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Speedy Tuxedo

by Nate Pierce

Chris Chandler’s 1971 C10 was Built to Take Care of Business

Before any great accomplishment, a lot of ground work and planning must take place. With over 30 years of automotive experience, Chris Chandler set out to build the ultimate street truck. He spent many years at the race track, whether behind the wheel or as an instructor, teaching people how to go fast. His background comprises of being an engineer and manager for a well-known BMW tuning company, as well as a crew chief for a racing team, and a prototype fabricator. 

Having a great team to brainstorm with was essential. Chris’s wife Mary, a top sous mechanic with the same attention to detail and taste, was the primary sponsor in this build. Wes McFarland from Vintage Square One helped with the clutch and pedal set up and Mark Bowler from Bowler Performance helped with a prototype short-shift kit. Ryan Kuhlenbeck helped with designing and building the wiring harness for the truck and this is just to name a few. 

Making the truck handle on the street as well as on the track was one of the main goals, so it was out with the stock frame and in with a No Limit Pro Tech chassis. After some careful planning and a lot of research Chris got to work. He stared this build with another truck that needed a paint job. After some straight talk from a good friend, they came up with a different plan: find a truck with the paint job he wanted already done and do all the mechanical work to that one. By switching trucks and finding one he really liked in Pleasanton, California, Chris was able to cut the cost of painting the truck he had originally by half. 

After selling the original truck he started the build process and ordering of all the parts. He wanted to build something that was easy to maintain and fix. The build took just over 18 months and started with a body swap on to the new chassis and an LS3 built by Chris himself. He spent evenings and weekends knocking out the to do list including all the sheet metal work and small details that really start to build up when you take the time to look. 

This truck is incredibly understated. Everything from the MIL-SPEC wiring to the heated seats to the cold air intake system really show his eye for design and detail. The full 3” stainless dual exhaust and Ultimate long tube headers running through a set of Flowmaster mufflers gives this beast a very classic sound. 

Watching Chris drive this truck was an absolute blast. From the passenger seat looking over, he looks right at home. With an ear-to-ear grin, as he rowed through the gears of the Tremec T56, it was clear from the get-go that Chris was a skilled driver. 

From the 19” Forgeline wheels to the Z06 Corvette brakes this truck was built to handle whatever he throws its way. Helping keep the tires planted in the corners are a pair of front and rear Speedway Engineering sway bars. 

Seeing this truck blaze past us on our way to Dino’s Git Down, I knew I had to get a closer look. He has put over 10,000 miles on this build and has made a trip out to Texas already without issues. We love seeing garage-built trucks that have so much time and thought put into them –  especially when they drive them as hard as Chris does. 

This truck is a great representation of what a guy putting in some hard work with a little help from some good friends can accomplish.

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