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STORM CHASER

by Fuelish Media

When you hear about a pristine condition 1970 C10 that has been safely stashed away for the last 30 years AND is currently available for sale, what would your first reaction be? Yes, a quick self-inflicted slap in the face is an adequate response to ensure you aren’t dreaming. Once you realize that piece of information is, in fact, reality, dropping everything else and meeting with the owner of said truck should take priority of everything else. So that’s probably blowing things a little bit out of proportion but moseying on over a lot sooner than later would be highly suggested.

Kevin and Wendy Flondor, owners and operators of Bump & Grind Auto Body in Homer Glen, Illinois, received such a tip about a near perfect C10 that had been locked up in storage for three entire decades! “A good friend, Larry Ricken, called me and said he knew of the truck’s availability and that it had been in a barn since the early 1990s”, Kevin says. “The ’70 C10 only had 34,000 miles on the odometer, and it had the factory-optioned big block with air conditioning in place with all the manufacturer markings that proved that the truck was all original. Its amazing condition was just too good to pass up, so I had to buy it and bring it home to Wendy as a surprise for her.”

And boy, was she surprised! After Kevin and Wendy gave their new pickup acquisition a quick wash and wax, they were both convinced that the truck was just too clean to cut up. Based on that epiphany, the only real plan was to give the Chevy a quick static drop on a nice set of wheels and just enjoy driving it around town. While that is the responsible decision to make, it’s usually only a matter of time before things start to escalate – we’ve seen it all too many times.

“One day, Wendy mentioned adding air ride, and we were off to the races”, Kevin admits. “With all of us at the shop developing our own mixed bag of ideas for the truck, we began having friendly disagreements and conflicting points of view but one thing we all agreed on is that we wanted the truck to be a complete in-house project for Bump & Grind Auto Body restoration team.” There was no turning back now.

To expand on Wendy’s suggestion to ‘bag her C10, the guys utilized the factory frame and ordered everything necessary to bring the truck down closer to the ground. The Porterbuilt control arms for the front and fabricated trailing arms and C-notch kit for the rear of the frame were put in place before Ridetech ‘bags and air management components were plumbed and wired up to give the C10 fully adjustable ride and park heights. The updated chassis system was then topped off with 14-inch Wilwood big brake kits at both ends, as well as staggered 20-/22-inch U.S. Mags Rambler wheel combo in a cool matte gunmetal finish.

With the C10’s suspension out of the way, Kevin and Wendy began weighing out engine options and they figured they should probably go with something that would truly be worth the effort. They decided to take the leap and secured a 427/480 GM crate engine, which delivers 480hp @ 6,000 RPM with 490 lb-ft at 3800 RPM straight out of the box but that still wouldn’t be enough. The Flondors were looking to double down on the performance output, so naturally they figured that nothing would increase the excitement like twin turbochargers. Yep, that’ll do it. To make the most of this performance package, the team at Bump & Grind fabricated a one-off set of headers, a vintage-inspired Cadillac-style air cleaner as well as a 3-inch exhaust system to promote optimum engine oxygenation. The team was looking at an estimated 900hp of pure power at this point – definitely closer to what they had in mind.

Next, the Bump & Grind crew was dead set on creating a truly unforgettable exterior landscape without going totally overboard, which is a surprisingly tough feat to accomplish with a C10 pickup of any vintage. Since paint and bodywork is what this team specializes in, they hit the ground running by first shaving the firewall and fabricating engine compartment panels that would frame the high-performance power plant just right. While there is far too much bodywork to list off individually, there still so much that gets overlooked. The most notable custom touches, however, include ’67 Chevelle hood louvers, custom grille and hidden headlamps, modified tucked and smoothed front bumper and one-off rear roll pan, side exhaust exit and specially designed billet emblems and carbon fiber accents. The custom mixed olive and crème pearl paint hues serve the proverbial cherry on top of the insane amount of body sculpting featured bumper to bumper. The color combination is timeless yet makes one hell of a statement when seen in context together here on this much sportier Chevy truck.

