1970 Chevy C20
Tim King and TMI Automotive Products, Inc
Flat Out and Decked Out
Oftentimes we look back at our first vehicles with fond memories and rose color glasses. That feeling of freedom and the memories that were created overshadow the fact that a first vehicle may have been less than ideal, or even a hand-me-down. For Denver Lawrence, his first vehicle was a Ford Aerostar van that had a previous life transporting his family in a very pedestrian manner. However, Denver’s father had the 1970 Chevy C20 you see here, but its original form was a hard-working longbed. Some of Denver’s earliest memories were of hopping in the truck with his dad and going camping or cruising down the road.
In 2015, TMI Products wanted to develop and debut an entire truck line to debut SEMA. They zeroed in on the 1967-1972 C10 platform due to it being one of the most popular classic trucks out there for restomods and customs. They started looking for one when their web developer, Denver, spoke up. He talked about his Dad’s old C20 long bed that was just sitting around unused at his family’s home. After checking it out further, they found the perfect truck with its original gold paint.
TMI really wanted to make an impression at SEMA 2015, and while the ‘67-’72 era C10s were immensely popular, a longbed is just not as impressive. So while TMI was busy developing the interior line that would make the cab shine, Denver got started transforming the exterior.
For starters, Denver cut 20 inches of sheet metal and frame to make it into a shortbed. The suspension was then addressed where the factory leafs were ditched in favor of a custom four-link set up. The original rearend was ditched in favor a ½-ton five-lug setup to give more favorable wheel choices.
In the front, a Porterbuilt crossmember was utilized in connection with Classic Performance Products 2-inch drop spindles. AirRex air bags were used at all four corners to allow the frame to kiss the ground with the touch of a button. To finish off the look of the truck Denver chose a set of huge 20- and 22-inch Plain Jane US Mags wrapped in Continental 40 series tires.
There was no repainting the truck, what you see is evidence of a truck that had been used its whole life. Denver then decided to honor his father’s old truck even further by keeping the original paint intact with its gentle patina, leaving the cut and weld marks from where they shortened up the bed.
All the Go
Under the hood the truck retains its 350 small block, but freshened up. He threw a few parts at it such as a Champion radiator, Spectre air cleaner, Hedman headers and a complete Flowmaster exhaust. The goal of this truck was to build a solid runner to just cruise nice and slow, so there was no need for anything more than the tried and true 350. Backing the SBC is a four speed to keep with the theme of a solid runner that is not too complicated. A TANKS Inc. fuel tank was dropped between the frame rails, Optima battery to power it all, along with a Classic Performance Products booster and master setup.
The Cherry Inside
Now the real beauty of this truck is the interior! When you work for a premium interior manufacturer and the truck is going to be at their booth inside the famous SEMA halls, meaning only the best would be used.
To start, a full set of Dakota Digital gauges filled the holes in the dash. A complete Painless Performance wiring kit made sure everything worked perfectly from headlight to tail. RetroSound provides all the cruising tunes and a complete Old Air Products A/C system was installed to keep the summer heat at bay.
For the interior, TMI chose to go with their Pro-Classic Universal Sport-X Low Back Bucket Seats in Dark Sierra with Platinum mesh inserts, stainless grommets, and white stitching, providing an ultra cushy ride and some serious style to the cab. The Pro-Classic setup is one of TMI’s complete interior products which replace the stock seats with new a new frame, new seat and back foam, and custom covers, not just a reupholstered set! A color matched waterfall console with cup holders compliments the new bucket seats and fills the space nicely while a TMI steering wheel provides driver direction. TMI had developed a full line of interior products so included in the transformation was a Dark Sierra dash pad, a full carpet kit and door panels in the same color scheme to match the seats.
The end result was a slam dunk! TMI’s vision came to fruition and the response to all that great looking interior at SEMA was huge! All week long people were shoulder-to-shoulder checking out this slammed C20. This truck made the cover of the C10 Builders Guide and was promoted all over social media