Cincinnati.

Rick's son is Zac, who might be familiar to you. Several cars and trucks built at Zac's shop, Dadz Motor Company in Liberty Township, Ohio, have been featured in Classic Trucks and Street Rodder magazines. This 1967 Chevy Stepside pickup was a Christmas gift from Zac to Rick in 2014. The truck had belonged to a Dadz Motor Company customer, who gave it to Zac as partial payment on a car buildup (a rare 1933 Continental coupe that ended up on the cover of Street Rodder). Rick told us that his 1967 small-window was a two-owner truck that had been parked inside since new. Despite a "pretty bad" '80s paintjob and some minor rust, it was in good original condition. It had been driven only 40,000 miles and had been sitting for about 30 years. Some sheetmetal repair, new tires and wheels, and fresh paint would have been a simple way to resurrect the C10, but Rick and Zac are hot rodders, so the plan was a little bigger.

Zac's personal project at the time was a 1967 Chevelle. The car was being built in a "day two" style, with the same aftermarket parts and modifications that a gearhead in the '60s might have added to his brand-new muscle car. The Zipperians decided to turn the C10 into a "day two"style muscle truck—the identical-but-different twin to the Chevelle. Almost everything on Rick's 1967 is period correct, and almost everything that isn't is dressed to look like it is.

1967-chevrolet-c10-rear-three-quarter.jpg © Robert McGaffin 1967-chevrolet-c10-rear-three-quarter.jpg

If the truck was going to be built as a muscle truck, it seemed like it ought to be a Super Sport version of the C10. Zac applied that idea to the sheetmetal, starting with a modified hood appropriately reshaped with a center peak and SS 396style raised humps and inserts. The concept continues with a pair of 1967 Chevelle SS side mirrors, steering wheel, interior handles and cranks, armrests, and seat upholstery design. The rear of the truck was customized with 1956 Chevy truck taillights, a 1956 Ford F-100 rear bumper, and custom stainless trim to highlight the tailgate panel. The Nantucket Blue paint, sprayed by Dennis Huening, matches Zac's Chevelle. Oak panels were used for the bed floor.

Cragar S/S five-spokes are just right for the '60s style. The 15s and bias-ply tires that a hot rodder in the '60s might have mounted on the truck would look a little undersized today so the Zipperians nudged it up a little—and improved performance—with 18-inch wheels rolling on 245/50ZR18 and 255/55ZR18 Nexen high-performance radials.

Modifications to the chassis were done to move the appearance and performance of the pickup in the direction of a hot rod—starting with a C-notch at the back of the original framerails. A Currie Enterprises Ford 9-inch rearend features 4.11 gears and limited slip. A double-adjustable Panhard bar locates the Currie 31-spline axles. Any bumps in the roads of Liberty Township are smoothed by a Performance Online (POL) antiroll bar, Belltech lowering coil springs, and Monroe shocks. The factory IFS has been modified with CPP tubular control arms, plus Belltech 2-inch drop spindles and springs, Monroe shocks, and POL antiroll bar. A 1987 C10 donated the power steering box. For improved stopping, brakes were updated to discs with 11-inch Speedway rotors in back and POL 13-inchers at the front, operated by a Wilwood master cylinder, booster, and proportioning valve.

Rick said that designing the engine was the biggest challenge of the project. They wanted a modern fuel-injected Chevy powertrain, but wanted to keep a period appearance—nothing plastic or modern looking. The description they used during the build was "stockish." The solution was to camouflage a 2004 5.3L LS as a 1967 Chevy 327. Matt Davis and Zac assembled the engine. The LS coil covers were replaced with original 327 valve covers, using Taylor billet aluminum adapters to make them fit; a custom valley cover with a front oil fill tube was installed in between. An Edelbrock Victor Series EFI manifold and FiTech Fuel Injection Go EFI 4 four-barrel throttle body are topped with a reproduction 1967 Chevy air cleaner to resemble a carbureted small-block. Full-length 4-into-1 custom headers feed exhaust to 2 1/2-inch pipes corked with Thrush mufflers, so the period look is accompanied by period sound. The transformation was completed with a finish of Chevy orange paint. The column-shifted 4L60E transmission is enhanced with the modern technology of a FAST overdrive transmission controller.

