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BIG POPPA

by Brian Goude Grinder TV

Chris McCombs’ ’88 Silverado is a Fitting Tribute to His Pops

I first laid eyes on Chris and Christy McCombs’ ‘88 Silverado at the Southeastern Truck Nationals earlier this year. I took a few photos of their truck and struck up a conversation with the two of them. Chris showed me around the truck and we shared stories about our dads and their OBS trucks. Their truck struck a chord with me, as it’s particularly special to Chris. It was his Pops’ and it’s a fitting reminder of the time they spent together through the years. 

Sometimes, we like to let the owners tell the story in their own words, so we handed the mic to Chris. His words mean so much more than anything we could ever put together. “This truck is a 1988 long wheelbase that belonged to my dad, Roy E. Cooper. When he had it, it was used as a yard truck. He would drive it around town, take out the trash, and clean up the yard. It was passed down to me when my Pops passed away in June of 2011. He left me his truck and I wanted to restore the truck that I had so many memories of.”

“One of my fondest memories in this truck is a trip that my dad, his wife, and I took together to pick up a refrigerator. The morning started with a dull thud when I asked him if I could drive. He was quick to respond. ‘Not today, son. You can’t handle this truck.’ After a quick stop to pick up a biscuit for breakfast, as we were leaving the restaurant, the alternator stopped charging. Shortly after, the power steering quit working. To add to the misery, we began to drive into a torrential rain storm with the wipers struggling to keep up. As if rain on our parade wasn’t the final straw, like a mirage, a little old lady with an umbrella appeared from nowhere in the middle of the road. As dad struggled with the now-unassisted steering and wet, slippery road, he cut the wheel as hard as he could and we ended up in the ditch. Little old lady 1, Pops’ truck 0. Everyone was fine, but dad was upset that he dropped his biscuit. And his stick-on hula girl fell off the dash. We couldn’t stop laughing. It’s a memory that I will absolutely cherish forever.” “I began working on the truck a few months after he passed, and it took me nine years to finish it. There was lots of starting and stopping on this project because of all the emotions that came along with it. 

What started out as a simple build turned into stripping the whole truck apart. Every nut and bolt has been replaced on this truck. It went from a long wheelbase truck to a short wheelbase truck on Air Ride. A friend of mine, Barry Campbell, freshened up the original 350 cubic inch small block. The chassis went to Adam Conner, Cole Conner, and Austin Thornburg. We took the seats and console from a ‘98 Tahoe and Price Upholstery recovered and refurbished it all. All of the metal work under the hood was done by Allon at LVLD Fabrication  Matrix Muscle Cars finished her up with paint, bedliner and final assembly.” “One of my favorite parts of the truck is the steering wheel horn button that Adam, Cole, and Austin surprised me with. It’s custom engraved with a message to Pops by Shane Bolton, a tattoo artist at Nonstop Tattoo in Birmingham, AL.” The blood sweat and tears Chris has invested into his truck only serves to reinforce the incredibly special relationship he had with his Pops. Rock on Mr. Cooper.

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