Grandpa’s Truck – Josh Bentley’s 1983 C10
Family heirlooms come in many forms, from something as small as a pocket watch or necklace, to pieces of furniture or, yes, even a pickup like Josh Bentley’s 1983 C10.
Josh’s paternal grandfather Wendell Bentley bought this Chevy new and used it for a work truck for his job as a mechanic at an Arizona sawmill, just across the border from his Utah home. When he retired, Wendell rebuilt the engine and continued driving the truck until gifting it to Josh, who drove it to high school. “I earned money to repaint it, put bigger tires and wheels on, and some other upgrades I could afford as a teenager,” Josh said.
Josh drove the truck for a couple years in college, but it was eventually relegated to storage as he attended medical school and began practicing as a neurosurgeon. A few years ago, he handed it over to Vini’s Hot Rods to build it into a standout custom.
Vini Madrigal and his crew started the custom transformation by ordering a Roadster Shop Spec chassis to update the ride, handling, and stance. The frame was powder coated before being assembled with Wilwood 14-inch disc brakes and Budnik 20×9- and 20×10-inch wheels wrapped in Nitto rubber.
Big-time modern power came in the form of a 700hp Chevrolet Performance supercharged LT4 – an engine that looks right at home in a squarebody engine compartment, especially one with a custom firewall and inner fenders by Vini’s. The engine was smoothed, painted gloss black, and fitted with Ultimate Headers leading to a custom 3-inch stainless exhaust with Borla mufflers. It’s backed by an 8L90 transmission.
The body was treated to the requisite smoothing with shaved side markers, emblems, tailgate handle, and drip rails. It also got smoothed and tucked bumpers (plated by Ogden Chrome), custom mirrors, and a modified bed to accommodate the big tires and low stance. J. Miller Restorations gets credit for the bodywork and that brilliant Axalta Titan Blue finish.
Much like the body, you can still see original flavor inside the updated cab. Built by Ricky upholstered the seat in light tan leather and stitched the other soft parts to match. The Dakota Digital instruments and Vintage Air controls look right at home in the dash, and even the custom console has an OEM appearance. An Ididit tilt column is topped by a Sparc Industries wheel.
The two-year build on the truck was completed just in time to debut it at the 2022 SEMA Show. After finishing some details in the off season, it’s now ready for a summer of show cruising, where Josh will undoubtedly make new memories with this cherished heirloom.
Photos by John Jackson & Damon Lee