New York NYC Journal

I did this once before: I built a crazy Jeep Scrambler with a Corvette engine and Ford 9 inch rear axel with disc brakes.

So now is a bit more complicated bigger project. Kinda exciting.

No Limit did all the engineering and assembled me a kit for suspension, steering and brakes. What I love about the C-10 is that the aftermarket is so developed to the level of Jeep CJ’s.

It does seem though that the engineering is mucho much more advanced, even more than a Jeep. I kinda learned enough that just changing to lowered springs can have a bad effect on handling and ride quality.

I still favor an upgrade to a 292 I-6 over the stock 250 I-6. After breakin I can add a cam and a worked head. Intake and exhaust can be done on the long block. HEI electronic ignition is about high tech as I want to go.

With the Jeep I really had to dig in and research all the possibilities. Use of some OCD behavior in a good way.

Since I intend on keeping the 3-on a tree tranny, I save money, but also I honor the truck as a cruiser. 127 inch wheelbase to approach my Checker Limo ride. I have no shortbed envy. Lots of long beds and frames have been cut down… Short beds are more popular for hot Rodding. Going countertrend is more my personal style, it is bolder.

Even though this suspension is involved, no welding required. The front suspension is designed using 2d generation Camaro stock spindles and brakes and the front rocker panel with a 27 inch tire sits about 6 inches off the ground. Mighty low without drop spindles.

Thought has passed my mind of getting into welding. Not a bad side hustle and I already have a hundred amp service in the garage. In art school I was strongly encouraged to embrace sculpture because of my aptitude. Hmmm.

Seems like I am right in the way to the Hot Rod Hotel. Pretty much to go there you have to pass my Baby Victorian. Bear Mountain has the car Meet-Ups on Wednesdays. I have a dead end… You know me, “I just mind my own business” and then all these things just happen to me.

BTW even though hidden in my garage my truck is lusted by anyone who sees it. The body and patina are that great. I love the contrast of a Rat-Rod body with faded patina and a modded/updated chassis.

The slope got filled in a bit today in the back-backyard. This fall I imagine the short chain link fence I relocated on the ledge I built out will get hidden by the leaves I round up. It took a lot of clean fill to get to this point.

Craig’s dad’s Silverado might be another project for me. Craig wants it to remain a truck for towing. If I had a welding machine I could repair any rot and learn that part of restoration.

It has 125K miles on it.

Would be great to have a truck available to tow home some “stray” cars and trucks.

“Don’t tell Maggie.”

Anyways having fun.

BTW on Long Island I was widely known as the guy who put a Corvette engine in a Jeep Scrambler. My calling card was my loud exhaust and the chump of the tires when I shifted gears.

You know a car is fast when the time between shifts is not very long.

I never owned a new car, and the prices today are crazy. Government regulation helped inflate car prices with pollution and safety mandates. The money has to come from somewhere for these upgrades/improvements, and they basically have been added to the price.

Seems like 1976 is some cut-off where performance engines cannot bypass pollution controls. Use to be any car over 25 years old did not require emissions testing. In other words cars and trucks made before 1976 pretty much you can still do crazy things and not be regulated.

A thought passed my mind, if I were to buy a the cheapest Ford or Chevy full sized pickup, how much would it cost? It was $38K-$40K for base models, and for me the only contender was the Ford because it was a truck with 2 doors. Know that I don’t like King Cabs with 4-doors. If I want a 4-door sedan I’d buy a car.

Pick up trucks should have 2 doors…

So I build on the thought of if I could afford a new truck. I don’t think I would be pleased with a Cheapo base model, and pretty much I don’t think I would like a “bloated” truck either.

Then the thought passed my mind that for $38K-$40K I could build me a New/Old truck that would be kinda crazy.

When I built my Jeep Scrambler Chevy offered a “crate-motor” called a ZZ3 that was 350 HP/400 Foot-lbs of torque. Pretty much a Corvette engine without the fuel injection that used a carb. Aluminum heads, roller cam, 4-bot main, forged crank…

Today I can buy from Chevy Performance a ZZ6 405HP/406 Foot-lbs. Pretty much a brand new engine, not a rebuild. I can also buy from Chevy Performance a Tremac T56, a six speed tranny with two overdrives (0.80 and a 0.63). Tranny brand new is a little more than $5K.

