The Art of Perfection: Kasey Harris’s, ’66 c10 – “Buttercup”
It’s no secret that most gear heads, or ‘Motorsport enthusiasts’ for you ‘PC’ types, will know a vehicle inside and out, yet most of the time, we have no clue about the owner or their connection to the vehicle. Well, today my friends, we cross this chasm! For far too long, we’ve appreciated a nice ride from a distance. As a consequence, we always miss the best part, the story of how and why that ride is in front of us. So sit back, buckle up and hold
my beer on while we tell you the story behind the truck that was the very blueprint for my c10 build. Ladies and Germs, I present to you, Buttercup!
For me, this story starts about 4 summers ago at a Kannapolis Crusie-in. At the time, I was about 6 or 8 months into the build of my ’64 c10, Gladys. The body was off for patch work so I directed my focus towards her suspension, but was hopelessly lost in a sea of silly proposals by way of interweb forum Ph.D’s. So I began hitting all the local cruise-ins in hopes of obtaining a reference point; enter Butterstuff, Butternut, I mean Buttercup! I can still remember when I spotted her, it was like seeing a long lost love for the first time as they exit a busy airport terminal. You have no concept of your surroundings, once your eyes meet, it’s just the two of you. I literally ran up to her and immediately started my investigation. I waited and waited for what felt like an hour, but I assume it was closer to 30 minutes before Buttercup’s owner showed face.
Now, this is where the story could have taken a turn. Some ‘car guys’ are too cool for school and won’t give you the time of day. Not, Kasey! This guy must have spent the better part of an hour talking to me about Buttercup and all of her classy modifications. This guy is the definition of hot roddin’, folks!
At the end of the conversation he mentioned that today was special because his dad was in town for a visit, so they were going to leave so they could hang out before his father returned home. This really hit home for me as my father also lives several states away and the only thing that kept me going during my build was the vision of being able to drive around in my c10 with my old man riding shotgun. I waited until I saw them leave the ‘cruise loop’ and determined their exiting direction. I ran between two buildings, through a parking lot and there she was, an absolutely slammed, seafoam green, 1966 Chevrolet C10 pick-up rumbling up the road. Inside the truck sit a father, his son, and two huge smiles. I shot them an excited thumbs up and vowed to myself, “one day!”
It’s fitting that Kasey and Buttercup occupy the main stage on our site, because if it weren’t for the above encounter, my truck would still be in limbo and this site would have never existed. Thanks for everything, Kasey!
Kasey n’ Buttercup: In his own words
I’ve always had a love affair with 60-66 Chevy trucks and not really sure why. I think its because I feel they are the last Chevy Trucks that have true body lines. Growing up everyone was building 50’s Chevys or 67-72 trucks. Which personally I didn’t care for. I wanted something different. So I started looking more seriously for a 60-66 which was like the bastard child of Chevy trucks. The first truck I looked at was a 63. The wrap around glass was nice, truck was clean, I went to sit in it and quickly learned why they called them knee knockers. Nope! It had to be a 64, 65 or 66 and I told my good friend, Ben, what I was looking for.
Ben and I had plenty of discussions about C10’s, even though he is a Ford guy (Ben has a wicked cool 64 Fairlane). The rule was if its not seafoam and white it would be painted Butternut Yellow (see image below) found on 66 Chevelles (a bucket list car), love that color! Fast forward several months, Ben shoots me a pic with the caption “I Found your C10”. She was for sale locally, so Ben and I met up for lunch and then headed to take a look. There sat the future Miss Buttercup, a 1 owner, seafoam and white, 66 c10 with a solid running small block that was mated to a TH400. The paint was completely chalked and character oozed from every body line, but there was one small problem, it wasn’t for sale, yet.
This is the part where persistence pays off. I pestered this guy for several months. Stopping in once a week asking him how much it would take and eventually he caved. He threw out a number that he thought was ridiculous, keep in mind this was like 2007(ish) and these trucks still hadn’t peeked too many folk’s interests. Once he said his price I told him to toss a battery in it and wash it!! I picked it up that Friday. Did I mention this was a running and driving truck? I did NOTHING to it for the first 4 or 5 months except drive it. Well that and a front bumper.
