1973 Chevy C10
TMI Automotive Products, Inc
Looking to the Future
The classic truck market is an ever expanding beast. The current trends don’t last too long and its difficult to determine what is going to be hot in the near future. But one tried and true method of determining what is going on in the real world is to get out there and see what is on the road.
TMI did just that when determining what new product line to expand. The C10 line and its previous generations had been a hit for the custom, restomod, and restoration world so it seemed logical that the 1973-1987 Chevy Squarebody was ripe to take its turn in the limelight. So based on talking with builders, SEMA veterans and people who are still driving their third gen C10, it was time for TMI to step up and offer some products for these popular trucks.
Appearances Are Everything
When the decision was made to start the prototyping process, a truck had to be found. And lucky for TMI, not only was one found close by, it had already had a fair amount of work done to it by local legend Max Fish of Bio Customz. Max had been hard at work getting the truck low with a Fat Man Fabrication front air ride system, a custom 4-link in the rear, and reading the trucks for a body drop. Max had also done some much needed body mods like shaving the rain gutters, rounding off the door bottoms, pulling in the stock front bumper and installing a roll pan in the rear, as well as tapering the bedsides to fit into the molded tailgate.
The custom work didn’t stop with Max though; Johnny’s Auto Color was there to install a custom wood bed floor with a slick piece of etched plexiglass running down the middle to show off all the hard work underneath. Johnny’s also sprayed the Squarebody with PPG Burgundy over a black base to get that awesome deep shine, and subtle pinstriping was added to finish it all off.
Inside is Where its At
TMI knows its way around a great looking interior, and the Chevy was being used to create a line of products for the ’73-’87 era so they went all out. They created a set of Pro-Classic Sport-VXR bucket seats in Charcoal vinyl with Charcoal suede inserts, and red stitching just to give a little visual breakup to that monochromatic look. A waterfall console with cupholders was done up in the same color scheme, as well as molded door panels that had powered one-piece windows installed. A new dashpad was created, and a multi-piece charcoal carpet kit was cut from German Square Weave Carpet. One of TMI’s billet Sport Steering Wheels was given the custom treatment as well, with matching Charcoal vinyl, Charcoal suede inserts, and red stitching. The same treatment was given to the custom shift boot, and with that the interior was done! After the ’73 was buttoned up and the TMI Research and Development team was happy with fitment, the products were ready to go into full production with all years ’73-’87 benefiting from their hard work. So if you have a truck that needs a new interior, then TMI is the place to look. Before one single fiber of the interior could be laid down, the cab was given the silent treatment with a few layers of Quite Ride sound deadener. A Vintage air A/C unit was added to keep things nice and cool, a Retrosound head unit with 8-inch subs and amp was installed to keep the tunes pumping.
Power and Restraint
The body and exterior had gone through a huge transformation, and TMI was looking to make a huge impression with their Squarebody so the engine was not spared. They started with scrubbing the original 327 clean and fitted with a finned intake cover, AFE air filter, Eddie Motorsports Serpentine Pulley System, a Painless wiring kit and Flowmaster mufflers that were part of a full custom exhaust. Sending power to the rear is a 700R4 with a super slick Genie floor mounted shifter, while a Currie 9-inch rear does the real work spinning 20x8 and 20x10 American Racing VF485 wheels shod with 255/35/20 and 285/40/22 Continental tires.
When this Squarebody took the stage at the 2014 SEMA show it was clear that TMI had hit a nerve among the attendees. The truck was a huge success to say the least, attracting a very diverse crowd to not only gawk at the fine body and supple interior, but to share stories about how they either had one or knew someone who did. If you have a ’73-’87 you owe it to yourself to check out what TMI has to offer.