Considering that I would drop about $9.5K into the chassis the numbers add up fast. Don’t forget wheels tires and air conditioning ($2K).

For me this would be money better spent than buying a new vehicle. I would own something I would want to drive that also would be fun to drive.

I’m in no rush, and of course this would take some time to get the money, and then there is the build time.

Unfortunately the new front end and rear end suspension work done on the truck along with the new steering will not get used that was performed by Danny, the previous owner, but being locked into my 15 inch rims, manual steering, and the 3-on-a-tree‘s limited capacity breaks with the old and retro.

Another concern is that hot-Rodding an I-6 ends up being costly because its a specialty market not as developed as SBC and BBC. The 292 has a core charge that is a difficulty…

I already can hear the lumpy idle now of a ZZ6. BTW “Don’t tell Maggie.”

It will be a cool look with resto-mod chassis, engine, and drivetrain, but with a Rat-Rod body. Figure about a 26 inch on the wheels about the size of wheels on an El Camino, but on a full sized pickup with a long Fleetside bed set low and level.

The space between the pavement and rocker panels will be 6 inches, not “slammed” but definitely car like. Because of the length of the truck it should look very low though, and don’t forget it will still be able to carry 500 pounds still.

Anyways, now I want to go all the way. “Crazy is good,” I say.

BTW some of these crate engines are crazy powerful. With the EV craze I say pre 1976 vehicles that have hot rod potential will escalate in value.

Country Cal
Last edited:
“Maggie’s” book publication was delayed. One reason was January is right after Christmas which is a lull in book buying after the holiday season. I can understand why January is a slow month and not the best timing of a book release.

Anyways this upset Maggie who wants to stop her in commitment and involvement with Instagram and social media. Now this gets dragged out…

So now the game has changed and publication will be in the spring.

I thought of MFM today because I made sausage, peppers and onions today for lunch. For Maggie it is her big meal of the day, but I ended up grilling some Salmon and making some rice for dinner.

Maggie looks to be kinda exhausted and tired. She is not really retired, but she does this to herself.

I’m being honest with myself: the truck will be a long and expensive project. Looking forward to doing what I do best which is build out projects that are a bit crazy and ambitious. It is a bit of a statement of what kind of man I am. Also I think it could lead to other things…

Not sure what I will do with the extra parts from the C-10. Perhaps another truck… “Don’t tell Maggie.”

I’ll also have a spare tranny, steering column, 250 I-6. Would be cool to own a Box Nova. Hmmm…

Last edited:
Vehicles are fun, so are cameras.

Makiflex Standard BandL Super Cinephor Linhof Graflex Back by Nokton48, on Flickr

This is my second Makiflex Standard, bought from a shoppe in Vienna. It has been heavily, professionally modified. Note the custom Side Handle. The Front Standard is HEAVILY MODIFIED, note the precison machine werk. Quite a bit of the camera has been removed! Right under the lens is a LENS SWING MECHANISM, which has a ball detent (NICE) and swings the front standard on the optical axis of the lens. Quite a bit of Swing is possible, seems very sturdy and built to last. The cool thing about the Standard Makiflex, is that the inside throat is more spacious, and has no cables getting ini the way of BEEG lens. This boat anchor of a lens, is a Bausch&Lomb Super Cinephor, 159.1mm F2.0, which is outrageously fast. It looks great I think on this camera, and it will get some use this Spring, I can tell you. It's going to be FUN. This is a olde lens meant for 70mm and 35mm Cinema Projection, like in a commercial theatre. Cool that it fits the Standard, but won't fit my Automatic Makiflex, for the above reasons. So this lens is an Uber Speed Light Sucker, great that I can swing the front, say like, when doing a portrait or still life. On the back is the Makiflex 4x5 Holder that takes Linhof Plate Holders, or Graflex Graphic Holders, with the flip of a couple of switches top and bottom. Linhof Holders are much thicker, and can also take planfilm or glass plates. They are mucho Deluxe :)

