1971 Chevrolet C/10: No Bling!
If you are in the northeast and you want a quality restoration or custom build, you’ll need to head west. Western New York that is, to B&C Auto Restoration & Paint in Ontario where shop owner Bill Kilpatrick turns out top-quality work on everything from street machines and customs to 1950’s Jaguars. His shop is state-of-the-art and is known for things like hosting Gene Winfield for metal shaping classes and a giant open-house party each August.
His wife Tricia Ruffino not only runs the office, she’s a devout car gal who once taught auto and wood shop before becoming a mechanical engineer and then running her own bakery business. Together they get it right. Bill even took a trip to California in 2013 and traveled up and down the state to soak up inspiration and meet other builders. He returned with his batteries charged and ready to rock.
He says he’s always had “a car to build and paint” since he was 12 years old. It’s no fun owning a shop if you don’t have a cool ride of your own. Enter this 1971 Chevy C/10. The previous owner really liked the 1967 Impala SS that Bill had tricked out with an LS motor and Air Ride suspension, and they traded this Fleetside pickup and some cash.
With a nice new red truck to play with, Bill decided to add his preferred two-tone look to the sides and started blowing the car off with an air blower. To his surprise, big chunks of red paint came flying off, and by the time he finished his shop was covered in shards of red paint. That’s when “quick and easy” went to “frame-off.”
With the cab and bed plucked from the rails, Bill and his crew filled in every hole they thought they wouldn’t use and had it powder coated. It was lowered with a drop kit from McGaughy’s and a C-notch out back. Anticipating a barrel-load of horsepower, the 12-bolt rear was upgraded with Strange axles and Wilwood brakes were hung on the corners for safe stopping. Bill says he wrestled with the wheel and tire combo before landing on the 20-inch rally wheels from American Racing. He ordered his with powder-coated centers and painted them to match.
With the chassis dialed in, the body was smoothed to perfection and remounted. The billet grille came with the truck, so it was cleaned up and put back into place. One-piece side windows were ordered from California, along with a new rear window, all of which feature a slight green tint. A roll pan was made for the bed and 1967 side trim was added for that stem-to-stern break for the color.
As previously mentioned, Bill is a two-tone kind of guy, and this truck was getting one. He found his color while doing a candy green spray-out for a customer. This Pastel Green is in the PPG Vibrance palette and is usually used as a base for the candy green. He liked it just the way it was and paired it with the always-perfect Vanilla Shake from PPG. Not too bright, not too tan – perfect.
Inside, John at JMB Upholstery in Canandaigua found a matching shade of leather for the door panels and customized seat which started life in a 1955 Chevy. The dash was kept clean with a Dakota Digital gauge package and a painted column from ididit. Factory-style touches include a stock radio, a rosewood steering wheel, and Vintage Air controls adapted to the original sliders.
Unlike many shops, Bill also does engine work in-house. He built a 427c.i. V8 with FAST fuel injection that made 450 horsepower. While most folks would be happy with that, it simply wasn’t enough. He wanted more. Out came that engine and in went a 565c.i. monster that pegged the graphs at 798 horsepower at 5400 rpm and a stump-pulling 800 lb-ft of torque at 2000.
The burly powerplant is based on a Dart block and heads with a roller cam and valve train from COMP Cams and fed with a Borla 8-stack EFI with a FAST XFI Sportsman ECU. American Billet front pulley system, Doug Thorley headers, and MSD ignition finish it off and power is sent rearward through a beefed up TH400 transmission. Bill kept his “no bling” policy in check by blacking out most of the components and using a set of valve covers from Billet Specialties.
The truck was started in January of 2015 and finished just in time to make last year’s Goodguys PPG Nationals in July. With a custom 20-gallon fuel cell, the lowered suspension, big engine and comfy interior, Bill says the truck rides like a Cadillac, is very quiet inside and goes like mad. Perfect for a two-tone shop truck!