Custom truck enthusiasts have been lowering their rides for decades, but currently, we're seeing many of the lowered trucks being transformed into serious G-machines and owners and builders are pushing their trucks to the limit (and having a blast doing it). Performance trucks don't pertain only to late-models, but also early-model classic trucks with updated suspensions, big brakes, and quick-ratio steering boxes.
Making a strong appearance in the handling arena, the '67-72 Chevy C10 and GMC trucks are sprouting up in force. What makes this platform so attractive when it comes to lateral handling? Easy-it's their independent front coil spring suspension and rear trailing arm coil spring suspension. NASCAR Sprint Cup racecars have had a similar front and rear suspension design since the '50s and it's still being used with much success today.
Hotchkis Performance, in Santa Fe Springs, California, has been a leader in suspension parts for decades. The racing and suspension design experience of John Hotchkis, and the entire Hotchkis Sport Suspension team, help produce high-quality suspension components for fullsize trucks that deliver maximum performance both on the track and on the street.
The Hotchkis' '67-72 C10 Total Vehicle System (TVS) was designed and tested on the track, but is also street friendly for everyday driving. Up front, a pair of tubular upper and lower control arms extend the wheelbase 1.8 inches and increase the caster alignment up to +9-degrees. Any time you lower a truck, bumpsteer is an issue and Hotchkis addressed this by including a new centerlink assembly and heavy-duty tie-rod sleeves, and by improving the camber curve. Helping reduce body roll and bringing the C10 down a few inches, Hotchkis engineered a pair of 4-inch lowering springs and 17/16-inch front sway bar. Ensuring the ride is compliant, yet able to respond to heavy lateral-g loads, Hotchkis-tuned Bilstein shocks and shock re-locator brackets are a major part of the TVS. The rear suspension has an adjustable full-length track bar setup and an adjustable antisquat bracket system. You may be asking, "What is an antisquat bracket?" Simply put, it improves the truck's instant center for maximum traction, helping to eliminate rear wheelhop and keep the truck pointed in one direction. Out back, Hotchkis uses 6-inch lowering springs to drop the center of gravity and a 3/4-inch blade-style sway bar helps to reduce rear bed roll. Also used in the rear, Hotchkis includes shock relocators to keep the proper geometry and specially tuned Bilstein shocks to handle the newfound performance.
To see if this kit was as impressive as it seemed, we visited Hotchkis in Santa Fe Springs, California, to document the installation of their TVS on a '67 Chevy C10 that was scheduled to compete in our inaugural Throwdown. With the kit installed, each of us slipped in behind the wheel for a flogging session. Follow along, as we learned how the Hotchkis suspension worked and how easy it was to install.
Unbelievable grip, handling like a 'Vette, good ride
Expensive, install is in-depth, it only fits '67 to '72 C10s
The Hotchkis '67-72 Chevy C10 2WD Sport Suspension kit comes complete with front and rear
After removing the front wheels, Hotchkis installer Corey Bedortha took charge and broke d
Corey then removed the coil springs...
...and lower control arms.
This comparison photo shows the Hotchkis lower control arm (left) with the bulky factory c