Foxglove on Rainy Back Deck by Nokton48, on Flickr

First test roll of hand spooled 1992 vintage 70mm Kodak 400 Tri-X Professional Unperfed film. Rated at EI 400, extremely dark stormy rainy day on my back deck. Camera was Plaubel Makiflex Standard, lens is Bausch and Lomb Super Cinephor 159.1mm F2.0. A movie theatre projection lens intended for projecting 35mm and 70mm movie film in cinema houses. Film back is Graflex RH-50 18 shots bulk loaded. Film processed in D23 1:1 12 minutes at 74F in single reel Paterson dev tank. RC 8x10 print Arista #2 Matte developed in Multigrade. Omega DII laser aligned 180mm black Rodagon lens. Camera was handheld at the Makiflex Standard's top speed of 1/125. I really like the "look" I am getting with this extremely unusual lens. It's quite a heavy rig so I get a gym workout to boot. I am really diggin' all this 70mm stuff at this point. 18 6x7 exposures fits into two Vue-All 70mm pages when cut into threes.
Last edited:
Devil Dan,

I love the free gym membership.

I’m a big fan of monster cameras like this, and the rendering is not only unusual, but very pretty.

The mods look like something that was done at Grumman. LOL.

The results speak for themselves. That D23 does a nice job with the contrast. I love it.

On my photography front I can see how the 1966 C-10 can be a great prop, as well as making me an insider to the Hot Rod world/universe. Not that it is hard for me to meet people, but a truck like my C-10 I think will get me A-listed and invited into something less suburban.

I can see myself pulling out the Linhof’s.

A title for a series could be “A Man And His Truck.”

So I dug in and did some engineering work on why a six-speed tranny with two overdrives is a great-great thing.

I would get the T56 Super Magnum with the close ratio gears With a 2.66 first gear. Kinda steep, but this is kinda perfect to support a low geared rear end as for drag racing. Generally close ratio trannies rev very high on the highway, so having two overdrives makes sense, especially if you have a high torque motor.

My present axel ratio is a 3.73:1 which is great for my application. Don’t think my rear is a Posi thought.

Speaking of torque, the T56 Magnum has a max torque rating of 700 Foot Pounds. WOW.

Did the math: 0.80 OD times 2200 RPM with a 25 inch tire (small for a truck) equals 54.83 MPH; 0.63 OD times 2200 RPM equals 69.63 MPH.

So in one tranny I get the best of both worlds as far as gearing for dragging and cruising.

Did you know a stock 1966 C-10 is about 3800 pounds? The coil over Independent Front Suspension shaves aboput 180 pounds off the front end. I have to figure out how much heavier a V-8 with aluminum heads would add back, but the delta between a 250 I-6 and a 350 SBC is 135 pounds. I would expect aluminum heads would be about half the 135 pounds.

The 25 inch tires shave a lot of weight, and this is sprung rotating mass, over 27.7 inch OEM 215/75/15’s. To give you the scale of change my Audi A4 has 245/40 R18 tires that are 25 inches in diameter.

I think you should get a 70mm Graflex RH-50 Back, to put on your "Devil Christian Linhof".
So you can shoot 70mm and 120 film interchangeably. I just bought another RH50 at our local used shop for Forty Bucks.
Cheap-Cheap. Just sayin....
Devil Dan,

I love that idea. I have Linhof CINE and 120 backs already. The 65mm is still a wide FOV in medium format.

Devil Dan,

I think I have both capabilities. As I remember I was able to convert the backs from 4x5 to Baby-Linhof by changing the rear plate.

I have 6x9, 6x7, and 645 capabilities in 120. My CINE backs are all 6x7. The 645 Linhof back is a “Didn’t know they made them.”

I have so many backs. Devil Christian gifted me some that worked and some that didn’t. I have to check my inventory.

I measured the height of the rocker panel on my Audi A4 and it is just shy of 7 inches. Now imagine a long bed pickup slightly lower set at 6 inches. There is a plus or minus 1/2 inch of adjustability In front ride height to level things.

The overall height of the Audi at the roof line is 56 inches. Meanwhile from the bottom of the rocker panel to the highest point in the cab roof also happens to be 56 inches. Add 6 inches and basically the truck’s height with new suspension and 25.3 inch tires (275/35R18) will be 62 inches or 5’2”.

From what I’ve seen the length of a long bed truck makes an illusion of being lower. Know that an El Camino came with 14 inch rims. With a 195 wide tire the diameter is 25.5” or just slightly taller than my wider 275/35R18 at 25.3 inches.

Not only will the C-10 be longer, it also will be lower than an El Camino. Kinda mucho ghetto.


