One of our old-timer sales staff guys is well known for a famous quote, "You're lucky if you work where you play." Looking around at the fortunate guys we work with, I'd have to say he's right. All of us in the auto magazine world count ourselves as lucky jokers because we do get to work where we play. One thing about all of us though—we're all passionate about what we do. The same could be said for Luke Embry, who is a lifelong gearhead and earns his paychecks as an engineering tech at Holley. Working on exciting new projects, helping with R&D, and ensuring product quality, Luke gets to put his hands on all of the cool new aftermarket toys we'll get to play with months later. That same passion for making sure something is built properly by working with his hands can be seen in his '84 C10 created from the ground up at his shop, Embry's Body Shop.
Every single thing was done by myself and my friend Alan Pendley.
When we asked him why he chose this truck as his project platform, his reply was simple, "These are my favorite trucks." Fair enough Luke. Once the body was pulled from the frame, the chassis was stripped and refinished in DuPont Emron Satin Black. Polyurethane bushings were fitted to each of the suspension components, and then Luke added a 4/6 Belltech drop kit to bring the Chevy down. Classic Coy's wheels fill the fenderwells with black faces and satin hoops.
Each piece of body sheetmetal was stripped to bare metal and built up from there. With a solid foundation in place, Luke used his paint skills to cover the truck in Spies Hecker PQ Race Red. A bright red Silverado will always bring a smile to our faces and Luke's is aggressively simple with satin silver bumpers and grille shell. If you're beginning to think sleeper, you'd be right as Luke raided the entire parts bin of Holley LS parts that are available for today's modern muscle engines.
Once a 5.3L was procured from an '02 truck, Luke got to work getting it ready to power the classic square-body. A custom-fabricated cool-air intake sends dense air to an 80mm Holley throttle body, which fills a Holley mid-rise intake full of combustion-ready air. A Walbro pump feeds the Earl's Pro-Lite 350 fuel line, Holley fuel rails, and 42-pound Holley injectors. Fuel and spark are controlled by a Holley Dominator EFI system and Holley EFI regulator. Once the combustion cycle is complete, exhaust is sent through Hooker LS-swap manifolds, GM LS7 catalytic converters, and Hooker Aerochamber mufflers. Making the engine swap an easy process, Luke used Holley's new LS engine mounts, front serpentine belt accessory kit, and LS-specific EFI harness. Helping to ensure maximum performance was achieved, a Be Cool aluminum radiator and fan combo was bolted in place, as was an Earl's trans cooler. And for added show points, a set of black powdercoated Holley valve covers were used. Without opening up the engine, these bolt-ons netted Luke a daily-driven-friendly 330 hp, which helps him get to 88 mph in a hurry.
Inside, Luke tracked down replacement parts from local salvage yards and refurbished what he could. Pioneer speakers and head unit replace the original audio equipment, and the stock bench seat was recovered in black cloth. One cool mod was the addition of a gauge cluster from a '91 Suburban so he could use the electric speedometer.
Understated yet completely functional, Luke's truck is proof you don't need a six-figure budget to build a truck you can drive every day and enjoy at shows on the weekends. Looking as if the C10 was built 30 years ago after a glimpse into the future, Luke has himself one heck of a Chevy time machine.
Inside the Build
Year Make Model: 1984 Chevy C10
Owner and City/State: Luke Embry • Morgantown, Kentucky
Type: 5.3L LS V-8
Induction: Holley Mid-Rise Intake Kit
Exhaust: Hooker LS-swap manifolds, Hooker Aerochamber mufflers
Cooling: Be Cool aluminum radiator and Be Cool electric fan kit
Fuel System: Holley 80mm throttle body, 42-pound injectors, Holley EFI regulator
Engine Management: Holley Dominator EFI
Output: 330 hp
Built by: Luke Embry
Transmission: GM 4L60E with Earl's trans cooler
Rearend: GM 12-bolt with Auburn posi and 3.73 gears
Front suspension: Belltech 2-inch drop spindles, Belltech 2-inch drop coils, KYB shocks
Rear suspension: Belltech 6-inch flip kit, KYB shocks
Wheels & Tires
Wheels: Coy's 18x8 front and 20x8 rear
Tires: Sunny 3800 245/40R18 & 275/40R20
Nothing fancy inside the cabin, just a functional restomod that gets used every day.
Looking as though the LS engine could have come as an option in 1984, Luke’s engine bay is