CTP Feature
Pretty Penny typographic title
Pretty Penny typographic title
Daniel Stewart’s ’67 C10 Lookin’ Like a Million Bucks
By Fuelish Media

ou don’t see a killer truck with a captivating story like this every day—you just don’t. While there is a sea of custom classic Chevy trucks floating around the show scene, the owner of this ’67 was looking to do anything in order to set it aside from the rest. Daniel Stewart is the proud owner of this absolute gem of a C10, which has been dubbed “Pretty Penny” for obvious reasons. The parts and pieces that look like copper, have in fact, been plated with real copper.

Daniel doesn’t have a passion for rare coin collecting or anything like that, he just figured out the perfect way to build the exact truck he wanted with a unique feature that is simply impossible to recreate—at least in quick, copycat fashion, but we’ll get to more on that a bit later. The build of the ’67 was also an important way for Daniel to redeem a piece of his life that had slipped away throughout his younger years. There was a lot on the line for him, and he wasn’t about to take any half steps toward the finish line.

Back when Daniel was fresh out of high school, he inherited a ’70 C20 from his 33-year-old uncle who had died due to complications from alcoholism. Daniel loved the truck that was handed down to him, and he did what he could to make it his own, but he eventually lost it during his own battle with drugs and alcohol during his youth. It was an unfortunate turn of events, but the trajectory of his life would steadily swing upward after surviving his years of addiction.

When we met up with Daniel to talk about his story with the GMC C15 that now identifies as a ’67 C10 that he had recently finished, he filled in a lot of the blanks we had concerning its build process. The shop that he owns and operates, Signature Performance in Costa Mesa, California, has played a large role in getting his life priorities in order and is where a large portion of the truck was built. Daniel’s wife obviously takes center stage regarding turning his outlook on life around, and together they have carved out a positive existence that revolves around friends, family, and custom vehicles of all types. Daniel’s wife surprised him with the C10 to commemorate his nine years of sobriety (he now has 12 successful years under his belt), and to find the right truck that would be a proper candidate for a complete rebuild she relied on the help and expertise of Daniel’s pals who also wanted to play a role in this epic show of gift giving.

While he was stoked to have another substantial project truck to play with, the C10 came to Daniel in rough shape. It was an original 2WD SWB package, which was a huge bonus, but the motor that was in it was shot. Since Daniel was looking to ’bag the truck and wasn’t too keen on how to do it exactly right, he located a donor factory frame that was partially modified but not complete. This gave he and his wife, as well as their good friend Shawn Wherley, an excuse to spend some time in the garage, outfitting it with a front Porterbuilt Fab Extreme Stage 3 Dropmember in the front as well as older PB rear four-link system at the rear. An Air Lift 3H/3P air management system, dual air compressors, 5-gallon tank, and ’bags all around helped give the chassis the low-slung stature Daniel was after.

bed of a ’67 C10
close up of headlight and grill on a ’67 C10
leather interior and steering wheel in a ’67 C10
rear passenger side of a ’67 C10
Finding the right set of wheels proved to be a little tricky. The first set Daniel tried was cool but he just couldn’t get them plated with the exact copper finish he wanted. Luckily, he was able to lock down a spot with EVO 61, in Huntington Beach, California, to cook up a truly one-off set of rollers that would feature the combination of textured black spokes with the correct copper plating for the center cap and hoop. The 22×8.5 front and 22×11 rear wheels were then covered with 265/30R22 and 315/25R22 Toyo Proxes, respectively, for a high-performance appearance. To match the truck’s newfound, on-road prowess, Wilwood front and rear manual braking systems were pieced together to help bring the truck to a controlled stop once Daniel was able to first put it into motion.
leather interior and steering wheel in a ’67 C10
The first engine option for the build was modest since Daniel was looking into locating a basic 350 for it. After some deliberation Daniel then began searching for a 383 instead, but he eventually landed on a more reliable ’02 5.3L LS mill and 4L60E transmission combo from a Chevy Tahoe. While going with an old-school powerplant was tempting, Daniel ultimately wanted a non-carbureted platform that he could simply turn the key on and hit the road. Of course, the engine was soon upgraded with CP pistons, Texas Speed internals, including a new cam, Holley parts featuring a Sniper EFI system topped off with a custom dual intake to achieve a throwback look. Don’t forget to overlook those classy valve covers and the CVF billet machine pulley system that tie into the rest of the truck’s evolving theme.
close up of tire and rim on a ’67 C10
Next, Daniel and his team had to assess the pre-existing bodywork that had already been present on the truck. The guys at Signature Performance were able to handle some additional work in-house, but what they didn’t finish themselves was sent out to Johnny Hammonds Paint & Body in Riverside, California, to see through. Obviously, the exterior features that garner the most attention are the copper-plated bumpers and trim pieces found throughout the truck. Daniel admits to trying numerous paints and powdercoating methods that just didn’t deliver the desired results. Real copper plating was the next viable solution, but that process was accompanied with its own issues to get the finish correct. In the end, the crew figured out the science behind it all—after much trial and error—and were able to document their recipe for success.
close up of engine in a ’67 C10
While Daniel played around with the idea of running with a root beer shade of color for the truck’s paintjob, he felt that adding more brown hue might clash with its copper-plated portions. His solution was to ask Johnny Hammonds to shoot for a darker, blacker color with the addition of copper flake to allow the paint to pop when under direct sunlight or special indoor lighting. Other exterior highlight additions that spark conversation are the custom side mirrors from VanNatta Fabrication, molded rain gutters and shaved handles among lots of other trick bodywork, Fesler flush-mounted front and rear glass, one-piece power side windows, and a one-off wood bed floor featuring planks that the Signature Performance team cut and prepped themselves. Oh, and check out the copper plating on the stringers placed between the boards!
close up of digital speedometer in a ’67 C10
Inside the cab, Daniel was faced with the decision of what to do with the upholstery. Of course, time and cost were all factors that led to selecting TMI Products as the main provider of new seating, door panels, and upholstery. The premium distressed black leather and buck tan distressed vinyl inserts used on the Pro Series 60-inch Deluxe Bench, along with TMI’s double-diamond stitch pattern proved to be the most ideal addition into the truck’s cab space. TMI also provided a fresh carpet and headliner kit to literally change up the interior from floor to ceiling. A modified dash from a ’63 Suburban has taken up residence inside of C10’s confines as well since the Holley EFI dash screen that is in it now absolutely did not work with the truck’s factory dashboard. Orange Country Hotrods contributed with an assist with this portion of the build. The rest of the cab features more custom paintwork, even more copper plating, as well as a banging sound system that Daniel made sure to put to good use.
’67 C10
Even though Daniel started off the project as a personal build that wasn’t supposed to get as in-depth as it did, his truck has blown up in popularity, especially after its debut at the 2022 SEMA show. Pretty Penny was featured in TMI’s booth and ended up winning the TMI Trim award for best truck, which in turn earned the truck an invitation to attend the Scottsdale Barrett-Jackson event in January 2023. Big things have happened for Daniel, his family, and his Signature Performance crew, and he couldn’t be more satisfied. He was able to accomplish some amazing automotive-related feats all while celebrating a major turning point in his life with regards to his sobriety, which really is the icing on this copper-clad cake.