The Collard ’79 Chevy C10

A True Multigeneration Family Affair!

By Rob Fortier   –   Photography by Grinder TV

Being a father myself, of course anytime we come upon a father-and-son project it tugs at the heartstrings more than not—not to mention keeps me motivated to finish the ’69 C10 that I originally intended on being my son’s first vehicle (but the 454 big-block, air suspension, and so on, dictated that it probably wasn’t the most appropriate high school ride, much to his dismay!).

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Wayne Collard and his son, Nate, began their father-son collab back at the end of 2018 and—despite the constraints imposed by the dreaded COVID-19—were able to complete their ’79 Chevy in November 2021, all within the confines of their modest home garage … most all, that is.

03 Rear Sunset Silhouette of a 1979 Chevrolet C10 Pickup in Orange

Read More: Big Bill Watson’s 1966 Chevy C10

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“We bought the truck from the original owner,” Wayne recalls, “which was a family member of a coworker. The truck was purchased new in Yuma, Arizona, and never left the city until we hauled it back to Phoenix. The truck is truly a frame-off home build completed by myself and my son with the help of some friends.”

But before we get into the meat and honey-coated potatoes, of course I wanted to know a little bit more about the Colllards, so …

05 Orange 1979 Chevrolet C10 with Custom Tailgate and Chrome Bumper

Wayne continues, “Growing up in SoCal, my father was into hotrods/customs and my wife’s father is a longtime car builder/fabricator (The Nitro Garage, Randy Warriner, but many know him as Newt). My wife and I grew up in the car show scene of SoCal. It was the sport truck craze of the late ’80s/early ’90s when I got my itch for trucks.

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“Once our son, Nate, started hanging around the shop with his grandfather Newt/Randy, it was decided that his first vehicle would be a ’69 C10. Grandpa was able to find a clean builder and the three of us built it from the ground up, with Nate learning sheetmetal work, bodywork, and metal fab. The build took about four years since they would not work on it unless Nate was there in California with Grandpa. It was finished just in time for his 16th birthday.

06 Classic Black Interior with Modern Gauges in a 1979 Chevrolet C10

Read More: Chevy 3100 With Pro Street Performance

“That’s about the time I started looking for a truck of my own. A year later I found the Squarebody that was a clean, one-owner from a family friend. Nate and I tore it down to the frame and brought the sheetmetal to my father-in-law. This is where Nate returned the favor and learned many shop skills. He welded up the stake bed pockets, cab seams, emblems, cowl panels, and fabricated the firewall filler panels. From there Nate and I took many trips to California to do bodywork in preparation for my father-in-law to paint. In the meantime, at home in Arizona, Nate and I were working on the frame; grinding and smoothing it out. We installed the Classic Performance Products (CPP) front/rear suspensions and the drivetrain. Once complete, the chassis was hauled to California and the freshly painted sheetmetal was assembled on the frame and brought back home to Arizona. The work wasn’t over yet; Nate and I spent many nights and weekends assembling it. Full interior, stereo, wiring, trim, glass, brake plumbing, and wiring all done in the garage—and with help from a couple friends, it was finished up in time for back-to-back weekend shows at Dino’s Git-Down and Goodguys Scottsdale in 2021.

09 High Performance Engine Setup in a 1979 Chevrolet C10 Pickup

“Since the completion of the truck, Nate and I have built his ’98 OBS and have started on my wife’s ’94 Suburban grocery getter … it’s a multi-generational family affair!”

Wayne and Nate kept the underpinnings fairly straightforward; as mentioned, the 1/2-ton chassis was updated with CPP and rear disc brakes from Little Shop Mfg, then appropriately outifitted with U.S. Mags 20-inch CTENs shod in Nitto NT555 G2s. Power comes by way of a built, Edelbrock-equipped 350 backed by a Bowtie Overdrives 700-R4. All that extensive sheetmetal work included shaving holes and filling seams throughout, while the paint, which lends its name to the truck’s moniker (“Honey Smacks”), is House of Kolor’s Honey Gold. Finally, after acquiring a pre-upholstered Snowden bench seat and outfitting the cab with Classic Instruments direct-fit gauges, Flaming River column and Budnik wheel, and a RetroSound/Fosgate system, Wayne finished up the interior in brown leather before his big Arizona debut in 2021.

Click on this issue’s cover to see the enhanced digital version of The Collard ’79 Chevy C10.ctp april 2024

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