As previously mentioned, the C10's interior shares a few of the same 1967 Chevelle components as Zac's muscle car. The Chevelle steering wheel is mounted on a CPP tilt column, with an iconic Hurst T-handle modified to fit the column shifter. Classic Instruments provided the C10 insert panel and Velocity blackface gauges. A Custom Autosound audio system and a Vintage Air A/C system improve the environment inside the cab without detracting from the look. Richard Caudill contributed upholstery work, along with Zac. The factory seat and door panels were recovered in cream-colored vinyl, stitched in the style of a 1967 Chevelle bench.

The Cavalcade of Customs took place the first weekend of January. Rick said that they had to hurry to get the truck done in time for the show, but when the doors of the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati opened on Friday, the public got its first look at the father-and-son Chevys, together in the Dadz Motor Company display. The Chevelle and the C10 both won awards at that event. As soon as the weather turned nice, Rick and Zac had their twin Chevys on the street, bringing 1967 to town.

1967 Chevy C10

Rick Zipperian


Frame: Original, C-notched rear

Rearend / Ratio: Currie 9-inch Ford / 4.11:1 with limited slip

Rear suspension: Currie 31-spline axles, double-adjustable Panhard bar, Belltech lowering coil springs, Monroe shocks, Performance Online antiroll bar

Rear brakes: Speedway 11-inch disc brakes

Front suspension: Classic Performance Products tubular control arms, Belltech 2-inch drop spindles, Belltech drop springs, Monroe shocks, Performance Online antiroll bar

Front brakes: Performance Online 13-inch disc brakes, Wilwood master cylinder, booster, and proportioning valve

Steering: 1987 Chevy C10 power steering box

Front wheels: Cragar S/S 18x8

Rear wheels: Cragar S/S 18x9

Front tires: Nexen N'Fera 245/50ZR18

Rear tires: Nexen N'Fera 255/55ZR18


Engine: 2004 Chevrolet LS 5.3L

Assembly: Matt Davis and Zac Zipperian

Heads: Stock aluminum

Camshaft: Thunder Racing TR224

Intake: Edelbrock Victor Series

Throttle body: FiTech Fuel Injection Go EFI 4

Valve covers: Chevy 327 with Taylor Billet Specialties adapters

Air filter: Reproduction 1967 Chevy 327 Turbo-Fire

Ignition: MSD 6LS controller, coils, wires

Alternator: Delphi

Radiator: Champion Radiators three-row aluminum

Fan: Mechanical

Headers: Full-length stainless 4-into-1

Exhaust / Mufflers: Custom 2 1/2-inch exhaust / Thrush Welded series

Horsepower: 440

Transmission: GM 4L650E with FAST EZ-TCU Controller

Shifter: Column mounted, Hurst shifter handle


Style: 1967 Chevrolet C10 Stepside

Hood: Stock with Chevelle-style center peak and SS 396 humps and inserts

Grille: Chrome

Headlights / Taillights: Sylvania / 1956 Chevy truck

Front bumper: Original

Rear bumper: 1956 Ford F-100 with custom brackets

Mirrors: 1967 Chevelle SS

Door handles: Stock

Bed floor: Oak and stainless steel

Glass: Original

Bodywork and Paint: Dennis Huening

Paint: Nantucket Blue


Dashboard: Stock, Classic Instruments gauge panel

Gauges: Classic Instruments Velocity series

Door handles: 1967 Chevelle SS handles and cranks

Steering Wheel: 1967 Chevelle SS

Steering Column: Classic Performance Products Classic Fit tilt shifter

Seats: Stock bench

Upholstery: Richard Caudill and Zac Zipperian

Material / Color: Vinyl / Ivory cream

Carpet / Color: Trim Parts custom molded / blue

Insulation: Dynamat

Shifter: Column, Hurst handle

Sound System: Custom Autosound receiver and front speakers, Pioneer rear speakers

Air Conditioning: Vintage Air

Wiring: Painless Performance



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