It was more than a year ago when we first saw photos of Paul Owen's '72 K10. Bill Beecher and Joe Natale Jr. sent us an e-mail and a few photos asking us if we were interested in shooting the truck when it was done. True to their word, the truck was soon finished and we made the trip to Monterey, California, to see it in person.
The photos didn't prepare us for what was waiting inside the shop at Natale's Auto Service. A true frame-off build, every nut and bolt is pristine, every fuel and transmission line was plumbed to perfection, and the gloss black paint was buffed to a mirror-like shine. No corners were cut on this build.
The truck that they started with hardly bares any resemblance to the truck you see here, even though it was relatively straight and had little rust. Most of the build was handled by Bill Beecher at Natale's Auto Service, while the bodywork was completed at All Around Auto Body in neighboring Seaside, California. While the body was being massaged back into shape and the rusty floorboards were fixed, Bill got to work on the frame.
The stock frame was stripped and powdercoated silver before Skyjacker 6-inch-lift Softride leaf springs were added. The truck may be tall, but it was built to also handle the highway, so Bill fabricated mounts on the 14-bolt rear for an antisway bar. A Dana 60 front differential was chosen to match the heavy-duty rear and-just like the rear-it was powdercoated, fitted with disc brakes, 4.10 gears, and a finned aluminum cover. The front differential also has the benefit of Tom Woods CV shafts to ensure a long life. Stainless steel hard line and braided stainless hoses were used to plumb the 3/4 ton brakes to a Hydroboost master cylinder. There's plenty of stopping power here, which is a good thing, because the 35-inch Toyo Open Country M/Ts and 20x12 Weld Racing Cheyenne 8 wheels would have taxed a stock 1/2 ton brakes. Another modern addition to the old suspension, that really improved its performance, was a full set of Sway-A-Way Racerunner remote reservoir shocks. One shock was used at each corner of the truck and a pair was used as dampers on the crossover steering.