Going fast is in the DNA of pretty much every car or truck guy, but it’s not always easy or affordable to act upon that natural need for speed. Some folks opt for a crate engine and creature comforts in favor of a radical camshaft and upgraded fuel system. And while the simple approach is perfectly acceptable, the Calhoun brothers aren’t interested in simple — they want to go fast. Chuck and Jeff Calhoun are truck guys who happen to have a thing for Chevys.
Chuck’s truck is the Sunburst Orange 1967 Chevrolet C10, while his brother Jeff’s truck is the bright red 1965 Chevrolet C10. Both trucks make lots of power, but they go about it in a different way, so the typical brotherly competition is in full swing. Chuck relies on a turbocharged LS-based engine, while Jeff makes horsepower with a tried-and-true aluminum-head small-block. Both trucks are street friendly, but make occasional trips to the dragstrip where bragging rights are on the line.
So, who comes out on top in this brotherly battle? So far, Jeff’s ’65 C10 has claimed the quickest elapsed time, with a best time of 7.808 at 89 miles per hour in the eighth mile. Chuck’s turbo C10 certainly has the potential to outrun his brother’s naturally aspirated combination, but transmission issues have prevented it from putting all the horsepower to the ground. When he gets the bugs ironed out, we’re guessing Chuck’s performance will encourage Jeff to up the ante and create a good old-fashioned grudge race. Jeff says that’s nothing a little nitrous won’t fix.
Despite the intentions of going fast, the two C10s are nicely finished with no details left untouched. Beautiful paintjobs cover both trucks, and you won’t find any outrageous body modifications — just simple custom touches throughout. Let’s find out more about the Calhoun brother’s trucks, and what makes them an awesome pair of potent pickups.
Chuck ran across this ’67 C10 in 1999, and traded with a friend to take over ownership of the truck, which needed a lot of attention. For many years, he used it to haul off the trash, hauling anything he could find and chasing parts for other projects. Since then, it has gone through many changes to reach the configuration you see here. Chuck admits that the truck is an ongoing project, and will likely never be considered “finished.”
Underneath, the chassis has been progressively updated and modified to give the truck a lower stance and better handling. The front suspension is lowered 3 inches, thanks to a set of drop spindles, and now features disc brakes with a Hydro-boost system. Chuck upgraded the steering system with a steering box from an ’87 C10, which offers a quicker steering ratio. Out back is a 12-bolt rearend, set up with 3.73 gears, and a Positraction differential. The rear brakes are made up of scratch-built brackets to accommodate 2005 Corvette disc brakes. Chuck installed lowering springs to bring the ride height down a total of 5 inches in the rear. He then converted the front and rear to a five-lug bolt pattern, and bolted on a set of polished American Racing Torq Thrust II wheels, sized at 17×8 inches and wrapped in Goodyear GTII 255/60R17 raised white letter tires.
Of the two pickups, Chuck’s ’67 C10 certainly has the most wow factor under the hood. He opted for a modern powerplant, a 6.0-liter “LQ4” engine from a 2007 Chevy truck. This Vortec engine is based off the popular LS platform, so it had lots of potential for power and plenty of life left in it with only 7,000 miles on the clock. Chuck kept the stock bottom end, as well as the original cylinder heads, but utilized a Hummer H3 oil pan to fit the modern engine into the C10 without clearance issues. The Comp Cams hydraulic roller camshaft is mild, but works well with the T-76 Q-trim turbocharger, which is the biggest conversation piece of the entire build. The turbo gets a lot of attention, and it’s plumbed with stainless steel piping, which starts at a set of Stainless Works headers and ends with a pair of Flowmaster mufflers and stainless steel tailpipes. For now, the maximum boost pressure is 8 pounds.
To support the additional horsepower from the turbocharger, Chuck’s 6.0-liter engine is equipped with a custom aluminum fuel tank and dual Racetronix fuel pumps that send 93-octane fuel to the 60-pound injectors. InTune Motorsports tuned the turbocharged engine to be manageable on the street, yet still make plenty of power when Chuck takes the truck to the local dragstrip. Power application is controlled by a 4L65E automatic overdrive transmission, equipped with a Yank 2,600-rpm torque converter.