Then the real planning begun. My neighbor Josh had a truck forum that he told me would be a great help…. Who would have guessed it was THE truck forum www.67-72chevytrucks.com. (Check out Kasey’s build thread: 67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/showthread.php?t=430547) This is about the time that Delmo had just finished his 65 build and man was I hooked! I spent WAY more time on the site then I should ever admit. But I lived on it. At work, home, everywhere. I armed myself with as much knowledge as I possibly could in those first months. Even met some great folks like John Glenn who has finished an over the top restoration on one. I had to chisel down the plan. I knew I didn’t want to bag it. I knew that I wanted it to handle, think a Chevy truck Go-cart.
“I knew I didn’t want to bag it. I knew that I wanted it to handle, think a Chevy truck Go-cart. I knew I didn’t want to bag it.”
So with a loose outline of what I wanted I started asking the right questions to the right people on the forum. I hit up Jeff at CPP for most of the suspension stuff, remember this is before you could buy suspension from the big boys, Hotchkis, Ride Tech, etc. I knew I wanted the truck to be as low as humanly possible but still be functional. Jeff hooked me up with a 5.5”/7” kit that would give me the perfect stance. The little SB that was in the truck was dated and for me, a sleeper was way cooler. Remember the Nova in Hotrod “Suckers Bet”? That was where I was headed. Google it if your lost! This is also around the time I upgraded everything to power disks, you do have to stop well with any kind of power, at least I’m told.
The engine is a long long story and could be its own story. It started as a good 350 that was once in the Malibu. When I pulled it in favor of the 406 I tossed it in dry dock for safekeeping. To this day the engine has been built 5 or 6 times (maybe more) with different degrees of focus. This last time was with the help of my buddy, Ben. Did I mention he builds engines for a well known cup shop and was the driving force behind the 406ci I had in my Malibu’s??? Ben asked “What are you after with this engine”. I told him I wanted a vintage NASCAR/Trans Am inspired engine that looked like a bone stock 283 with 600hp. Which hopefully we will hit that number next year with a few good upgrades. My love for the “sleeper” look has meticulously driven me to try and very carefully hide a wolf in sheep’s clothing. That and that alone has been most of my focus with this truck. Something that someone would walk right by and be none to the wiser. Hell even writing this and spec’ing everything out goes against all of my grain. (Thanks for throwing us a bone, Kasey!)
The engine is now a full roller 385ci filled with the best parts from Scat Crankshafts, Keith Black Pistons, Comp Cams, among several others. The heads as of now are a set of 1966 double humps with screw in studs, guide plates, big valves and roller rockers which are hidden by a set of one off Chevy script valve covers that have 1.5” added to the height of them. Which was done by the VERY talented Damon Detmer of Detmer Metalshaping. (Check Damon out on Instagram.) Follow that with a custom one off Edelbrock C4B intake with built in baffles from Porkchop of 26ind. John Glenn, AKA ‘The Astronaut‘ to you www.67-72chevytrucks.com forum fans, built a one-off C10 dual snorkel air cleaner that is just ridiculous!! Slap a couple 283 stickers on it and… you have an engine that most people walk right past and assume it’s just another plain ole Small Block.
I’m hoping that in the near future to be able to finish up the rear-end with 4:56 gears and a Posi. Then its going to get a No Limit rack and pinion setup followed by Fuel Injection, rear mount gas tank and a Classic Air A/C setup.
A special thanks to my wife who tolerates me playing with cars and bikes. To Ben for being such a driving force as well as the voice of reason. To Damon, Porkchop, Justin and John Glenn, you have made this truck SO cool! To the Roadpilots Car Club for allowing such a new vehicle in. And lastly to Jared for allowing me the opportunity to tell the story, several times.
Build, Drive & Enjoy!