“We wanted to build a C10 because those are some of the most popular trucks out there,” Bumpus told us during the inaugural C10 Nationals at Texas Motor Speedway.
“But what I envisioned was a truck that I could actually get on the road to go the store and buy groceries. If it got dinged, chipped or whatever, it didn’t matter. So we decided to go the patina route.”
The LT1 came from Pace Performance (a Chevrolet Performance Authorized Center) with Bumpus, co-host Lawrence Tolman and crew hoping to be the first in the country to perform an LT1 swap in a C10. It replaced the small block that was in the truck at the time of purchase before the 2016 season.
“We were trying our best to be the first ones to put an LT1 in the truck. I think we were right there at it, but I don’t know if we were exactly the first or not,” he said of the build known as “Project C-10.”
The engine is the same wet-sump version that is featured in the seventh-generation Corvette Stingray, meaning that even though the truck may look unassuming and tame, it still has some serious giddy-up. The swap was simple though, utilizing small-block 350c.i. motor mounts and adapters. The only modifications required were to the shorty headers to make the exhaust system work, and the use of a prototype to run the front drive system since the LT1 was so new at the time.
"We were trying our best to be the first ones to put an LT1 in the
Mated to the engine is a Six-Speed Magnum Transmission. The truck also features a Yukon 3.73 posi-trac rear end, an air-ride suspension from Brothers Trucks and is stopped by Baer brakes with six-piston calipers in front and four in the rear. It rides on 20" x 9" Circle Racing Wheels from Summit Racing.
External accessories including the bumpers, billet grille, new headlights and LED taillights came from Brothers Trucks, while interior parts including the steering wheel, steering column and gauges came from LMC Truck.
The most eye-catching aspect of the truck’s exterior is of course the patina paint.
“I didn’t want a truck that was beat to death and looked like it had been abused through the years,” Bumpus explained. “I wanted that California patina truck that maybe had been sitting under an overhang for 30 years.”
To create the appearance he laid down a red-oxide primer and then applied the original color of the truck, a flame red, going lighter in the areas where he knew the sun would have attacked the vehicle. He then stepped down the paint through a wet sanding process to a point where the red-oxide beat through the original color before applying a few coats of satin clear.
Bumpus is clearly an expert in his field. He is a long-time enthusiast and builder who has built hot rods for 15 years by his estimation. He is also very busy. In addition to his work at RTM Studios in Franklin, Tennessee, with Truck Tech, he and his wife Kim own a business called The Hot Rod Shop in Corinth, Mississippi. It is about 35 minutes from their home in Middleton in the Volunteer State.
The shop specializes in vehicles from the mid-1970s and earlier.
“As old as you can get we’re happy to build it,” he said.
The business is a one-stop shop, working on everything from 100-point restorations to rare cars and modified builds. Bumpus specializes in custom paint and metal fabrication, but considers himself well-rounded.
Seeing as he is just as comfortable in front of the camera as in the paint booth, we’d have to say he’s right.
For more information on the LT1, check out the video below.