DWS Classics 1972 C10 Shortbed – Top 12 SEMA Battle of the Builders 2019
Show and Go – DWS Classics 1972 C10
By Carbage Online
We all desire a vehicle that goes as well as it shows. This 1972 Chevy C10 built by DWS Classics does both with its Battle of the Builders Top 12 finish.
Let’s face it, in a perfect world our cars would be both beautiful to the eyes and function like a proper race car. Typically, to do either requires sacrifice of one for the other. Want a cool show car, then it needs to be slammed out with the control arms pointed skywards and that doesn’t handle as well as you think. Want a race car, then those bling wheels are going to be too heavy and you won’t have much of an interior left. There are ways around those issues and Darin Smith over at DWS Classics gave the 2019 SEMA Battle of the Builders a clinic with Gary & Brian Almas’ 1972 Chevrolet C10 pickup.
Much of what makes a car or truck destined for the track – or even the autocross course – work is its suspension. Nothing less than two kits from TCI would do for this ultimate C10. First is the TCI 1963 to 1972 Chevy C10 Torque Arm suspension kit. This builds upon the original truck arm mounting points of the C10 and enhances its road holding ability with the use of a torque arm. Gone is the bind you typically feel in a truck arm suspension thanks to this design that allows for better roll control without any sacrifice to the travel of the suspension.
Second is the TCI Chevy 1963 to 1972 Pro-Touring IFS suspension. This design completely changes the front suspension to something better but without drastic cutting and welding. First to go is the bulky steering box and its swing set steering system. This is replaced by a power rack-and-pinion steering setup. The modular spindle and bolt-on steering arms allow for precise handling and steering geometry during travel. It is the ultimate steering solution if you’re looking to set fast times wherever you drive. Best of all, it removes a full 85-pounds off the front end without the need for composite materials.
Both ends of the truck use a set of Ridetech adjustable coilovers for accurate chassis movements and weight balance. Providing grip, a set of Falken Tires Azenis 510 tires in 295/30R19 front and 315/35R20 rear wrap themselves around a set of Budnik Wheels. Those Muroc IV wheels are sized in 19×11 in the front and 20×12 in the rear.
The brakes, too, needed an upgrade and a set of Wilwood disc brakes and their master cylinder were utilized to get this truck stopped in a hurry. Wilwood six-piston calipers clamp down on the front rotors while four-piston calipers bite down in the rear.
What gets it up to speed that fast, though? An ATK High Performance 383-CI Small Block Chevy with a Hilborn Fuel Injection EFI-IR system set back into the chassis for better weight distribution. This iron block Chevy V8 is decked, honed, and punched out before a Scott forged crank, Dart aluminum heads, and Herbert camshaft are installed. An MSD AL6 ignition box sends spark to the Holley distributor and EFI controller. Torque is then sent through a McLeod twin-disc clutch to the Treme six-speed transmission. Once it reaches the rear end, an Auburn Gear limited slip differential splits it between the two Dutchman rear axles.
The body of this amazing pro-touring C10 is nothing short of show worthy. With the hood closed, the Hilborn injector horns are displayed proudly thanks to that clear hood scoop made by Aircraft Windshield Company.
The bumpers have had much more work done than they show. The front bumper is raised up, smoothed out, and tucked but also features a set of 1969 Camaro turn signals. An air scoop cutout between the lights provides more cooling but uses a mesh wire to guard against debris from coming in. The rear bumper is also smoothed, tucked, and raised to match the front.
Since the truck has a bed, there are many ways to take advantage of it for performance and bling. A custom mount was made between the wheel tubs for the polished CBR differential cooler. The tailgate was smoothed out but a set of Chevelle “CHEVROLET” tail panel letter were used to bring the logo back. Attached to that gate is a custom-made, two-piece aluminum rear spoiler attached by aircraft parts and 12-point fasteners. In fact, much of the truck features these high-grade fasteners and bolts all around.
The bodywork and paint were done by a friend named Fernando in Alfa Romeo red. This includes a set of rear cutouts for the exhaust, a custom Flowmaster exhaust system installed by Automotive Excellence.
Inside, you are greeted by a sea of red to match with the overall scheme of the C10. Custom red leather seats sit on top of a Rodeo custom installed red carpet. The center console features a set of 1969 Camaro accessory gauges to match the 1969 Camaro gauge panel filled with Dakota Digital gauges. Music is provided by a Pioneer headunit and amplified by an Alpine 200-Watt amp before coming out as sound from the Powerbase USA speakers.
“We set out to build a badass truck that was autocross capable,” said Darren Smith, “we also had the goal of building a show winning truck. To go to SEMA’s Battle of the Builders and place in the Top 12 is a great achievement for DWS Classics and the Almas Family.” If there was anything Darren would do differently, he laughed, “Start on it much earlier so I could get some sleep.”
Having the best of both automotive worlds is akin to the idiom, “you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.” It is usually impossible to have a show car that is also a race car. Well, we think Darren Smith and Gary Almas have proven that it is possible to make a vehicle that can handle on rails yet look good while doing it. It just takes time, planning, and a 1972 Chevrolet C10 with TCI components.