Aaron Welle has long appreciated the lines and character of classics and began his search initially looking for a C3 Corvette. After a lukewarm and slightly chagrined conversation with his better half Alani, he suggested the idea of a more practical classic truck and things looked a little better. His pursuit intensified when his friend Jarrod (who was building a 1972 restomod) was out looking for parts and fate intervened ...
The hunt turned up this 1969 C10 in less than pristine condition and was to become his first adventure into restoration. He had never tried his hand at building anything before and being an engineer by trade instilled confidence in him to cut his teeth on it, especially with willing and knowledgeable friends nearby to help. He negotiated the sale around $4,000 and drove it home in fair condition, running but certainly ready for transformation. As soon as he parked the truck in the driveway, Watson, the family dog, jumped in the bed with a huge grin, which sealed the deal for Alani.
As part of the sale, Aaron agreed to return the engine back to the previous owner but he had plans to purchase a 350 from Jarrod after he'd treated his truck to an LS conversion. It came complete with a COMP Cams Extreme Energy 286-lift/236-duration cam, with a matched Edelbrock Performer intake and 650-cfm Carter-style carburetor. A Pypes 2 1/2-inch exhaust system flows through a set of Black Widow Pro Venom 250 mufflers. A factory serpentine belt system rounds out the current engine updates. The shift box is a factory 700-R4 controlled by a Lokar Nostalgic 23-inch shifter.
Aaron and company rolled up their sleeves on the suspension side of the build to create the current righteous stance. They did this up front by starting with the stock crossmember and adding 2 1/2-inch dropped spindles and A-arms from Western Chassis. Performance Online came through with a complete master cylinder and disc brake conversion kit. Porterbuilt Stage I front and Stage II rear suspension kits work harmoniously with Airlift Dominator bags. These kits allow for both front and rear shock relocation and installation of a rear C-notch around the 3:73 rear provided by AZ Differentials. Utilizing Porterbuilts' air management side frame brackets they conveniently mounted (two) 3-gallon air tanks, an AccuAir VU4 manifold, and the associated air and electrical lines. Air is supplied by ViAir compressors via an AVS switchbox, but it will take your air away when released, setting attitude with altitude! Detroit Steel sits 20x8 strong in the front corners and 20x9 in the back surrounded by Michelin Sport radials sized 235/35 and 10mm wider for the rear. Aaron colormatched the Bowtie dog dish center caps to nail the business-like stance. In the bed, the factory body color runs throughout except where the bed and fender bolts are located, which were replaced with stainless hardware and add a nice pop to complement the color.
The truck came equipped with its original bench seat and door panels, which Ceballos Customs recovered in the definitive blue vinyl Hound's-tooth pattern. Dakota Digital VHX factory replacement gauges are now housed in the standard equipment bezel reporting all the vital information. The factory radio mount now holds a RetroSound Model 2 head unit, connected to a pair of classic Rockford Fosgate 6x9s placed in the rear cab corners.
Aaron enjoys riding his truck at least a couple of times a week to work and to local car shows with plans for longer trips out of state. He takes pride in the satisfaction of persevering through all the build pains and frustration to seeing his first (and certainly not last) project to completion. His truck is another prime example of the absolute gems that come out of homebuilt garages!
Frame: Factory GM Rear C-notch
Rearend / Ratio: Factory GM 12-bolt / 3:73 ratio (AZ Differentials, Phoenix)
Rear Suspension: Portbuilt Stage II
Rear Brakes: GM 11-inch disc
Front Suspension: Portbuilt Stage I
Front Brakes: GM 12-inch disc
Steering Box: GM 605
Front Wheels: 20x8 Detroit Steel
Rear Wheels: 20x9 Detroit Steel
Front Tires: Michelin Pilot 235/35-20
Rear Tires: Michelin Pilot 245/35-20
Gas Tank: Boyd's frame-mounted tank, 15-gallon
Engine: Factory 350
Heads: Factory cast iron
Valve Covers: Chrome Bowtie aluminum
Manifold / Induction: Edelbrock Performer 650 cfm
Ignition: Factory GM HEI
Exhaust / Mufflers: Pypes 2.5-inch mandrel bent kit / Black Widow Pro Venom
Transmission: GM 700-R4
Shifter: Lokar Nostalgic 23-inch
Style: 1969 short widebed
Modifications: Filled the marker lights and stake pockets
Fenders Front / Rear: Factory
Paint Type / Color: Factory 1969 GM light blue
Headlights / Taillights: Factory
Outside Mirrors: Factory
Bumpers: Factory chrome
Dashboard: Factory dash
Gauges: Dakota Digital VHX series
Air Conditioning: Vintage Air
Stereo: RetroSound head unit, Jensen amp, Rockford 6x9 speakers
Steering Wheel: Original 15-inch
Steering Column: Original GM style
Seats: Original 1969 bench
Upholstery by: Ceballos Custom Upholstery (Tempe, AZ)
Material / Color: Factory blue vinyl / Black and white Hounds tooth insert
Carpet: Factory cut pile Black LMC