CTP Feature
Dedication typography
Delmo Speed Builds a Tribute ’71 C10 Stepside for James King
BY Rob FortierPHOTOGRAPHY BY Tim Sutton

f you’ve already read this month’s editorial, then there’s no need for repeating the sentimental introduction here—if you haven’t then stop what you’re doing and go read it now (page 8)!

It only took 730 days to do so, but for those who got a glimpse of James King’s in-progress ’71 C10 Stepside, here’s the full feature you’ve (we’ve!) been waiting for … but we’ve been sitting on this for a bit, as it was the only truck perfectly suited to grace the cover celebrating our 730-day anniversary!

'71 C10 truck steering wheel
'71 C10 truck seats
'71 C10 truck tire bevel in trunk
trunk bed of '71 C10 truck
'71 C10 truck rear view with lake behind
'71 C10 truck engine
'71 C10 truck tire rim closeup
In all fairness, our pal in the pines, Del Uschenko (Delmo Speed) finished James’ two-year project back in 2021. A tribute to James’ father, who just happened to own a similarly colored and 427 big-block-powered Stepside of the same vintage when he was a kid, this modern rendition of Pop’s pickup undoubtedly features a plethora of modern touches, all of which are expected from a project coming out of Delmo’s Prescott-based shop.

For starters, the stock chassis was forgone altogether in favor of Chopping Block’s Stage 3 full (Aldan American) coilover platform. With its narrowed (62-inch) track width, rack-and-pinion (Flaming River) steering, and torsion-style sway bar–equipped IFS and a triangulated four-link rear, Chopping Block’s chassis was a perfect choice for performance right out of the gate. Set to roll on Delmo’s own 7D 20-inch slotted “mags” wrapped in redline-cut 40-series Toyo radials by Diamondback Classics, the truck has that just-right ’70s feel with a modern twist.

Speaking of modern, the fatherly tribute theme was further carried out when it came to the 427 powerplant—however, while the cubes may be the same, the vessel in which they’re output is by no means of matching origin. Del selected a new 427ci LS7 for that modern-vintage twist, which he outfitted with a Autotrend EFI tri-power (controlled by Holley’s Terminator X ECU) atop a custom-machined intake flanked by big-block retrofit custom LS valve covers by Don Hardy. Healthy breathing is accomplished with a set of Speed Engineering headers and Borla mufflers with cutouts placed appropriately. And in lieu of the original Muncie four-speed, a TREMEC Magnum six-speed (Centerforce-equipped) was utilized.

'71 C10 truck side profile with mountains behind
'71 C10 truck front view of bumper and gril
While the exterior is as-was intended back in 1971 (factory Medium Olive Poly), Del reworked the bed floor height and modified the rear inner fenders to accept the 10-inch-wide wheels, and similarly modified the front inner wheelwells accordingly. There is one distinguishing non-stock exterior item that was a must for James: a ’56 Ford F-100 rear bumper just like his dad’s featured!

When it came to the interior, Del called on his go-to stitcher Sean “Fat Lucky’s” Johnstun to do what he’s well known for: some of the baddest trim jobs ever stitched. That holds true with James’ truck, even though it’s just a bench seat (a Glide Engineering bench seat base, that is) and carpet job! The stock-looking dash actually features Dakota Digital RTX instrumentation, a Flaming River column with a repop wheel from Truck and Car Shop, and factory louvers feeding Vintage Air pumped fresh cool air for those warmer summer drives!

'71 C10 truck interior view of wheel, seats, and dashboard