Although Chuck still has some testing and tuning ahead of him, the exterior and interior of his truck is immaculate. The truck has all new bed panels, and a few custom touches that required some moderate metal fabrication. The original fuel filler hole is now smoothed, and Chuck shaved all of the emblems for a clean look. The PPG Sunburst paint is sanded and buffed to a slick finish, and offers the finishing touch for Chuck’s classic Chevy.
Inside, the truck features a mostly stock interior, with a recovered bench seat and door panels, finished in black. The sunburst orange paint covers the steel portions of the interior, while Auto Meter gauges fill the original cluster. A tilt steering column mounts a woodgrain three-spoke steering wheel for a classic look, while an Alpine CD player provides a modern convenience to this old pickup. Another creature comfort consists of the Classic Auto Air A/C system, which gets put to use on humid summer days in Tennessee. Between the stance, paintjob, interior, and turbocharged engine, Chuck’s C10 offers a nice blend of old and new, and the final result is a dependable truck that he and his wife Darlene can enjoy on a regular basis.
The differences between the brother’s trucks are numerous, and Jeff’s leans more toward the traditional side of the spectrum. Instead of the metallic paintjob, Jeff’s truck is coated in Victory Red, and instead of a high-tech turbocharged engine, Jeff opted for an all-motor small-block Chevy. His ’65 C10 offers good looks and great performance, while still being mild enough to drive on the street.
Suspension modifications are similar to Chuck’s truck, with 3 inches of drop up front and 4 inches out back. Jeff used drop spindles and drop springs to lower the front ride height, and upgraded to an ’86 Chevy truck sway bar. The power steering system is from a ’72 Chevy pickup, as are the disc brakes, which changed the wheel bolt pattern to the more popular five-lug configuration. Rolling stock consists of polished American Torq Thurst II wheels, the same size as Chucks, and wrapped in Toyo 255/6R17 tires for the street. For track use, Jeff uses a set of 15-inch Americans and Goodyear radials.
The rearend is a stock 12-bolt housing that utilizes an Eaton differential with 3.73 gears. The stock rear axles have been redrilled to feature a 5-on-5-inch bolt pattern. Jeff fitted a set of Astro Van rear brake rotors to the rear end, and finished off the brake setup with a pair of ’72 Chevy truck calipers.
Under the hood, the powerplant looks like a basic small-block, but it’s far from it, boasting 406 cubic inches, and a laundry list of go-fast parts. It all starts with an Eagle crankshaft, Scat rods and Speed Pro forged pistons, which create an 11.0:1 compression ratio. The aluminum cylinder heads are Dart Pro1 215cc castings, packed with 2.05- and 1.60-inch valves, and outfitted with Comp Cams valve springs and pushrods. The camshaft is also a Comp stick with 255 degrees of duration on the intake side and 262 degrees on the exhaust, measured at .050-inch lift. Fuel is provided by a 750-cfm Barry Grant carburetor, mounted atop an Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake manifold, while fire comes from an MSD Pro Billet distributor and 6-AL box. Hedman headers send exhaust gasses into a 3-inch exhaust system, complete with Magnaflow mufflers.
Behind the healthy small-block is a TH350 automatic transmission, which is mildly modified with a shift kit and a Boss Hog 3,000-rpm stall torque converter. Despite Jeff’s tendency to take his truck down the dragstrip, he retained the column shifter. Other interior details include gray leather upholstery, and a stock gauge cluster with the addition of a vacuum gauge from a ’67 GTO and an Autogage tachometer. The steering column came from a ’72 Chevy truck, while the Grant woodgrain perfectly matches his brother’s truck. An American Autowire wiring harness provides juice to all of the electronics, including the Sony CD player and Memphis speakers.
When it came time to repair the body and paint on his ’65 C10, Jeff repaired the normal rusty areas (rocker panels, kick panels, and lower front fenders) and then straightened the panels in preparation for paint. He then called in help from Mike Raby to apply the Sikkens Victory Red base/clear paint, which turned out beautifully. Other help throughout the build came from Chuck Calhoun, Scotty Martin, Will Phillips, Jerry Beavers and several folks from the 1947-Present GM Truck forums.
And though Jeff’s truck has very specific details that differentiate it from his brother’s sunburst C10, the two trucks make a nice pair when parked together. You begin to notice the similarities when the trucks are together, even when the trucks are lined up together at the dragstrip. It’s a brotherly battle between two killer C10s, and it always ends with smiling faces and a little less rubber on the tires.