Stepping Out – Jimmy Shaw’s ’70 GMC Shows the Custom Potential of Stepside Pickups
You don’t see a lot of custom stepside GM trucks on the road, which is one of the reasons Jimmy Shaw wanted to build this ’70 GMC into a road warrior. Jimmy has a couple fleetside C10s but decided to give the stepside some love through the touch of Jesse Greening and his team at Greening Auto Company.
Jimmy and Jesse have worked together on a couple other builds, including Jimmy’s 200mph ’71 Maverick, so he only gave Jesse a couple directives for this project: lean the hood back like the early gen-two C10s, and clean up the drip rails. Of course, refining and cleaning up what the factory developed is right in Greening’s wheelhouse. In fact, it’s safe to say that this GMC could be a class study in refining a vintage truck with modern technology and performance.
As requested, the drip rails of the GMC were reworked and reduced in size for a subtle update and the hood was sliced and leaned back giving it the feel of the ’67 model. The bumpers were pulled in slightly and all of the seams and gaps were tightened and perfected. The bed floor was raised to accommodate the stance and suspension, but there’s still room for luggage and even a spare. The tailgate chains were upgraded to latches to protect the custom blue BASF Glasurit paint that was based off a classic Corvette Bahama Blue color.
Click open the OEM door handle and you know immediately that you’re getting into a 1970 pickup, albeit a restified version. Greening left the factory dash in place but updated it with a new gauge panel from Classic Instruments, Vintage Air controls are in the stock location, and even an OEM-looking radio is in place (though the sound system has been thoroughly upgraded). A leather-wrapped dash pad matches the modernized buddy buckets and console, which M&M Hot Rod Interiors covered with Alcantara leather. It’s a perfect blend of modern amenities and comfort with vintage GMC styling.
This motif carries throughout the truck, of course, but is exemplified under the hood where a 6.0L LS engine resides. The LS has been detailed in Chevy Orange and with a set of vintage 305c.i. V6 valve covers thanks to adapters from Don Hardy Race Cars. The plastic factory intake was replaced with an aluminum Holley four-barrel intake topped with a Holley throttle body hidden under a dual snorkel air cleaner. With 425 horsepower running through a Bowler-built 4L60E, there is more than enough power on tap to get this stepside up to speed – quickly!
The one area that could be considered a few steps over ‘refinement’ is hidden underneath the truck in the form of a Roadster Shop SPEC chassis. Jimmy plans to run this stepside hard and the RS Chassis delivers the handling, stance, and a comfortable ride for long hauls and more smiles per mile. Greening whittled up a set of custom wheels based on the original GMC 15-inch hubcaps, though the wheels measure 19×8-inches in the front with 20x13s in the rear.
Jimmy road tripped the truck from Mississippi to Nashville where it debuted at our event and scored the Fuel Curve Pick of the weekend. Then, Jesse road tripped the truck to the Summit Racing Nationals in Columbus, Ohio, for another 1,100-mile cruise to make sure the truck is ready for the road. With an award and a couple thousand miles already accumulated, it’s proven and ready for Jimmy to hit the road for a few more weekend adventures!
Photos by John Jackson