ANTHONY Fabris is a name well known to Street Machine readers. His evil black VL Walkinshaw was a ground-breaking car on the Commodore scene, and won the first-ever Horsepower Heroes dyno competition. His superb ’55 Chev Belair was Summernats 14 Grand Champion and a Street Machine cover car, while his über-sweet HK Monaro graced the cover of our 25th Anniversary issue (SM, August 2006). So you’re probably thinking this 1967 Chevrolet C10 step-side is Anthony’s latest ride, but it’s not. Paula Berhardone is the name on the rego papers. But to be fair, Paula is Anthony’s partner – and Anthony did spend six years building it specifically for her.
This article was first published in the December 2013 issue of Street Machine
The Mat Egan flame job goes up, over the reverse cowl hood, along the hard tonneau cover and down onto the tail-gate. For the trainspotters out there, while Paula’s trick truck is a ’67, it does use the later ’72 cab with the larger rear window. So there!
And before you ask, yes, Paula was content to wait six long years for her trick truck. “Paula knew full well how long it was going to take,” Anthony says, “and it was never an issue.” And if you think that makes Paula one patient lady, you don’t know the half of it. This is actually Paula’s cruiser take #2. Take #1 was a ’69 Camaro that was sold to Owen Webb part way through the build.
Paula always wanted an American step-side truck so, with the Camaro gone, the duo hit the net in search for a suitable replacement project. An eBay search in 2007 hit pay dirt. “It was in California and in pieces,” Anthony says, “but it looked relatively rust free.” After getting the seller to send a heap more photos, Paula and Anthony hit the ‘Buy Now’ button. All the bits were bundled into a container and off it all went on a leisurely Pacific cruise.
Unloading cars bought sight unseen is often a nerve-racking affair, but not this time. “It was just as good in the flesh as it was in the photos,” says Anthony. “All in all, it was in pretty good shape.”
That’s not to say it was pristine, and that’s where Maurice and his team at Auto Revival comes into the picture. Starting with flat sheet, they bent, folded and hammered up new sills along with new lower corners for the cab, plus they added front and rear roll pans. You’ll note the rear pan was specifically fashioned to accommodate the rather short ‘C10’ number plates – they were a very early purchase.
Look carefully at the rear, you’ll notice two thin clear lines either side of the aforementioned number plate – they’re flush-mounted LED taillights. “They’re intended to go into fibreglass hot rods,” Anthony says, “and usually only illuminate red. But we tracked down these amber and red units from Watson’s StreetWorks. They’re the only company we could find that offered units with amber blinkers.” While fettling the rear guards and tray area into shape, Revival also added a slick, flush-mounted fuel filler to the rear of the driver’s side guard.
The wood inside the tray is rather special. It’s left over American oak from the Victorian Arts Centre. Anthony knew the contractor doing the parquetry and was fortunate to secure enough to do the deck tray. A truck with culture – who’d of thunk?
Upon bolting up the US-sourced aftermarket cowl-induction hood, they discovered it was 15mm too long! It had to be unpicked, hammered and re-bent to correctly line up with the guards. All in all impressive stuff, however, Auto Revival’s grand finale is the two-inch roof chop. “I didn’t want to go too far, because they look like crap otherwise,” Anthony says. The lowered lid was a huge amount of work, requiring all-new custom glass; nonetheless Paula and Anthony are very happy with the results.
With all the metalwork completed, Auto Revival laid on the stunning Dodge Viper blue, over which Mat Egan from Extreme Designs added one of his signature flame jobs.
The engine is 327 cubes and came out of a Camaro project. It’s dressed up with lots of braid, billet pulleys and Chevrolet Performance rocker covers, and sits within a nicely detailed engine bay
Truck ride heights are normally measured in feet rather than inches. And as low as Paula’s C10 sits, it’s an airbag-free zone. “I did all the chassis work and built it to drive anywhere,” Anthony says. “It’s fully engineered.” Sinking it all the way down, there are 2.5-inch drop spindles up front combined with short coils. At the back it’s just short springs, which required relocating the shock mounts and C-notching the rails. For added stability, Anthony added a Panhard bar to the factory multi-link rear end.
