1978 C-10, A Track-Ready Supercharged Square Fender
Jesse Vaughn and his wife Shawn, owners of Level 7 Motorsports, are perfect examples of new generation hot rodders. They pull into the autocross with their muscular 1978 C-10 Square Body on a low-buck steel open trailer. Called “The Shop Truck” the Level 7 pickup is by no means a trailer queen. Instead, the Vaughn’s show up to race hard while showing off the company’s build style.
Level 7 specializes in LS engine conversions and suspension upgrades with an emphasis on functional, real-world builds. This Shop Truck project is being followed up with a 3rd gen Z28 and a 2nd gen AMC Javelin. As these cars are still affordable, more money can be allocated to mods rather than the cost of entry into our scene. That’s a good example of how the next generation is flexing its muscle by breathing new life into cars and trucks from the ‘70s and ‘80s.
The Vaughn’s two-tone Shop Truck project started life as a one-owner, original paint, original-bodied 1978 C-10. Level 7 custom-built a DOM 6-point roll bar for extra rigidity around the twists. The rear down tubes extend from the back of the cab down into the bed. In the cockpit, a very racy Recaro seat can be easily swapped for more comfortable family-cruising alternatives. More fabrication is evident, such as the smoothed firewall and custom-built fuel tank. Updating the square body’s chassis was easy. Level 7 chose RideTech StrongArm tubular control arms, HQ Series single adjustable coil overs and Musclebar sway bars. Level 7 built a custom 4-Link with a Panhard Bar. The Vaughn’s participated in this year’s Hot Rod Power Tour enjoying great ride quality on the open road. Likewise, the chassis reacts well on the autocross. Multipurpose vehicles are hard to dial in but the Vaughn’s nailed it with the recipe above.
A seriously modified 370ci LQ4 V8 is topped off with an LSA supercharger and managed with Holley Dominator EFI. The combination puts 625 horsepower to the rear wheels by way of a TremecT56 Magnum and 12 bolt rear with an Eaton TrueTrac and 4.10 gears. Level 7 installed a set of Wilwood 14” brakes along with an AGR 14:1 Quick Ratio steering box. The Shop Truck rolls on 18” Forgeline wheels and fat Falken 295/40 tires. Normally found in Camaros, Mustangs and Chevelles, it’s refreshing to see a 3rd gen “Square Body” C-10 built to this level of performance. It’s just a matter of time until we see more 70s and 80s cars flooding the scene. The next gen evolution is well underway!