By Rob Fortier – Photography by Tim Sutton
Back in 2019, Kevin Clark found himself in the position of acquiring a 1966 Chevy Truck project that had been started, but due to its owner becoming ill could not be completed—let alone ever driven the pickup—as intended. And part of the deal was that Kevin would “keep the previous owner’s dream alive [of having a driving ’66 pickup],” as he put it.
Check Out: Radio Restoration For 1964-1966 Chevy Trucks
It’s probably one of the last things any of us ever really thinks about when starting or even in the middle of a pickup build is the question of what would happen if we were not able to see it through to completion—not for reasons of financial hardship, rather, for reasons of poor health. But, as much as we hate to hear about stories as such, they do happen.
Kevin had every intention of seeing the 1966 Chevy Truck build through, as promised, until he too became seriously ill and could no longer perform the remaining tasks himself. Now, here’s where many projects ultimately disappear, get sold off, or simply sit dormant for untold years … but not this one.
Knowing how much the truck meant to him (along with his father, Kevin’s a lifelong “Chevy guy”), his wife reassured him that his dream needed to be kept alive, and in order to do so, they needed to find the right team of builders to accomplish that. With rendering in hand, the two eventually found themselves at the doorstep of Chimera Motors in Huntington Beach, California.
With the in-progress project turned over to Chimera, the next year-and-a-half was spent fulfilling a pair of dreams. The chassis, which the original owner had already began modifying, was completed using a combination of Classic Performance Products upgrades, such as a front disc brake conversion and tubular upper control arms and dropped spindles.
In order to get the 1966 Chevy C10 to sit as low as it does now over the “whitewalled” Toyo radials and Detroit Steel 20-inch smoothies, along with a necessary rear frame C-notch, Firestone air springs were integrated fore and aft. For power, the original V-8 was swapped out for a slightly more potent Billet Specialties Tru Trac–outfitted LS3 backed with a Bowtie Overdrives 4L70E.
What really makes Kevin’s Fleetside stand out, besides that near-perfect stance and wheel/tire combo, are the exterior and interior finishing touches. After knocking out the bodywork—beyond the OE specs, we might add—Chimera Motors did a knock-out job with the PPG-based “Clark Custom Mix” two-tone paintjob.
The truck was then re-outfitted with all the proper deluxe trim and brightwork; the Fleetside bed treated to a beautiful hickory wood floor from, who else, BedWood & Parts. The color-matched Detroit steelies were further enhanced with Bowtie rallye caps and beauty rings, adding to that perfect “modern-OE” vibe.
Finally, the internals of Kevin’s dream were given more than just a once-over, as Deluxe Interiors in El Monte, California, did an amazing job with the upholstery—that is once Custom Dimensions completed the “elaborately discrete” sound system. Using leathers, fabrics, and square-weave carpet supplied by Veteran Company, Deluxe created a stock-looking setting that’s anything but, from the custom door/kick panels to the extended dash housing the Old Air Products A/C components and registers.
Check Out: Purpose (re)Built: Derek Brown’s 1967 F-100
Literally 20 months after dropping the truck off with Chimera Motors, Kevin and his wife, Veronica, were literally living their dream fulfilled on the highways and byways of SoCal with what is definitely one of the cleanest early gen C10s we’ve laid our eyes on in quite some time!