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Chris Pate’s Custom 1968 Chevy C10 “Lucy”

It’s not uncommon for builders to design the interiors of project vehicles. For Chris Pate, though, he’s the interior guy who designed his truck, a full custom 1968 Chevy C10.

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Chris calls College Station, Texas, home. He’s also the owner of MTI Interiors, which, of course, did the exotic interior in his truck. The goal, Chris tells us, was to create a different take on the C10 while maintaining much of the original spirit. Mission accomplished, but it took a lot of hard work to create what you see.

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Start with the body. While the pickup still looks like a 1968 Chevy C10 from a distance, a closer look reveals the extent of the custom work. All trim, door handles, side marker lights, wing vents, roof drip rails, and other protrusions are gone. So are the fresh-air grille inlets in the cowl. All the front-end sheet metal – fenders, front grill pieces and hood – were molded to create a one-piece unit. The hood is narrowed and the front corners are rounded. The customized grille sits above a molded rolled pan.

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1968 c10, 1968 chevy c10, chevy c10, c10, c10 club, c10 crew, 68 c10, custom c10, c10 truck

The bed treatment is equally customized, from the deleted tailgate and rolled rear pan with recessed lights and license plate, to the smooth bed that exposes the rear suspension structure. All bodywork and paint (BASF white and copper) was performed by MSB Performance of Bryan, Texas. MSB also built the rest of the truck, including the engine and frame.

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Under the hood, a 383c.i. stroker small-block Chevy V8 features FiTech fuel injection, custom-milled valve covers, MSD ignition, and Hooker headers feeding a custom-formed Flowmaster exhaust system. A TH400 automatic transmission pushes the power to a rebuilt original differential that rests in a rear suspension system from Porterbuilt Fabrication. Porterbuilt also provided the front suspension. Wilwood and CPP components handle the stopping chores, while 22-inch Intro wheels are wrapped in Nitto tires.

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The use of copper paint for contrast on the suspension, engine, and wheels carries through to the wild interior that Chris designed and built in his shop – MTI Interiors. The custom dash features a mid-mounted Classic Instruments gauge assembly from a ’57 Chevy pickup, along with hidden stereo speakers. It’s worth noting that Chris also owns MTI Acoustics, so he’s well versed in creating top-end sound systems.

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MTI designed and built the custom steering wheel, which sits atop an ididit tilt column. Chris conceived and built the seats and covered them – and the rest of the interior – with two-tone brown leather. The console is also a one-off piece.

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Creating this slick white truck took Chris and his collaborators three-and-a-half years. The finished product is both impressive and impactful, enough so to earn a Goodguys 2019 LMC Truck of the Year Late finalist nod amid a sea of fine haulers last fall in Texas.

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Photos by Steven Bunker

Dave Doucette is a long-time Goodguys member with a career in newspaper, magazine and website journalism. He was one of the founding editors of USA TODAY, editor of two daily newspapers and co-owner of a magazine publishing and trade show company. He owns and operates Real Auto Media. His first car was a 1947 Ford; he has owned Camaros, Firebirds, El Caminos and a 1956 Chevy that was entered in shows from California to Florida before being sold last year. He was one of the original Goodguys Rodders Reps and served as president of two classic Chevy clubs. Doucette grew up in South Florida, avidly following the racing exploits of local hero Ollie Olsen and, of course, Don Garlits. He remembers riding his bicycle to Briggs Cunningham’s West Palm Beach factory to peak through the fence at his Sebring and LeMans racers.

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