This 1972 Chevy C10 Started as a $900 Project With No Powertrain—Now Look at It
Named for the builder's grandmother, this pickup is minty sweet.
"Estelle" is the name of Nabe Murdaugh's beautiful black-and-white 1972 Chevy C10, in honor of his grandmother. The classic truck, is the product of a lot of time, money, hard work, patience, determination, and dedication.
To Nabe, a firefighter from McAlester, Oklahoma, finding the starting point for this finished product started with a Craigslist search. The C10 he chose was an original shortbed Cheyenne—minus a motor, transmission, and interior—with a purchase price of $900. He hauled it home from Texas, tore it apart at his house, and delivered the cab to Eddie Jewell body shop in Jewell Restoration in McAlester where Eddie Jewell let him do his own metalwork.
While working on the cab, Nabe also stripped the framerails and ordered a complete Porterbuilt suspension. After he shattered his kneecap in an accident, Nabe asked Eddie to finish the sheetmetal work and get the truck painted. Determined to keep working on the truck, he got busy with the chassis. "While I was home, I would sit on a roll-around stool in the kitchen area of my house assembling my frame with the Porterbuilt suspension. When I got everything assembled, some buddies helped me carry it out the French doors and under my carport." The dropmember suspension is sprung with RideTech coilovers all around. The frontend features an antisway bar, rack-and-pinion steering, and McGaughy's spindles. The rearend runs 3.73:1 gears with an Auburn Posi differential. Once he had the chassis outside, Nabe finished adding McGaughy's 13-inch disc brakes at all four corners.
Nabe was back at Jewell Restoration as bodywork was done. When the outer sheetmetal had been restored, Jewell sprayed the black-and-white finish—and the body and bed were mounted back on the frame. The classic style of the exterior is contrasted with a very contemporary wheel-and-tire combination. Nabe went big with his choices, selecting 22x8.5 and 22x10 Billet Specialties Turbine 10-spokes to fill the Cheyenne wheelwells. Some meaty low-profile Nitto Invo tires, measuring 265/30R22 and 285/30R22, wrap the wheels and plant a fat footprint.
During the long course of the build, there were numerous setbacks and disappointments that ended up delaying progress on the C10. As he searched for a solution, Nabe remembered meeting builder Kyle Gambrell from Laid Back Recreation in McLoud, Oklahoma. "I called Kyle and asked him if he would be willing to work on my truck. He immediately told me to bring it to him. Kyle made all kinds of progress on the truck."
Underhood, Nabe wanted something simple but a work of art. "Something that looked good but didn't take away from the factory look," he told us. Laid Back Recreations answered the call with a supercharged 2006 GM 5.3L/327 engine. The upgraded valvetrain includes a Texas Speed cam and new valves and springs. A pair of Billet Specialties Streamline valve covers dresses up the engine, and Porterbuilt headers, custom exhaust pipes, and Borla headers take care of the exhaust duties. RPM Transmissions provided a Level VI 4L65E transmission with a Monster Transmission torque converter.
The words Nabe used to describe the engine could also be applied to the interior. Snowden Custom Seats provided the distressed vinyl bench seat, and Ashley Gambrell at Laid Back Recreations stitched the rest of the upholstery. The factory dash houses gauges from Dakota Digital mounted behind the Billet specialties Vintec steering wheel. Vintage Air A/C keeps things cool, controlled by a Dakota Digital panel designed specifically for Vintage Air Gen IV systems. The sound system combines a Kenwood receiver with JL Audio amplifier and speakers. A glovebox badge, created by John Shortreed Custom, identifies the C10 as "Estelle LSX."
"After lots of blood, sweat, tears, and money, Kyle got 'Estelle' finished and looking amazing," Nabe says. As a result of the project, Nabe has an amazing truck as well as a friend for life. The work is done, but the two men still talk every week. Now Kyle is working on a 1972 Chevy C10 for Nabe's friend Jared Holman who also helped with the success of "Estelle."
1972 Chevy C10 Cheyenne
Rearend / Ratio: 1972 Chevy C10 / 3.73:1, Auburn Posi
Rear Suspension: Porterbuilt dropmember rear
Rear Brakes: McGaughy's 13-inch disc brakes
Front Suspension: Porterbuilt dropmember frontend, RideTech coilovers, McGaughy's spindles, Porterbuilt antiroll bar
Front Brakes: McGaughy's 13-inch disc brakes, Wilwood manual master cylinder
Front Wheels: Billet Specialties Turbine 22x8.5
Rear Wheels: Billet Specialties Turbine 22x10
Front Tires: Nitto Invo 265/30R22
Rear Tires: Nitto Invo 285/30R22
Engine: 2006 GM 5.3L/327
Supercharger: GM LSA blower
Camshaft: Texas Speed & Performance
Air Cleaner: Spectra
Water Pump: Edelbrock
Radiator: Champion aluminum
Transmission: RPM Transmissions Level VI 4L65E
Torque Converter: Monster Transmission, 3,200 rpm stall
Driveshaft: Tulsa Driveshaft Specialties
Style: 1972 Chevy C10 Cheyenne
Bed: Chevy shortbed, mini-tubs, raised center floor hump
Headlights / Taillights: LED / LED
Bodywork: Jewell Restoration, Laid Back Recreations
Paint: PPG black and white
Painters: Eddie Jewell, Kyle Gambrell
Trim: Custom badging by John Shortreed