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by Scott Mason

When it comes to fabrication and attention to detail, I am a complete nerd. I wouldn’t categorize my fascination as “fanboy” status, but more like a learning experience. I’ve spent my fair share of time in and around fab and machine shops and master crafstmen. Some of their expertise stuck with me, and consequently, I now fancy myself as marginally knowledgeable when it comes to spotting really cool stuff. When I see something interesting, I may study it for days trying to figure out the how’s and why’s. I want to know the details. It’s what I do.

A couple years ago, I was fortunate to have an opportunity to take a tour of Jason Berland’s shop, Arizona High Test (arizonahightest.com) in Chandler, Arizona. To me, this is what heaven looks like. Sensory overload is a charming way to say that my ADHD was in full swing from the moment I set foot in the door. Simply put, Jason’s team of artisans create next level chassis plumbing that looks more like something that belongs in spacecraft. Fuel, air, liquid, exhaust, and even electricity, they plumb it all and make it look easy. It’s pure insanity and I love it. The photos in this feature speak volumes for what they do.

Fast forward to the end of last year. I’m sitting at my desk, plugging away at my daily duties and my phone rings. “Hey, it’s Jason. You know that chassis I had in my booth at Dino’s Git Down? Do you think anyone would be interested in seeing a few photos of it in the magazine?” After 3 seconds of consideration, I jumped up and said, “I’m in. Let’s do it. Let’s run a full feature. Our readers would love to see that!” We briefly discussed the logistics of the project and set things in motion. 

The chassis on these pages belongs to Armando Encinas from Mesa, Arizona. He and his brother, Jessie, have had a lifelong love affair with Chevrolet iron. They’ve also had a lifelong obsession with one-upping each other. They have a friendly rivalry and challenge each other to see who can build the next big thing. 

Jason filled us in on the scope of the project, “Armando found his longbed ‘69 C10 (the truck that will be sitting on this chassis) in a Craigslist ad in Mesa. The seller was restoring it on a stock chassis, but lost interest. Armando bought it on the spot and quickly ordered a GSI chassis. He was going to shorten the bed sides to make a short bed, but the two brothers were at a scrap yard in Phoenix and saw an original pair of short bed sides in the scrap pile. They rescued them from getting crushed and now have a shortbed. The body is complete and ready to drop onto the chassis. They’ve put a lot of work into raising the bed floor, designing a hinged bed floor to show off the underside of the truck. The cab has been tunneled for the 4L80 and ready to have the intake routed through it.” 

We can’t wait to see this truck in its complete form, but for now, these photos will keep us entertained until the next chapter. Stay tuned, folks!


  • Chevrolet Performance LSX-B15 6.2L crate engine with forged internal components
  • Additional engine assembly by Chris Murray
  • Brian Tooley Racing custom grind camshaft with .629” lift, 221°/245° duration at .050”
  • Shaun’s Custom Alloy intake manifold with machine work by Rob Stephan to allow reverse mounting
  • Injector Dynamics 1300cc fuel injectors
  • Garret mirror image GTX3282GEN2 turbos
  • Remote mounted coils
  • MSD plug wires
  • Ultimate headers, stainless steel, 1-7/8” primaries
  • Custom 3” stainless steel exhaust system by Andy Venable
  • Burns Stainless 3” 1 stage race mufflers
  • Wegner Automotive accessory drive kit
  • Mechman 370 Amp billet alternator
  • Shaun’s Custom Alloy valve covers
  • Hughes Performance 4L80E transmission and billet street/strip 3200 rpm stall converter
  • Hughes SFI-approved flexplate
  • 2-Piece 4” diameter aluminum/steel driveshaft by Drivetrain Industries
  • GSI Machine & Fabrication air ride chassis
  • Billet CNC air tank mounts by Jim Griffin
  • Powder coating by ProStrip Media Blasting and Powder Coat
  • 100% stainless steel fuel and air plumbing by Brian Lee
  • Aeromotive dual 450 fuel pumps, fuel filter, and pressure regulator
  • Currie Fab 9 rear axle
  • Eaton Tru Trac differential with 4.30:1 ring and pinion
  • Currie 35-spline axles
  • Billet Watts link
  • 3-piece splined GSI anti-roll bars, front & rear
  • Firestone 900 rear air bags, Air Lift Dominator D2600 front air bags
  • Little Shop MFG 16” brakes front & rear with slotted and drilled rotors and 6-piston billet calipers
  • Wilwood Pro aluminum spindles
  • GSI rack & pinion steering
  • Ridetech shocks front & rear
  • Viair 444c compressors (x4)
  • Air Lift Performance 3H air management
  • 4 seamless air tanks
  • GSI 16-gallon fuel tank
  • AG Luxury AGL43 wheels, 22x9 and 24x15
  • 265/30R22 and 405/25R24 tires

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