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White Knight

by Scott Mason

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We first got to know Mike Millan at Dino’s Git-Down last year. He was cruising the show in his “mini me” tribute go kart replica of his full size truck. We stopped him to check out the li’l truck, got the rundown on his big truck, and the rest is history. As soon as we saw that custom stepside/fleetside hybrid Frankenstein bed, we knew this truck needed to be in print. Mike’s story goes a little like this…  

“My 1976 C10 originally belonged to my stepdad (Jackie Neely) as I was growing up. I met Jack when I was 12 years old. He had a few old trucks including a ‘55 Apache and a ‘68 fleetside that were passed on to his older sons. I was taught how to drive (column 3 speed), how to change the oil, how to change a flat, etc etc. I learned a lot about vehicles growing up thanks to my stepdad. He would pick me up/drop me off at school in the truck. I hated it!! It was soooo fugly and beat up. He loved it though. 

Jack passed away in 2006, when I was 19 years old. The C10 was my inheritance. Jack – being the union truck driver that he was – always told me that a truck is a tool and that lowering or lifting and all that “fun” stuff would only take away from the purpose of the truck. My license plate says “srrydad” for when people hear the story and say, “I bet your dad would love it now!”, I simply laugh and tell them, “No, he would hate it” and point to the license plate. 

So over the past 11 years, I slowly started building and changing. Back then, we didn’t have “chassis companies” like GSI and Porterbuilt… So we had to use what we knew – OBS Chevy parts. I really didn’t start until 2012 when I sold my bagged 2006 Colorado to buy a house. I spent the extra money I had to buy suspension parts to get the C10 on the ground. A member of our truck club (Perfect Poise) had started building a full frame for a ‘78 C10 and decided to scrap the project. I bought the frame they started for only a few hundred dollars, and that’s when it really started to go down! The first time I finally got the truck body to touch the ground and see the rear wheels get swallowed up by the back stepside fenders I fell in love! 

I knew this had to be a special build to remember my dad and the fun we had with it. I also knew that the truck scene is big, and everyone was building trucks really fast and I had to be different. That’s why I wanted to do so much custom work in the bed and the bumpers, etc. The Chevy stepside trucks from 1940’s-1987 used the same “box” for the bed for the most part. The same square box with different fenders etc. I remember seeing the 1988+ stepsides had the same bed “box” as the fleetside style and I knew that I wanted my truck to be something similar. I wanted the body lines to flow from the front of the truck all the way to the back of the truck. So that’s when I knew I had to be different and this was the way I could do it.

One of the most memorable experiences I’ve had in this truck were on our most recent road trip from Phoenix, to Conroe, Texas, for Lone Star Throwdown 2021. The first time I have really gotten to drive my truck after the build has been “completed”. The sense of accomplishment of driving my dad’s 1976 pickup that I built, being 1000 miles from home doing 90 mph on the middle of the Texas desert at 12:30am and 1/2” off the ground. Gives me chills! “More than a feeling.” I’ll remember that forever.”

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Mike Millan • ‘76 C10
  • GM Performance 350 ci crate engine
  • Speedway aluminum intake manifold
  • Holley Avenger 670 cfm carburetor
  • Hooker Headers shorty headers
  • Holley front accessory drive kit
  • 700R4 transmission
  • Hughes 2400 rpm stall torque converter
  • Lokar 23” shifter
  • Ron Davis aluminum radiator with dual fans
  • Full 2×4” .095 steel tube chassis
    with 1994 C1500 front suspension clip
  • Body drop with stock cab floor
  • LCC Fabrication tubular front control arms
  • BellTech 2” drop OBS spindles
  • 1/2” thick 2”x7’ drag plates on frame rails
  • Accuair VU4 manifold
  • Switchspeed controller
  • Dual Air Zenith OB2 compressors 
  • Dual 3 gallon aluminum air tanks
  • GM 12-bolt posi rear axle with 3.73 gears
  • Triangulated 4-link bag-on-bar rear suspension
  • Firestone Ride Rite 2600 front and rear air bags
  • Pro Comp Toxic shocks, front and rear
  • AZ Pro Performance Revelator 14” front, 13” rear brake kits with drilled/slotted rotors
  • Baer Remaster master cylinder and proportioning valve
  • Lokar pedal assembly
  • Shocks and air tanks wrapped in plaid vinyl to match interior
  • All suspension components powder coated, painted, or chrome plated
  • Mouse Kustom fab 22 gallon aluminum fuel cell
  • Avante Garde AGL18 wheels, 22×9, 22×11
  • Nitto Invo tires, 265/35R22 and 295/25R22
  • Wam Rods hood struts
  • Bodywork by Sisco Fab, Tre 5 Customs, and Ikandy Paintworks
  • Paint by Frank Rechlin at Ikandy Paintworks
  • United Pacific headlights
  • Klearz Manufacturing taillights
  • GSI Machine & Fab billet doorhandles
  • Ceramic window tint by Real Cool Tint, Glendale, AZ

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