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Fired Up: A Stunning ’66 Chevy C10 Shop Truck with a Flare for the Dramatic

When it comes to professionals immersed in their work, finding time to channel their skills for personal projects can be a challenge. Amid the demanding 9 to 5 grind, and often extending beyond, the toll on one's soul often leaves little room for personal pursuits. Some find solace in putting their feet up after hours, content with that respite.

Front of Bill Watson's 1966 Chevy C10

However, for individuals like Pat Maxwell from Maxwell Auto Designs in Houston, TX, the exception prevails. Specializing in paint and airbrush work for custom vehicles, Pat stands out as a rare professional who dedicates his free time to enhance his own rides.

Rear of Bill Watson's 1966 Chevy C10

Rolling Business Card

Several years ago, Pat acquired a 1966 Chevy C10, viewing it not just as a restoration project but as a rolling business card for his craftsmanship. With a rich history of applying his paintwork to lowered trucks, Pat decided to give the C10 a custom touch.

Door art of Bill Watson's 1966 Chevy C10

Making it Kool

To achieve a lowered stance, he incorporated Porterbuilt front and rear suspension systems featuring Slam Specialties airbags, ensuring a smooth operation. Under the hood, a 5.3L LS engine, paired with a 4L60E transmission and a 12-bolt rear end, was added for modern drivability.

Front of Bill Watson's 1966 Chevy C10

Skill Flex

Beyond the mechanical upgrades, Pat's artistic flair took center stage in transforming the truck into a vintage war plane aesthetic. Faux riveted panels adorned with rust and water spots, a hot rod flame-job with large flakes, and fine-line pinstriping from front to back set this C10 apart. The doors feature a flying eyeball with the words "Hired Gun" in variegated gold leaf, showcase Pat's exceptional paint skills.

Interior of Bill Watson's 1966 Chevy C10

The Temptation

The truck gained recognition at Lone Star Throwdown, impressing many, including Bill Watson of Horn Lake, MS. Despite numerous offers to purchase, Pat consistently declined, expressing that the truck was not for sale. However, as time passed, the C10 faced air ride issues, prompting Pat's friend, Stacey "Sketchy" Campbell of Sketchy’s Speed Shop, to step in and eventually make a deal to buy it.

Bill Watson in his 1966 Chevy C10

Bill Watson, persistently enamored by the truck, learned of Stacey's acquisition. Patiently awaiting an opportunity, he told Stacey, "When the newness wears off, call me, and I'll buy it from you." True to his word, Bill seized the chance when Stacey was ready to sell, swiftly securing the unique truck for his collection.

Nitto NT420V Tires of Bill Watson's 1966 Chevy C10

High Quality Treads

The truck, now in Bill's possession, came with a set of 22x9 and 22x12 Raceline Scoundrel billet wheels. However, lacking decent tires, Bill, owner of BTW Distribution and Sales in Memphis, TN, chose to equip the truck with 265/35ZR22 and 315/30R22 Nitto NT420V tires for their higher weight rating and eye-catching tread design. Furthermore, Bill likes to equip his personal rides with high quality tires for longevity and Nitto’s NT420V is a trusted tire for him.

5.3L LS Engine of Bill Watson's 1966 Chevy C10

The Fire Continues

Bill's personal touch extended to additions like an engine cover, Snowden bench seat, and a sleek black finish on the custom wood bed floor. The signage on the doors, paying homage to the renowned artist Pat Maxwell, remains, reflecting Bill's appreciation for the truck's history. Several years into owning this distinctive C10, Bill relishes the worry-free enjoyment it provides, solidifying his belief that the patience invested in the purchase was undeniably worthwhile.

Rear of Bill Watson's 1966 Chevy C10

Fired Up ’66 Chevy C10 Hard Facts

 Vehicle: 1966 Chevrolet C10
 Owner:  Bill Watson
 Engine: Chevy 5.3L LS Engine, Spectre Performance cold air intake tube, custom engine cover, Custom exhaust with Flowmaster Super HP-2 mufflers and side exits, 16-gallon aluminum fuel cell
Drivetrain:  Chevy 4L60E transmission, 12-bolt rear end with 3.73 gears
Suspension: Porterbuilt front and back air ride suspension, Slam Specialties airbags, AirLift air management system, CPP disc brakes
Body:  Paint by Pat Maxwell of Maxwell Auto Designs, custom painted faux riveted panels, hot rod flame-job, “Hired Gun” shop truck logos, custom rear wheel tubs, custom wood bed floor
Wheels:  22x9 and 22x12 Raceline Scoundrel billet 
 Tires: 265/35ZR22 and 315/30R22 Nitto NT420V 
 Interior: Dakota Digital Gauges, Ididit steering column, Snowden custom bench seat with distressed charcoal leather, Custom Autosound USA-740 stereo head unit, Kicker 6x5 and 6x9 speakers, (2) Kicker 10-inch subwoofers, stereo by Bill Watson of Phat Designs in Horn Lake, MS
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