Looking to demand second glances from audiences, Marty “FNA” Amoroso of Bump & Grind stepped forward to performing fractal burn designs on wood plank bed flooring. While the outcome of this process is insanely unique and highly desirable, those not familiar with this type of woodworking should do their research before even thinking about trying to recreate these absolutely (and potentially literal) killer results. Fractal burning utilizes high-voltage electric currents to burn intriguing patterns into the surface, which if not done with proper equipment and the absolute knowledge of the electrical dangers associated to this method of wood burning could be potentially lethal.

Moving into the much safer area inside of the cab, the Bump & Grind team hoped to keep the environment as cool and clean as the rest of the truck. To assist in this, Du-Now Interiors & Upholstery first modified the original bench seat before covering it in olive colored leather and plaid cloth upholstery, and then recreated the exact look on the door panels and dash pad as well. A custom center console was fabricated that houses dual cup holders, a Ridetech air ride controller and component speakers on each side. The original gauges were also color matched to the body colors for a uniform appearance throughout the cabin. It appears the crew was successful in crafting an interior space just as smooth as the C10’s outward appearance.

The entire build spanned the majority of an entire year, and given the usual hurdles that Kevin, Wendy, and the restoration team at Bump & Grind faced along the way, the woes of sourcing parts throughout the stickiest part of the global quarantine only added to their worries. “Getting out of the office and back into the shop working alongside my team to assist in this build was refreshing and much needed during that time”, Kevin says. “Wendy’s truck was so much fun to work on, and this year it was selected as a Goodguys Truck of the Year finalist, as well as receiving the Truck of the Year award at C10 Nationals – it has been amazing to accept such honorary awards with Wendy. We probably would not have cut up such a pristine vehicle if it wasn’t for the high-quality parts on the market for these trucks and our ability to do so much work in-house at the shop together.”

WENDY & KEVIN FLONDOR ‘70 C10

  • 427 GM crate engine w/ twin 76mm turbos
  • Derale Performance fan and radiator
  • Holley Sniper fuel injection
  • Cadillac-styled air cleaner, headers and 3-inch exhaust system fabricated by Bump & Grind Auto Body
  • Dynomax muffler
  • GM Turbo 400 automatic transmission by TRS Transmissions, Orland Park, IL
  • Modified factory frame
  • Porterbuilt Fabrication control arms
  • Front swaybar
  • Ridetech ‘bags
  • Belltech Nitro drop shocks
  • Fabricated trailing arms, C-notch and Watts link
  • EZ Air Ride fittings and components
  • Ididit tilt steering column
  • 20-gallon air tank
  • GM 12-bolt rear end by Richmond Gear
  • Wilwood 14-inch front and rear brake kits, master cylinder
  • 20 & 22-inch U.S. Mags Rambler wheels
  • 245/35ZR20 and 285/45ZR22 Sentury tires
  • Spies Hecker custom mix olive and crème pearl by Marty “FNA” Amoroso @ Bump & Grind and Dennis Wantroba
  • ’67 Chevelle hood louvers, widened rear wheel wells, painted factory trim, shaved firewall, fabricated engine compartment panels and rear spoiler, rear roll pan, tucked and smoothed front bumper
  • Porterbuilt hood hinges
  • Grille by Hot Rod Innovations and Bump & Grind
  • Rad Machining billet emblems
  • Oracle LED halo headlights
  • VanNatta Fabrication late-model Mustang design outer mirrors
  • Billet door handles
  • Carbon fiber accents by M.O. Graphics, New Lenox, IL
  • Custom wood bed w/ fractal wood burning design by Marty “FNA” Amoroso @ Bump & Grind
  • Modified original dash, gauges and door panels
  • Vintage Air A/C
  • Upholstery by Gary Dunow Interiors & Upholstery, Oswego, IL
  • Kenwood head unit
  • Wiring by Stan “The Man” Buczek @ Bump & Grind

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