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Full Custom 1971 Chevy C10

CarShowz Features

Custom 1971 Chevy C10

Nathen McEown’s full custom 1971 Chevy C10 is definitely an eye catcher among the custom trucks sitting around the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Conroe, Texas for the 1st Annual Classic Truck Throwdown. The Classic Truck Throwdown hosted 1998 and older classic trucks, to think ’98 is considered classic, that only reminds me how old we are getting.


The show hosts give the top sponsors an opportunity to choose their favorite vehicle as their choice award. It is no easy task with the selection of amazingly custom-built trucks throughout the show. Nathen’s ’91 Chevy C10 stood out to us, for one we are suckers for a bagged truck, but not only did this bagged C10 sit nicely, the color combination stood out to us as well, a blue with dark accents throughout. After approaching Nathen to chat with him about his build, that sealed the deal for us, not only is this truck an amazingly built truck, but Nathen was also a stand-up guy and very deserving of the CarShowz Choice award. Not only is the award a chunk of billet greatness designed and created by PhilBuilt Designs, but Classic Truck Throwdown does it right by offering this one-off custom award to their attendees.

We felt it was fitting to feature Nathen’s 1971 Chevy C10 here on CarShowz. It would be even more fitting if we had the website up and running, but that’s coming soon. 😉

Custom 1971 Chevy C10 Mods

Let’s get into Nathen’s build, by laying out the truck’s modifications.

  • Complete frame off restoration
  • Porterbuilt level 3 rear and front drop member chassis kit
  • AG Luxury AGL24 Wheel Set / Carbon Barrel w/Satin Black 20″x 8.5 front and 22 x 10″ in the rear with Pirelli P Zero PZ4 tires
  • Wilwood brake upgrade w/black calipers, drilled/slotted rotors
  • Crate LT4 engine with GM/Speartech 10L90 10 Speed Transmission
  • Complete Drive Junky L Serpentine Drive System
  • Complete custom interior by Sublime Heights with two 10″ JL subs
  • Dakota Digital Dash kit
  • Custom Munssey Speed Carbon Fiber Glove Box Cover
  • Mark K raised bed kit refinish & seal In Satin Black with custom fabrication to house stainless steel exhaust and square tanks for air bag suspension.
  • Accuair e-level air ride system
  • Complete LED light system for front, rear, and side markers
  • Custom Billet Vale/Coil Covers
  • Rick’s Stainless Fuel Tank, Level II Fuel Pump & Sender

Getting to Know Nathen McEown

We wanted to get to know Nathen and the thought process behind his build, so we asked him a few questions…


Do you own a custom car shop, do you build vehicles as a hobby or both? Tell us a bit about yourself.

I love the idea of having a one of one car/truck. The experience of driving something that you have personally designed and help create is worth more than any exotic you can go buy. I first got into custom trucks in the late 90’s. In high school I owned a 1995 single cab S10 with air bag suspension, 17″ Boyd Coddington wheels, and a phantom billet grill. I got back into the retromod truck scene 3 years ago with another ’71 C10 that was patina and had a LS swap. I bought my current ’71 C10 early 2021 and began to upgrade it. Between Smithys and Sublime Heights it took about 18 months to get the truck to its finished condition. You can see a lot of the progress pictures of the build on my IG @71C10LT4.

Smithy Forged Customs and Design did the majority of the work on the truck. They swapped the LT4 engine and complete drivetrain, added all the satin/flat black features, customized the bed and completed rear fabrication, and handle some suspension modifications.

What genre vehicle do you prefer? Do you like all style vehicles, mostly hot rods, etc. and why?

Retromods are definitely my favorite. I love the idea of having something that is a classic but is just as reliable as a brand-new truck/car right off the lot. There are so many ways to make a retromod unique to your style and who cares what anyone thinks as long as you love the look and feel of it. The idea of buying a six-figure foreign sports car has never appealed to me, I would rather build a new retromod.
I think my next build will be a 1965 Lincoln Continental with an air ride suspension and LT4 engine. I just need more garage space, lol.

Who is your favorite car/truck builder and why?

I really liked working with Smithys. They were organized and very professional. I had a high level of trust in them. I liked the fact that they haven’t done many trucks like mine. They have historically done more retromod hotrods. I wanted my truck to look and feel more like a hotrod than a truck and I thought they did a great job of doing that. They built a sick Lincoln Continental recently…I would buy that thing in a heartbeat if it went up for sale.

Other than Smithys I would say I am impressed with FFG, MTI, SoCal Auto and Tre5Customs.

Octane and Iron and Back Bay Customs are doing some really nice fab work too. If you haven’t seen their stuff, check them out.

What are some of the lessons learned while building your vehicle?

Research, research, research…with IG and the internet you can see some many other nice trucks out there. Spend time checking out a lot of shops and other trucks. Take inspiration from a variety of sources, but make it your own. Don’t just do what the shop recommends. All shops are great, but just like anyone they stick to what they have done before and is repeatable. Push them to do something different and put your own flavor on the build.

What advice would you give up and coming builders?

Have patience and deep pockets, lol. It always takes longer, and costs more than you think. 🙂

What are some of the obstacles you have faced while building your vehicle?

Delays on parts because of COVID supply chain issues.

What is your next project? For example, current vehicle modifications or a different vehicle build.

1965 Lincoln Continental…laying frame, huge motor, big wheels, and making people say, “damn I have never seen anything like that…so cool”.

Lastly, Nathen would like to thank his wife for letting him be a kid again and building one of his dream cars.

Custom 1971 Chevy C10 Photos

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