I have three batches of peppers and onions in the freezer. LOL. Sausages are easy to grill…

The cost of building a new/old truck is hard to keep under budget. I’m pricing in a Ford 9 inch rear from Currie Enterprises (heavy half-ton with Timkin bearings like I had in my Jeep) for the 5 lug and disc brake conversions.

I had a bad experience with the stock Jeep axel and came pretty close to becoming an orange sponge rolled into a ball of steel and glass when I lost a wheel doing 65 MPH on an Ohio interstate.

It took a lot of skill and an understanding of physics to keep a Jeep three wheeling skidding on the backing plate when the Jeep was overloaded.

Looking into a 383 stroker engine from Blue Print. About 440 HP and 440 Foot-Pounds. Might have to go with a carb and later upgrade to a Holley Sniper fuel injection. I want a forged crank…

Less money than a Chevy Crate engine by a lot.

The Blue Print 383 engine I was interested in ends up having the forged crank I desire, but is a “Power Adder” design with a lowered compression ratio for use with nitrous oxide, a turbo, or supercharger. Oh-well…

Chevy Performance has a ZZ6 non EFI that fits my budget, and I think I want to avoid needing a ECU (computer) or an oxygen sensor, more things to break, and I want this beast to be retro and primitive. Less things to break or replace works for me.

Also nothing wrong with a SBC in a classic vehicle.

I also figure decades out, perhaps 30-40 years out, that simplicity will be golden because it is so basic.

I know from my Jeep tuning that carbs work fine on high powered engines that lack emission controls. BTW the power and torque ratings for the EFI ZZ6 and carb’s ZZ6 is the same, but one has limited use in 1976 and newer cars and trucks. Moot for me because my truck is a 1966 And is in the “envelope” where regulations don’t exist.

When I say new I don’t mean rebuilt, I mean brand new. So new engine, new tranny, new rear axel, new suspension, new tires, new wheels, new aluminum radiator, new 4 wheel disc brakes, new exhaust system…

The idea of an old/new truck is a bit of a challenge: build out an old truck with everything new except the frame and body; and keep the cost under $38K-$40K, the cost of a new base model truck with no options from Ford or Chevy.

Sorry Dodge to leave you out.

The compromise to save money is that the body remains OEM and factory original requiring no capitol, and the interior stays close to stock except for updated analog instrumentation.

The Chevy Performance SP 383 still is in the picture 450 HP/436 Foot-lbs. Meanwhile the ZZ6 is 420 HP/408 foot-lbs. Either engine would exceed the power to weight ratio of a muscle car where you need a minimum of one horsepower per ten pounds.

My C-10 weighs in about 3800 pounds.

In looking through magazines at Barns and Noble I took note how short bed trucks seemed to get all the coverage, and long beds were excluded. Hmmm… I’m countertrend which is a great place to be. If you want to stand out, don’t be or do what everyone else is doing.

I’m building a performance cruiser, and the long wheelbase would not be so great for auto cross, but for long rides/journeys the ride would be compliment and comfortable. Ideal for cruising.


BTW “Don’t tell Maggie.”
Last edited:
Correction: EFI version of ZZ6 is 420 HP; Carb version only 405 HP.

Difference is a 15 HP gain for EFI, but the cost increase is $3K. Ouch…

Cal I think the drive train is where you should put the money. Engine, transmission, and rear end. Good brake and suspension components and nice wheels and tires of course. Vintage ac would be nice.Leave the old truck body and interior vintage as is. This way you could get it on the road asap. I wouldn't be afraid to drive such a rig cross country and back. Have some sort of setup in the bed where you could lock in a couple bikes maybe. Mucho cool.

You could let Maggie drive the Audi all the time then... :)

Engine will likely be a ZZ6, tranny T-56 six-speed with double overdrive, Currie heavy half-ton Ford 9 inch, 4 wheel disc brakes.

The centerpiece will be the coil over suspension front and rear.

Certainly the engine and drivetrain is overbuilt.

The T-56 Super Magnum is rated for up to 700 foot pounds of torque. How crazy is that?

My body certainly is cool with its faded patina that shouts OEM. That’s what is cool about a Rat-Rod.

You know I have a history with crazy women. “Maggie” has a license, but has not driven in decades. She is an anxious person who would ride the brakes, do sudden braking for no reason, and likely cause accidents or kill people or create a pile up. Pretty much she is walking disaster.

