The ongoing debate about “Built Vs. Bought” continues as some builders think that you should only be respected if you can finish a project on your own. Yes, some enjoy the art of working with your hands and show the evidence of it with dirt under their fingernails. In the opinion of some, buying your way in with trucks built by others is a shortcut to the finish line. But if you can afford to have someone else execute your project dreams, doesn’t that effort deserve respect?
The story of this C10 known as the battleship lies between both ends of this debate as the current owner has skills yet purchased the truck to fulfill his situation. You see, Brandon Emmons of Port Neches, TX was raised to be a true gearhead as his father owned a body shop and hot rods were always in the picture. Brandon even followed suit and professionally painted vehicles for fifteen years until he switched to being a pipeliner.
Brandon started off with muscle cars and traditional hot rods, all powered by Chevy small block engines. About six years ago, he took notice of the ever-growing classic truck scene and made the switch over. As Brandon became more involved in the scene and focused on C10 pickups, wound up being a local representative for C/10 Club Texas. This led to him partnering up with friend, Moose Johnson to start a clothing line called, C10 Soul Texas. In order to get more involved in the scene and promote the brand, they started hitting shows.
Soon after, Brandon started building and selling trucks on the side and even had a project of his own. This truck was a ’67 Chevy C10, which was a five-year build. It was powered by an LS3 engine and sat on a custom frame with Ridetech suspension to allow for 20×16-inch wheels in the rear. Brandon’s biggest moment with the truck was winning a Top 100 pick at LST, which was followed by the lowest point.
On the way back from the show, the truck was totaled after losing traction in the rain. At that point, Brandon was left with a choice of building another truck or skipping most of the labor by purchasing a this finished ’69 Chevy C10 from a friend. Some may see purchasing a completed truck as cheating but then there is a bit of hypocrisy as builders like to sell off rides to fund the next project. In Brandon’s case, he already had a finished ride and simply needed to replace it.
This truck that Brandon picked up also has a bit of a backstory as it was built by Lonnie Thompson of Carolina Kustoms in memory of his brother John. It originally entered Lonnie’s shop as a customer build that Lonnie and John worked on together. It was a truck that escalated from getting simple rust repair to full build status. Eventually, the customer had to pull the truck out for financial reasons. During the time it was away, Lonnie’s brother lost a battle with cancer as this truck was the last thing that they were able to work on together.
The truck ended up back on the market and Lonnie decided he had to have it back in order to finish it in memory of his brother. When he got it back, Lonnie discovered that it had some new work that was less than acceptable. The cab was bolted directly to the frame without any bushings and it threw everything out of alignment. It was so bad that Lonnie threw his hands up at the truck and pushed it outside while he regrouped. Once he was able accept that the truck needed some drastic changes like scraping the majority of the sheet metal, the truck moved forward.
With a refreshed mindset, the truck was completely overhauled to represent Carolina Kustoms’ talent. Some of the new additions include the LS engine, custom interior, and a few body mods. Setting it all off is a set of Kindig-it door handles and a raised bed floor with wheel covers that were modified to fit by Brook Allmaras. The best part of the whole thing was that Lonnie was able to reuse the recessed marker lights that he and John had originally built by implementing them on the exterior.
Now that the truck is in Brandon’s hands, he was able to upgrade it with a set of 20×9 and 22×11-inch Budnik Muroc IV SKO billet wheels and a Flowmaster 40 Series mufflers. He is gradually working towards making the truck his own and a redesign of the interior is in the works by Mobile Toys Inc of Bryan, TX. By purchasing this already finished truck, he was able to save time and further modify it to suit his tastes.
Through his time spent in the truck scene, Brandon has learned that it doesn’t matter if you have a $500 truck, or a $150,000 truck, everyone is cool and is treated the same. Brandon would like to give a shout out to his dad, John Emmons, for always helping to keep everything in tip top shape. Another big shout out goes to Carolina Kustoms for building this sick truck, and all the C10 guys that have helped him along the way. And, as all the C10 guys know, it’s more than a lifestyle!
Brandon Emmons • ‘69 C10
- Work Performed by Lonnie, Dakota and Dennis Thompson of Carolina Kustoms
- Chevy 6.0L LS assembled by Wong’s Performance
- COMP Cams Stage 2 camshaft and roller rockers
- Wegner Motorsports accessory drive
- Speartech wiring
- MSD coils
- Nick Williams throttle body
- Holley mid-rise intake
- Custom-made cold-air intake
- Custom headers
- 3-inch exhaust with Flowmaster mufflers
- Be Cool radiator
- SPAL electric fan
- Boyd Welding gas tank
- Stainless steel fuel lines
- Optima Yellow-Top batteries
- Custom driveshaft
- 6L90E transmission with Corvette shift kit
- Chevy 12-bolt rear end with 3.73 gears and Dutchman axles
- Yukon Gear limited-slip differential
- Porterbuilt front and rear suspension kits
- Classic Performance Products drop spindles
- Slam Specialties RE-7 airbags in front
- Ridetech sleeve ’bags in rear
- Ridetech shocks
- 14-inch Wilwood brakes
- Hydratech brake booster
- AccuAir Endo air/valve tank
- Air Zenith compressors
- 20×9 and 22×11 Budnik Rims Muroc IV SKO
- 235/35R20 and 285/35R22 Michelin tires
- 1967 C-10 front clip
- Kindig-it door handles
- Raised bed floor with bird’s-eye maple
- Modified rear wheel covers by Brook Allmaras
- Custom recessed marker lights
- Custom front grille, hood and inner wheel covers by Jason Vannatta
- Porterbuilt hood hinges
- Fesler taillights
- Nu-Relics power windows
- Battleship Gray paint mixed from PPG materials
- Custom bench seat w/bolsters and leather upholstery
- Custom door panels with leather upholstery
- Billet Specialties steering wheel
- Ididit steering column
- Lokar Performance Products pedals
- Dakota Digital HDX gauges
- Billet Specialties interior door handles
- Vintage Air climate control
- Bluetooth stereo
- Rockford Fosgate T series 6.5 component speakers, 12-inch subs and 1000×4 amp
- Rockford Fosgate 360 processor
- Hush Mat sound deadener