You’d be hard-pressed to miss Chip Cox’s bright-green 1966 C10 pickup, but as eye-catching as it is on the outside, what’s underneath will really impress you — both for what it has and doesn’t have and still hauls the mail.
Cox, as many will recall, made appearances on Discovery Channels’ Street Outlaws program in a 1967 Camaro named The Mistress, but after an unfortunate incident, rather than rebuild the car he decided to go in a different direction entirely; not out of the grudge and no-time game, but with something a little….bigger.
And soon, the Gaptizr was born.
“I couldn’t keep up with the Joneses…we were going 4.50s and 4.60s and everybody else was starting to get down to the 4.0’s, so I sold the Camaro and got another Camaro that I raced for a while. But the guy I traded with wanted the car back — a friend of his with a body shop had this C10,” Cox explains. “It had decent paint on it, it was this color, but needed some touching-up. The suspension was old and worn out, it had a 454 with a 700R4 transmission in it, had A/C and all that, and I was just going to drive it the way it was.”
Cox attended a couple of street races with the pickup he says was “just a turd” — noting it only ran 8.0s to the 1/8-mile at the time — and after a loss specifically to what he refers to as a “slow” Mustang, he threw his hands up and went all-in.
“That was the last time it came out for a year and a half. We came home, ripped it down to nothing,” Cox says.
Cox completely made-over the interior while the guys at 2JM Fab worked their magic building a roll cage and updated the pickup front to rear. A Moser Fab9 rearend was added, with custom-valved double-adjustable Viking coilover shocks on the trailing arm rear suspension system. A-arm’s, QA1 coilover shocks, and rack and pinion steering were installed up front.
Rather than another big-block with a carburetor, Cox opted for a 427 LS with twin BorgWarner 76mm turbos
“We took it out and started dealing with the pains of dialing it in and working with something different. We mushroomed some valves, and we ended up blowing it up — it destroyed the entire short block, crank, cam, everything,” Cox shares.
Cox tasked Gary Ochs to build a fresh new bullet with a Dart LS Next aftermarket block, Molnar rods and crankshaft, Ross pistons, Trick Flow cylinder heads massaged by Brian Tooley, and increased head stud and pushrod size to better hold up to the abuse. A Holley intake consumes the air from the turbochargers.
A Nitrous Express/Snow Performance water-methanol injection system keeps the engine cool so it can be driven — and consequently, raced — on the street and maintain operating temperature.
The beauty of this build (beyond its exterior and what’s under the hood) is the chassis itself: the full factory C10 frame still rests under that cab and bed, as Cox built it to fit within typical True Street class rules. Aftermarket adjustable trailing arms from Chris Alston’s Chassisworks, not a 4-link or even leaf springs or ladder bars, plant the 2,000 horsepower this baby produces.
“I’m trying my best to not have to switch over to ladder bars, but I have a goal of what I want to my 60-foots to be, and if for some reason it’s unobtainable with our setup we have now, we may have to make a change. But I’m trying to make this work. It’s got a really nice, rigid cage front to back, and I hope we can make it work.”
The C10 features creature comforts like “ice-cold A/C” and bluetooth radio, and the interior retains the factory dash, with racing bucket seats, five-point harnesses, and a Chassisworks steering wheel — like the dash, painted to match the exterior.
All factory steel minus the hood, the truck weighs in at a hefty 3,725-pounds, and he’s been mid-fives on low boost on Mickey Thompson 29×10.5 Pro Bracket radials and hopes it to be a 4-second piece when all is said and done. A set of Hoosier 29×11.5W’s wait in the wings for duty on the street. RC Components wheels ride on all four corners. On Ignite brand fuel and with the addition of CO2 for the wastegates to ramp up the boost, Cox has much more power to play with than he did previously. A FuelTech FT500 ECU serves as the brains of the program, and factory GM truck coil packs provide the spark.
“We have some no-prep races and some grudge matches set up, so we don’t really want to talk about numbers too much,” Cox states.
Because of the considerable heft of the steel nose and bumpers, Cox is forced to run a stiffer front spring rate than is preferable, thus affecting weight transfer at the hit and thusly, his overall performance. He doesn’t rule out adding some composite parts in the future to bring those digits on the scales down, but makes clear, “if I do, nobody will know about it — I’ll have it all painted and covered up before anyone sees it.”
The color is officially Turn Signal Green, and as an offset color, Cox had the roll cage professionally finished in a silver hue.
“I like black, but the green is growing on me. I couldn’t change the color now if I wanted to…that’s the signature color of that truck now,” he says.