A pretty face can only get you so far in this world, and after looking at Tim Benner's '66 Chevy, we quickly realized his truck's beauty was more than skin deep. Performing our feature checklist, we saw every category had been meticulously prepped and built for show and go. To say we were impressed is an understatement, because this classic Bow Tie stole our hearts at the first hello.
While walking the parking lot at the Chevy/GMC Nationals in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, our cameras could not be pulled out fast enough for this sweet ride. There was one problem - Tim was cleaning the truck every time we walked by. Imagine this: We arrive at the show at 8 a.m., see the '66 with Tim's legs sticking out from under the truck where he is cleaning the frame, and at 5 p.m., Tim is under the hood cleaning the engine. Dedication is a beautiful thing. With the truck finally clean, the show over, and the sun setting, we cruised down to a photo locale to snap some pics, which is when the real love affair began.
Starting with a stock '66 C10 Stepside used for landscaping, Tim stripped the truck bare with the help of his friend David Fields. With the truck in pieces, the front bumper, grille, and door handles were sent off for chrome plating. Meanwhile, the body was sanded smooth and a roll pan was added, along with 3-inch-wider fiberglass rear fenders, and a little bed work was performed. A little is putting it mildly, as Tim added beautiful wood to the floor with stainless inserts, but he didn't stop there. Wanting to 'bag the truck, the bed floor was actually raised similarly to a body drop, only there is a bottom floor residing under the fake upper floor. Appreciating this trick for both its form and beauty, we admired the way Tim sandwiched the 19-gallon stainless fuel cell underneath as well. With the bed completed, the entire body received several coats of indigo blue. After the chrome pieces were reapplied, the truck was delivered to Jim Hornback of Hodgensville, Kentucky, for some chassis adjustments.
Bolting on a set of Air Ride Technologies Shockwave airbags up front, the C10 achieved the perfect low stance for a classic hauler, and out back, similar Shockwaves and a four-link lowered the rear to tuck plenty of rim. Wheels are GTX03 units from Billet Specialties, measuring 17x8 inches up front and 17x11 inches in the rear. Kumho tires wrap the beautiful hoops and provide a performance contact patch for high-speed maneuvers. Motivation comes easy for Tim thanks to a built and blueprinted LS1 V-8.
Robbing an '00 Corvette of its powerplant, the '66 breathes easier through ceramic headers and air entering a Street and Performance intake. A fully polished and painted pulley and accessory kit adds bling to the compartment, and the Optima battery keeps the small-block starting every time. Putting the power to the pavement is a built 4L60-E with a 3.23 rearend from a '97 Camaro. The poor Camaro lost its front and rear discs as well.
Tim wanted a clean look with all of the newest technology inside the cab. Arriving at Scott's Upholstery in Louisville, the request was made and the keys handed over. Now residing inside the truck are bone-white leather seats from a '99 Ram, white carpet, and a white suede headliner. A Dakota Digital dash keeps vitals close at hand, while steering is controlled by a Billet Specialties wheel. Vintage Air keeps the cab nice and cool during those warm drives to the shows. Cruising the classic is even more enjoyable thanks to a Pioneer CD player, a Soundstream DVD player, and a 10.4-inch monitor installed into the headliner. Behind the leather seats is a pair of Pioneer 6x9s with another pair of Pioneer 6-1/2s in the console housing the audio head units. The interior is truly as beautiful as the rest of the truck.
When we asked him to photograph the truck, Tim smiled and said he drove for five hours hoping to meet us and get a photo shoot. With a truck this beautiful, we thanked Tim for the opportunity, and both parties went home with smiles. Tim's C10 is genuinely picture-perfect.