In this day in age there’s a lot of stress put on kids into building a life based around higher learning and less about physical skills. As a society, many want their children to strive for some sort of dream of being a doctor, lawyer or any other profession that requires them to wear a suit and tie to the workplace. That’s great and all, but some people prefer to work with their hands, and we think this is a fine way to live your life.
A little dirt under the fingernails never hurt anyone, and to some, working with your own two hands can be the most rewarding experience in life. For people like Luke Embry, they do not shy away from putting in a little elbow grease to get what they want out of life. And when a buddy of his wanted to trade him a troublesome ’84 C10 for a gas-saving commuter car, Luke didn’t bat an eye at the deal.
In fact, Luke is quite fond of trucks of the 80’s as they remind him of the simpler times of his childhood. When playing with Tonka trucks and Hot Wheels are the extent of your days, it’s hard to not want to spend every day doing the same. And for some of us, our toys just get bigger with age and we can find ways to making a living with them.
When Luke first got this truck, it was painted gold and was a true project that came with a host of issues. As he saw it, this was nothing that some hard work in the garage couldn’t fix. This is another reason we like trucks like this, as they are rather simple and just about anyone can gather a few parts to make a head-turning and functioning vehicle.
This truck has had so many different engines in it that you would think Luke thought performing swaps was an Olympic sport. Now, you may be thinking that this was due to Luke cutting corners with the power plants and he would swap them out because of mishaps along the way. Well, that simply isn’t true as he just wanted to try new thing and improve the trucks’ performance along the way.
The latest swap kicked off when Luke found a low-mileage ’17 5.3L L83 Chevrolet Gen V small block V8. For those that are unfamiliar with this, it is the modern direct-injection engine that replaced the LS in Chevy and GMC’s full-size trucks. Most of you are familiar with traditional small blocks and even LS engine, but this one is a bit different. There are some difficulties like higher fuel pressure required to feed the injection system and the lack of power steering pump as modern trucks have electric units.
However, Luke was able to prove his mechanical skills worthy enough to score a gig at Holley Performance Products as a product engineer. This meant that he had access to all the equipment needed to make this modern engine run in this vintage pickup. Some of the key pieces on it now is the Hooker engine mounts and exhaust, Holley Terminator X EFI and Holley mid-mount accessory drive that keeps the front functioning part in tight and adds a power steering pump as well.
With everything working under the hood, Luke went on to other improvements on the chassis. This includes the 4/6 Belltech drop kit that gives this truck a more aggressive stance while lowering the center of gravity for improved performance. Bringing the stopping power up to snuff is a set of Master Power Brakes 13/12-inch discs with four-piston calipers.
Since the truck was working better than ever, Luke decided to upgrade a few other pieces. He then dropped in a Vintage Air climate control system and Dakota Digital RTX-gauges to keep track of all the vitals. On to the exterior, this truck was worked straight and painted in a blue and silver two-tone with Trim Parts moldings to break it up. Lastly was a set of 20-inch Rocket Attack wheels with Toyo rubber to finish the subtle yet mean look of this gentleman’s pickup.
By using some old fashioned skills, Luke was not only able to make a decent career, but he is able to have fun by building fun vehicles like this C10. For people like Luke, this is all you need in life in order to be happy and we can’t argue with that.
LUKE EMBRY • ‘84 C10
- 2017 5.3L L83 Chevrolet Gen V small block V8
- Holley mid-mount accessory drive
- Holley Terminator X EFI
- Holley Fuel tank and pump
- Hooker full exhaust system
- Hooker engine and transmission mounts
- Custom cold-air intake
- Dual Spal electric 12-inch fans
- Dewitt’s aluminum radiator
- Earl’s Performance AN fittings and hoses
- TREMEC T-56 6-speed manual transmission
- 12-bolt rear end
- Richmond 4.11:1 gears
- Belltech 4/6 drop kit
- Master Power Brakes 13 and 12-inch rotors with 4-piston calipers
- Baer master cylinder
- Hooker Blackheart steering shaft
- 20-inch Rocket Attack wheels
- 255/45R20 & 295/45R20 Toyo Proxes ST III tires
- Tamco blue and silver paint
- Trim Parts moldings
- Soft Seal weather stripping
- GSI Machine and Fabrication badges and door handles
- Dakota Digital RTX gauges
- Vintage Air climate control system
- Vibro Solutions sound deadening material
- Hurst shifter