Family Friendly Slammed '64 Suburban Custom
The Griswolds would've had a much cooler vacation if they'd had this '64 Chevy C10 from AZ Pro Performance. Obviously, it's everything that their Family Truckster wasn't: cool, great for the whole family, and fun to drive. That said, I can't imagine owner Travis Dugerian trusting Chevy Chase to drive it anyway.
Travis also isn't the office desk drone that Clark Griswold is, though. No, he started the custom car life at a very early age, practically weaned on motor oil at his father Jack's garage in California. By the time he finished college, he had quite a skillset in the garage. After years of working for others in a creative capacity, he took the great big scary plunge into business ownership, opening AZ Pro Performance in 2012 to make his mark on the C10 scene. So it's no wonder that when he went about creating a family-friendly custom of his own, it turned out great.
He also had good reasons for doing it, too: he has two kids and he's a family of the two-door Tahoe. In his own words, "I’ve always been into classic styling. I wanted modern performance but nothing over the top. The idea was to make a good driver but with a classic feel."
None of which explains what's under the hood. See, Travis built this C10 for family driving. But he also treated himself. "My old truck had an itch for more speed. The engine is for me, the rest of this is for my family. I like the way it pulls on the top end now but it's still mild for town." His C10 packs a 6.0L engine from an early truck mated to a 4-inch aluminum drive shaft and 4L80E transmission. It also does some heavy breathing thanks to a 76mm Precision Turbo, Holley Hi-Ram Intake, Nick Williams Throttle Body, and MagnaFlow exhaust. Not only does the turbo give the C10 added umph, it also contributes to the wow factor when Travis cracks open the hood for onlookers.
An Entropy radiator helps keep it all cool when he's rolling hot. Getting all of that into a such a confined space without reworking the chassis was a huge hurdle. "Setting up the motor had to be the hardest part," he says. "The plumbing, making it work, fitting all of that into a small package takes time and planning. Fortunately I had great people for that."
Unlike the powerplant the chassis is the original deal. It's a stock skeleton but its tendons are modern tech. The C10 chassis glides along on a cloud thanks to its air ride suspension. It's comprised of React trailing arms and frame crossmember, Currie 9-inch third member, RideTech control arms, Slam Specialties SS7 bags, Boyd Welding Tank with Aeromotive A1000 Pump, and QA1 double adjustable shocks. Travis went with front and rear sway bars not just for the ride quality. He also wanted to retain the back seat. "The C10 was a test mule for some of our parts," he says. "That's part of why I wanted to do a stock chassis instead of an aftermarket one."
That frame may be stock but the wheels and tires? Not so much. I'm pretty sure Chevrolet didn't offer 20-inch Schott Drift Wheels in titanium finish as a package option in the 1960s. Yet here they are, covered in Nitto Invo 245/40/20 and 295/35/20 tires. Travis says, " I've always used Nittos. The price is great and I like the tread design and sizing options. I don’t get too rowdy on these but I have them on another truck for that." He also goes for the coverlock design on these wheels. "Wheels are a tough choice but I like the hidden lugs. They bring a sort of a pro touring look to it." Take a close look and you'll find Baer Pro+ 6-piston calipers with 14-inch rotors for extra stopping power.
Move that focus to look inside and the hits keep coming, although you'll have to pay close attention to spot some of them. "It has Snowden seats but the stock dash. Everything is hidden. There's no radio but the audio is Bluetooth connected.
I kept the stock look." That's part of why Travis kept the stereo on the mild side, going for quality over quantity with four 6.5-inch Focal speakers and two 10-inch JL subwoofers, courtesy of Pro Audio. The other reason being that he's rather fond of his wife and kids being able to hear. The stock dash holds Dakota Digital HDX Gauges, Vintage Air A/C System, and an Ididit Steering Column. The handles, shifter, and pedals are an entirely Lokar affair. Dominick in Phoenix beautified the interior.
Overall, it's a clean and simple vehicle and that's how Travis likes it. In keeping with that, Matador Rods and Customs kept the paint and powdercoat simple, focusing on quality instead of quantity. That line of thinking might really have helped that other family on their trip to Wally World.
Photos Courtesy of Currie Media House