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posted: 11/18/2013 12:30 AM

Texas-size attitude for 1968 Chevrolet C-10

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  • An air suspension lowers the 1968 Chevy pickup close to the ground.

      An air suspension lowers the 1968 Chevy pickup close to the ground.

  • Greg Dahm of Libertyville and his son Corey admire vehicles from the muscle-car era. "My wife Holley encouraged me to jump back into the hobby," he said. "It's been a lot of fun and we're also meeting great people."

      Greg Dahm of Libertyville and his son Corey admire vehicles from the muscle-car era. "My wife Holley encouraged me to jump back into the hobby," he said. "It's been a lot of fun and we're also meeting great people."

  •  
    Photos Courtesy of Prestige MotorCar Photography

  • The flying eyeball artwork on the cab's roof is pinstriper Brando's nod to the work of iconic artist and motorcycle mechanic Von Dutch.

      The flying eyeball artwork on the cab's roof is pinstriper Brando's nod to the work of iconic artist and motorcycle mechanic Von Dutch.

  • Dahm reworked the interior just to his liking.

      Dahm reworked the interior just to his liking.

  • An inline six-cylinder engine from a 1985 tow truck was installed by the previous owner.

      An inline six-cylinder engine from a 1985 tow truck was installed by the previous owner.

  • Barbed-wire pinstriping, show here in the truck bed as well as in the cab, was inspired by the truck's Texas farming roots.

      Barbed-wire pinstriping, show here in the truck bed as well as in the cab, was inspired by the truck's Texas farming roots.

 
 

Everything tends to be bigger in Texas. Greg Dahm's 1968 Chevrolet C-10 pickup originated from the Lone Star State and it can't hide it's larger-than-life heritage.

This dream machine doesn't deliver run-of-the-mill, ho-hum reactions from spectators. It hauls in a bounty of over-the-top bewilderment. The cosmic, eye-searing Hugger Orange matte paint job is enough to wow even the most disinterested of passers-by. Yet the biggest jaw-dropper is found under the hood.

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"People are amazed I've kept the inline six-cylinder engine," Dahm said. "They find it incredible, as these types of trucks become more popular, all of them seem to be powered by V-8s.

"I'm told constantly not to change it."

The Libertyville resident has no plans to excise that 292-cubic-inch six-holer, nor let anything happen to his beloved Chevy. "It was old Chevy iron and I was just drawn to it."

He bought it in 2011 in Fort Wayne, Ind. Shortly after making the four-hour drive to purchase the truck, it was clear this was the one for him. "I had just started up the owner's driveway when I saw the truck and I immediately said, 'I'll take it.' "

The C-10 was sold new in Texas and served hard time as a farm truck. The previous owner had big plans to take the old hauler to radical new heights and had spent his four years of ownership feverishly crafting a one-of-a-kind ride. He was so busy modifying, he never found the time to title the truck or even complete the project.

"He owned a foundry and was very good at modifying things and working with metal. He handcrafted the entire chassis himself," Dahm said.

Other modifications included an air-bag suspension that drops the truck to a pavement-hugging stance, drilled and slotted disc brakes, Mustang rack-and-pinion front, Offenhauser intake, T-5 transmission and Coys 18- and 20-inch wheels. "The engineering on the truck is very extensive. It was obvious the previous owner had a clear focus."

Just because the truck was overhauled didn't mean it was ready to hit the streets. As soon as Dahm took delivery, he began making final adjustments. "The brakes needed reworking and (it needed) a new master cylinder. Cooling issues also had to be addressed."

With all the mechanicals sorted out, Dahm set about getting the dreamy creamsicle exterior just the way he wanted. He brought his C-10 to area artist and pinstriper, Brando, for custom touches that hearken back to the truck's upbringing.

"The barbed-wire pinstriping was an inspiration from the truck's Texas farm origins. I couldn't help but think it had driven past miles and miles of cattle fencing in its day."

The truck produces major emotions from strangers, but also Dahm's own family.

"I was shocked" when he made the purchase, son Corey said. "I had always heard about Dad's previous cars -- a '69 Chevelle and '68 Camaro. I was certain he would buy another muscle car."

• Email comments, questions to auto@dailyherald.com.

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