Even 100 per cent streeters need grunt. ‘Streetable yet pokey’ were the instructions given to High Performance Services. Based on a 327, the small-block Chev has a nice palate of goodies, including Edelbrock alloy heads and an Edelbrock inlet manifold topped with a 750 Holley. “It’s good for around 450hp,” Anthony says. It might be a cruiser, but the whole engine bay is detailed to a much higher standard. Anthony couldn’t help himself. Heck, it even sports Eddie Motorsports billet bonnet hinges. Underneath there’s a TH700 backing the muscular small-block with a Chev 12-bolt bringing up the rear.
Filling out the wheel arches are Colorado Custom billets. To give the C10 some cool-school rake, they’ve opted for 18x8s up front (wearing 235/40/18 boots), with bigger 20x10s at the blunt end wrapped in tall 285/40/20 rubber. Considering how spacious the guards are, the tyres fit snug-as-a-bug. Bitchin!
Wow, where do you start? Bright red leather everywhere (even on the roof), billet steering wheel, Dakota Digital dash, billet pedals, billet door handles, sculptured door panels, kick panel speakers, electric windows, super comfy seat, all with a high degree of fit and finish. Very yummy
Click open one of the solid doors and you’re confronted by a sea of red cow. From the very start Paula and Anthony wanted a really good interior – and so they’ve really cut loose. While Anthony fabricated the kick panels, sculptured door trims and did most of the assembly, Laverton Motor Trimmers are largely responsible for the C10’s ballistic interior, including specially importing all that fine leather from Italy just for this project.
Laverton added the back-pleated hood lining (in red leather) to match the pattern incorporated into the comfy Glide Engineering bench seat along with the rear bulkhead. They also fashioned the flat floor, which they covered in luxurious Mercedes Benz carpet – very swanky.
Paula stares over a Billet Specialties half-wrap wheel, which sits atop a painted and detailed GM tilt column that was converted to work with the four-speed TH700. The gauges are Dakota Digital’s latest VHX series. They look analogue but are electronic. “They’re brand new,” says Anthony, “I’m pretty sure this was the first car in Australia to feature them.”
To amp up the creature comforts, Electric Life power window mechanisms were added along with a Classic Auto Air a/c system. “It’s a specific fit, bolt-in kit for the C10,” says Anthony, “and comes complete with three dash outlets and all the controls.”
The Glide bench seat tilts forward to reveal three Kenwood amps, a pair of JBL 6x9s and two 12-inch subs – the bare minimum for rockin’ cruising tunes
Of course the finishing touch to any cruiser is a kick-ass audio system. Starting with an Alpine CD/tuner, signals run into three grunty Kenwood amps which power JBL splits in the front, some JBL 6x9s behind the seat, and two 12-inch subwoofers. Anthony installed the audio system himself, as well as looking after the rest of the truck’s electricals – Mr Fabris is a man of many talents.
A smiling Mr Fabris – he may have been the truck’s caretaker on the day of the photoshoot, but we’re confident Paula will be reluctant to hand over the keys too often
So does Paula think the wait was worth it? “She loves it,” Anthony reckons. So next time you’re in Melbourne and a bright blue step-side pulls up next to you at the lights with some cool tunes pumping – don’t be surprised if the driver’s not your typical-looking trucker.
1967 CHEVROLET C10
Colour: Standox Dodge Viper blue
Engine: 327 Chev
Heads: Edelbrock alloy
Carby: Holley 750
Cam: Clive 242
Radiator: Race Radiator
Thermo fans: AU Falcon
Exhaust: Headers into twin stainless
Pref fuel: PULP
Diff: GM 12-bolt
STOP & GO
Springs/shocks: CCP springs & Koni shocks
Suspension front: Drop spindles
Suspension rear: Panhard bar
Brakes: GM discs/drums
IN THE COMFORT ZONE
Wheel: Billet Specialties
Trim: Red leather
Seats: Glide bench
Door trims: Sculptured
Carpet: Mercedes wool
Gauges: Dakota Digital
Tunes: Alpine & Kenwood
Speakers: JBL(f&r); plus 2x12-inch subs
Rims: Colorado Custom 18x8in & 20x10in
Rubber: BF Goodrich G-Force T/A 235/40/18 & 285/40/20
Maurice Franco, Auto Revival; Mat Egan, Extreme Designs 0419 588 987; George Calleja, Laverton Motor Trimmers (03) 8360 3635; and Anthony Dove at High Performance Services
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Street Machine is the bible of Aussie modified auto culture, celebrating wild muscle cars, customs and hot rods – and the incredible humans who create them.
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