1973 Chevy C-10, SEMA Battle of the Builders, Fuel Curve

1973 Chevy C10 – Bucking the Odds

When Preston Folkestad started driving his great grandfather’s 1973 Chevy C10 truck to high school, he probably didn’t think that someday it would be displayed at the SEMA Show. And it was even more remote to think that Folkstad would be selected as one of the Top Forty in the Battle of the Builders while at the show. But that was what happened last fall in Las Vegas.

1973 Chevy C10, SEMA Battle of the Builders, Fuel Curve

The 1973 Chevrolet C10 was bought new by “Buck” Heckart, Preston’s great grandfather, but was always used and abused as a farm truck. When Preston acquired it for high school it gained a small block engine and flat black paint. He also cut the frame and installed a short bed. Folkestad continued using the truck while obtaining a degree in Graphic Design from Iowa State. Folkestad now works for his dad at GC Cooling, a distributor of performance cooling components, so by now he’s fully engaged in the performance aftermarket scene.

1973 Chevy C10, SEMA Battle of the Builders, Fuel Curve

While mulling ideas for a SEMA display vehicle last June, his step-mom suggested restoring the C10. It was an easy decision but one that would require a lot of hard work in a short time frame. Folkestad would work on the truck after putting in a full day at the GC Cooling shop in Des Moines, Iowa. Being fresh out of school and with a limited budget, he learned the art of wheeling and dealing. His Godfather, Mike Six, builds race motors and helped put together a stout 355 ci small block Chevy making north of 500 horsepower.

1973 Chevy C10, SEMA Battle of the Builders, Fuel CurveThe truck sits on a No Limit Engineering front cross member with RideTech coilover shocks. It rolls nicely on 20” US Mag Wheels while Wilwood brakes put a stop to the orange and silver two-tone beauty. He installed a 700R4 automatic transmission to cruise the streets with ease. The interior was designed by Preston, after all, that’s what his college degree is in!

1973 Chevy C10, SEMA Battle of the Builders, Fuel Curve

1973 Chevy C10, SEMA Battle of the Builders, Fuel CurveFolkestad estimated he spent about 160 hours on the body of the truck including block sanding it six times, after getting the gaps cleaned up. It seems that grandpa “Buck” was frugal and had melted roofing shingles onto the floorboards as a rust preventative, so Preston definitely had his work cut out for him. But Folkestad still had time to custom fabricate carbon fiber inner fenders and add the cowl hood, while shaving the side marker lights and drip rails.

Once it was nearing completion, the stance wasn’t quite right so he notched the frame allowing for a two inch rear drop. Now it sits and looks killer, especially with his father Bob’s custom bike resting in the bed!

Folkestad has plans to autocross the truck at some Goodguys events in 2018 and also wants to upgrade the interior. The truck came a long way in five months, especially as a part-time build. More than three hundred applications were submitted for SEMA’s Battle of the Builders. Folkestad’s truck was selected as one of the ten Young Guns (builders all under 27 years of age) who were part of the forty finalists for the Battle of the Builders competition.

1973 Chevy C10, SEMA Battle of the Builders, Fuel CurveNone of the 12 Young Guns made the cut to the Top Twelve, but Preston’s C10 raised more than its fair share of eyebrows and rightfully so. Hot rodding is generational. So is work ethic. Preston Folkstead’s skills and his dedication prove that he was raised right. Welcome to our world young man!

Mark C. Bach is a well preserved automotive junkie, due to the Arizona dry heat. He loves anything that moves and is especially fond of muscle cars and classics.