Goodguys Giveaway Squarebody, 1985 chevy c10, 1985 c10, goolsby customs squarebody

Building the Goodguys Giveaway ’86 Squarebody – Part 5

Spoiler alert! This installment of the Goodguys Giveaway Squarebody giveaway series is being written and published after the completed truck was unveiled at the Goodguys Summit Racing Nationals in Columbus. If you were there – or if you follow Goodguys online or on social media – you’ve probably already seen the completed pickup. Rest assured that it’s a great-looking custom truck and we’ll have a full feature on it with all the details later this month on FuelCurve.com. But first, we want to take a look at how the Goolsby Customs team finished up this bitchin’ build.

Goodguys Giveaway Squarebody, 1985 chevy c10, 1985 c10, goolsby customs squarebody

Filling all the various mechanical systems with proper fluids was also part of final assembly. Lucas Oil provided a full complement of products for this, from engine oil, gear oil, and grease, to brake fluid for the Baer braking system.


When we left off last month, the ’86 C10 had just rolled out of the paint booth after receiving a custom finish of GM Light Blue Metallic and Frost White using BASF materials. A trio of painted orange accent stripes divide the two colors, and everything is topped with a glossy clear coat for a shiny, uniform surface. After the long, arduous process of color sanding and polishing the new paint, the team could finally get to work on final assembly and finishing the myriad remaining projects to complete this custom hauler.

Goodguys Giveaway Squarebody, 1985 chevy c10, 1985 c10, goolsby customs squarebody

When we left off in the last issue, the body and various panels had come out of the paint booth and the arduous color sanding process had begun. Just like block sanding primer, a guide coat material was used during color sanding to help ensure thorough and consistent results. The Goolsby team used materials from Griot’s Garage for the final polishing process.

One mechanical task left to do was building the custom stainless steel exhaust, which was done using Magnaflow components. This included the pipes, mufflers, catalytic converters, and connectors. The system was built with an X-pipe ahead of the mufflers and exits in a factory-style location behind the rear wheel openings.

Goodguys Giveaway Squarebody, 1985 chevy c10, 1985 c10, goolsby customs squarebody

Stainless steel tubing, mufflers, catalytic converters, and other parts from Magnaflow were used to build the truck’s custom exhaust system. The catalytic converters were mounted between the headers and the X-pipe, with the mufflers positioned just ahead of the kick-up over the rear axle.

Prior to installing the interior, the Goolsby team lined the cab floor and rear panel with DEI Boom Mat, an acoustic barrier material that will reduce cabin noise and heat. They also installed a Sure Fit climate control system from Vintage Air and some kickin’ stereo gear from Kicker Audio. Other interior elements included a Squarebody Syndicate series tilt steering column from Ididit, Dakota Digital RTX instruments, and Lokar pedals. Everything was wired using a Chevy Truck Classic Update kit from American Autowire.

Goodguys Giveaway Squarebody, 1985 chevy c10, 1985 c10, goolsby customs squarebody

The Vintage Air Sure Fit climate control kit had been pre-fitted prior to final bodywork and paint, which made installation relatively straightforward during final assembly.

Goodguys Giveaway Squarebody, 1985 chevy c10, 1985 c10, goolsby customs squarebody

The Goolsby team used DEI titanium exhaust wrap on the exhaust pipes under the cab to help reduce radiant heat under the floor, plus gold heat shield on the portions of the fuel line running nearest to the exhaust.

Goodguys Giveaway Squarebody, 1985 chevy c10, 1985 c10, goolsby customs squarebody

Ididit supplied the Squarebody Syndicate series tilt column, which is designed specifically for these trucks. Goolsby opted for a plain steel column, which was painted satin black before being installed. You can also see the Dakota Digital RTX instruments in the second photo – they look like originals but have a host of modern features like TFT message screens incorporated into the speedometer and tach.

Goodguys Giveaway Squarebody, 1985 chevy c10, 1985 c10, goolsby customs squarebody

Kicker Audio provided a host of goodies to keep the tunes flowing inside this squarebody. In addition to the woofer boxes and five-channel amplifier seen here, there were door and dash speakers, plus all the wiring needed to connect everything.

Goodguys Giveaway Squarebody, 1985 chevy c10, 1985 c10, goolsby customs squarebody

Wiring was one of the many other tasks remaining on the to-do list. A Chevy Truck Classic Update kit from American Autowire helped simplify the process.

The upholstery work was expertly handled by Cato’s Custom Upholstery in Tucker, Georgia. Phil Cato and his team carved custom foam to use on the original bench seat frame and stitched gray Moore & Giles leather to cover it. A small accent of plaid cloth was used on the seat and the door panels to complement the leather. And you might not notice them at first, but the custom kick panels, arm rest pads, and center console were digitally designed and CNC machined from foam before being wrapped in leather.

Goodguys Giveaway Squarebody, 1985 chevy c10, 1985 c10, goolsby customs squarebody

Phil Cato of Cato’s Custom Upholstery is seen here installing some of the interior panels he upholstered using leather and plaid cloth from Moore & Giles. You’ll see more of the finished results of his handiwork in the final feature next month.

Goodguys Giveaway Squarebody, 1985 chevy c10, 1985 c10, goolsby customs squarebody

It’s cool to see some of the technology used in modern builds. For example, Cato digitally designed custom arm rests tops for the new door panels from LMC, and then CNC machined them from high-density foam, which was wrapped in leather. The door panels themselves were also leather wrapped, and then fitted with plaid cloth inserts, along with OEM trim and handles.

Goodguys Giveaway Squarebody, 1985 chevy c10, 1985 c10, goolsby customs squarebody

In addition to assembling the body parts and installing new glass, the Goolsby team also re-installed all the trim. This included the tucked and reshaped bumpers, which were beautifully chrome plated by Advanced Plating. The shine experts at Advanced Plating also repaired and plated a host of other items, like the headlight surrounds, door handles, and a variety of trim pieces. The grille itself came from LMC Truck, as did many other trim parts, like the lower body molding and tailgate trim panel.

Goodguys Giveaway Squarebody, 1985 chevy c10, 1985 c10, goolsby customs squarebody

The chrome experts at Advanced Plating beautifully prepped and plated the modified bumpers. Goolsby also sent them a variety of other parts for the shiny treatment, like the grille and headlight surrounds, door handles, and many small trim pieces.

Goodguys Giveaway Squarebody, 1985 chevy c10, 1985 c10, goolsby customs squarebody

Speaking of trim, the truck’s new exterior trim – such as the wheel opening moldings, marker lights, grille, and lower body trim – came from LMC Truck. The company made a lot of deliveries to Goolsby Customs during this build!

Goodguys Giveaway Squarebody, 1985 chevy c10, 1985 c10, goolsby customs squarebody

One of the fun things the Goolsby Customs team likes to do on builds like this is sign their names somewhere on the body where they will be hidden…until somebody takes the truck apart again. For the Goodguys Squarebody, nicknamed “Jenny,” they signed the tailgate before adding the stainless Silverado tailgate trim.

As you can see in the accompanying photos, it all came together as planned. We can’t wait to show you the finished feature later this month – and for you to get a look at this trick truck in person at an upcoming Goodguys event!

Photos by Goolsby Customs

Editor, Goodguys Gazette

Damon Lee began snapping photos at car shows when he was 10, tagging along with his father to events throughout the Midwest. He has combined his passion for cars and knack for writing and imagery into a 20-year career in the automotive aftermarket, writing for titles like Super Chevy and Rod & Custom and, more recently, working for respected industry leaders Speedway Motors and Goodguys Rod & Custom Association.