Know that she is a really bad back seat driver, and every blind turn she grabs the door handle and braces for impact. My Jeep she hated because it terrified her. She did not find violent acceleration fun, and in particular my sporty driving. The Audi I kinda drive smoothly, and I baby it. IF it were a S4 instead of an A4 of course I would drive differently.

”Don’t tell Maggie.”

Of course the Jeep was a very aggressive truck and it was loud. Headers 2 1/2 inch exhaust, no cats, and Flowmaster mufflers.

My point is that it is best that Maggie does not drive. She actually knows she is too anxious a person to drive. We talked about this.

Anyways call me a greaser, but car culture is part of me and my identity. I drove Rat-Rods before they were called Rat-Rods.

I think for under $40K I can build this truck, and that also includes the price I paid for the C-10.

I find it interesting how all the love seems to go to short beds. For a cruiser I think long beds are a better platform. Limo’s are long for a reason. Kinda funny how many long beds have been cut down into short beds because of trend. I think in the future though there will be a counter trend and then there will be a shortage of long beds.

Look at new trucks today. Chevy no longer makes a 2 door pickup, and most trucks sold are crew cabs. The counter trend eventually will make 2 door long beds novel and rare.

Also I think its great that I can still load the bed with 500 pounds.

BTW the truck barely fits in my garage because of its length. I have the OEM step bumper which adds some length. My garage doors are 8x8 (two), and I intend on replacing these conventional garage doors with carriage house doors. My lumber yard has reclaimed Douglas Fir in 6 inch wide and 12 inch wide planks. This would be great to make my carriage house doors. I can gain about 6 inches of interior space when I change the doors.

I saw a headline that 90’s vehicles are now considered old and collectible.

Looking into Box Nova’s I learned they sell for big money. Ouch. My truck is from the same era, and I figure I was mighty lucky to secure a good example. It seems the time has passed for 60’s cars and trucks unless you have very deep pockets.

We are talking crazy money…

This morning I pulled more Knoweed off my neighbor’s property at the now abandoned house. Yesterday another monster dumpster was placed in the driveway for the remainder of the cleanup. I figure with the expected rain later in the day that perhaps Sunday will be when a crew might show up to finish the job.

This was a dense thicket of Knotweed, and a patch that last year I did not get a chance to weaken. This Knotweed still had its full strength and did not pull up so easy. Good thing I had my mini chainsaw to hack the bamboo like stalks. Pretty much the idea is to weaken the growth cycle, so the plant expends mucho energy to regrow to procreate.

This weakens the roots and rye-zomes, so that in the following years the roots and rye-zones can be pulled out with the stalk. In the third year not only less grow back, but the work gets easier. This old growth thicket though had not been soften by cut-cut-cut. Pretty much every 3-4 weeks you have to cut the stalks to the ground. On this thicket it was my first cut.

Friday the guitar neck I ordered was delivered. It was suppose to take 6 weeks, but it seemed to be only a month. I guess things are slowing down As far as the economy is concerned.

This neck features one-piece “Roasted” maple that requires no finish. The oven baking of the wood gives the wood an a amberish patina and requires no finish. The baking out process makes the wood more brittle and stiffer, and this neck is perfectly flat sawn. I already can tell that this is a great neck.

The pickups are TV Jones Classics that I had very lightly waxed potted so that they are more lively and airy. The stiff neck will accentuate the treble, brightness, and articulation. These are low output pickups, and lower in output than the Duotron I have on my single pickup Cabronita I call “Burst” because of its two-tone sunburst.

”Maggie” had to attend a graduation, so I was able to relax and plug in some guitars. I’m glad I bought that tiny National amp. Sounds great and is very handy. I don’t need the volume of a bigger amp in the house.

Had a lot of fun today.

Tomorrow “Maggie” heads into the city to get her hair cut. For me it is like a bonus vacation. LOL. Plus my neighbor is having a big bar-B-Q tomorrow, so free food. Don’t know if I will binge.

Last edited:
Cal, back in 2000-2002 i had a 1963 Chevy II, the following year the model became the Nova. It was a lightweight car with a 308 attached to a 3spd automatic with overdrive. Hurst shifter on the floor. The transmission was built for light street drags and it hit pretty hard when it engaged. It ran hot though and overheated, blowing a head gasket on my way from San Diego to Whidbey Island, Washington. I actually found out after I arrived. Sold it for a profit 2 months later.