Brad Swaney’s 1971 Chevy C10
Young Brad Swaney learned a lesson about a build getting out of hand that many of us needed decades and multiple projects to understand: Building a daily driver can end up with a finished truck being too nice to drive every day.
That is what happened to the 24-year-old when he was 14 and his father gave him a 1971 Chevy C10 pickup. After reaching the point of no return with the truck, he changed gears and bought an ’89 Chevy K1500 that became his daily transportation.
The first version of the too-nice-to-drive-everyday pickup debuted at the 2018 Pittsburgh World of Wheels show, taking home the Best Truck trophy. Not satisfied with the truck’s frame, Brad built a new chassis before entering the 2019 SEMA Show Battle of the Builders Young Guns competition, earning another winner’s trophy.
The new-and-improved chassis included a center frame stiffener, in addition to being smoothed. ARP stainless fasteners attached all the components, from the Classic Performance Products coil-over front and rear suspensions, to the Billet Specialties turbine wheels (20×10- and 20×12-inches) and Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires.
A 450-horsepower, 454-cubic-inch V8 mated to a 700R4 automatic transmission delivers the power. A Holley 650cfm carburetor sits atop an Edelbrock intake manifold. Hedman headers direct the exhaust to a polished, three-inch MagnaFlow system. A Spal electric fan and a Champion radiator keep the engine cool, while a Billet Specialties TruTrac system controls the engine accessories.
From the extensive rust repairs to the many modifications and custom-mixed Axalta metallic copper color, the body makes Brad’s truck sparkle. The multiple tweaks included shaved drip rails, flush-mounted side markers, three-inch widened wheel wells, smoothed roof seams and inner fenders, a modified firewall, fabricated fan shroud and grille filler panels, frenched license plate pocket, deleted wing-vents, and smoothed door jambs. The polished walnut bed floor is a piece of art.
The interior is a combination of Brad and his father’s creative work – they hand-built the gauge cluster and door panels – and the expertise of Smith’s Custom Seats in Martinsburg, Pennsylvania. Smith’s applied the Relicate leather to the customized Jeep seats as well as the other interior pieces. Custom AutoMeter gauges fill the dash cluster. A Billet Specialties steering wheel and tilt column handle the steering chores. A Vintage Air system keeps the cab temperatures in line while an American Autowire harness connects the electrical system.
Building on the success of this truck, Brad and his father Mike have opened their own shop – Hayman Creations – and are already busy turning other enthusiasts’ dreams into award-winning realities.
Photos by John Jackson & Damon Lee