Terry Hultz of Mexico, Missouri, is no stranger when it comes to gracing the pages of our fine magazine with what could be classified as some of the best custom-designed trucks that we have ever had the opportunity to see. But don't take our word for it. After entering his latest creation, a '70 K-1500 GMC 4x4, on the National Truck Jamboree circuit, Terry has managed to walk away with 22 First Place trophies, six Best of Show awards, and a Best Engineered trophy. So just what compels this 37-year-old bricklayer to build such machines? He says that it is the need to have something bigger, better, and different from everyone else out there.
His project began much like every other project truck builder begins theirs - work on the frame and chassis first, then proceed to the engine and other key areas. Within seconds, it became apparent that Terry would be following a whole different path. With a blazing-hot torch in hand, the crew at Jim's Welding in Mexico, Missouri, cut off 17 inches of the frame. With what Terry deemed to be the excess metal out of the way, he was free to proceed raising his truck to a more respectable standing in the community - 8 inches to be exact.Re-arched 8-inch Skyjacker rear leaf springs were installed over the 12-bolt GM rearend. Attached to it was a pair of L&L ladder bars for increased durability as well as added control for takeoffs and landings. The front suspension consists of a pair of 6-inch Skyjacker leaves with a total of four Rancho RS 5000 shock absorbers, providing a pillow-soft ride. In the rear, two RS 5000s do the job just right. With a 4.56:1 gear ratio and plenty of clearance, the huge 39.5x18x15 Super Swamper Bogger tires mated to 15x12 Boyd Lotus-style rims roll down the highway alerting small children and animals that they had better just stand back if they know what's good for them. Stopping such monsters is not as easy as one would think, which is why the front brakes were replaced with a set of discs from a '72 Chevy truck.
Turning to what would actually be the heart and soul of the truck, Terry had already built his dream motor for this truck before he even touched a rod or piston. Using the original 355-cid V-8 block, master engine builder, Kris Shaw of Mexico, Missouri, bored the block 0.030 over stock and balanced and blueprinted its internal parts. That was just the beginning, though. With things all smoothed over, a B&M crankshaft with 292 degrees of duration was seated in the center of the action. The factory internal components were replaced with high-quality aftermarket pieces, such as TRW pistons and bearings, Perfect Circle rings, and a Pete Jackson geardrive. Hiding under the Chevy Racing valve covers are machined GM heads, which were ported and polished. B&M springs and bronze guides aid the aluminum roller rockers. An ARP head stud kit ensures that all is tight and sealed.
In addition to these key components, a TRW high-volume oil pump, a Flow Kooler water pump, and a B&M manifold all add the finishing touches to what is already the ultimate engine. The real topper has to be the B&M 144 supercharger that creates 8 pounds of boost with a 750-cfm Edelbrock carburetor in place. Ignition duties for this masterpiece are handled by a Chevy HEI distributor paired with Taylor wires. Custom-designed and -machined polished aluminum engine pulleys help keep things running along with the chromed 100-watt alternator.
The spent exhaust gases from this 515-hp-at-6,200-rpm behemoth are routed through a set of Hedman headers that was Jet-Hot ceramic-coated. From there, the gases travel down the 2-1/2-inch aluminum tubing to the dual Flowmaster mufflers. For cooling duties, custom Flex-a-lite high-power 14-inch cooling fans were used.
Mated to such an impressive powerplant is a rebuilt TH350 automatic transmission. The two custom-fabricated driveshafts were built by Jim's Welding. The front shaft was lengthened some 3 inches over stock while the rear was shortened 8 inches overall.
With the drivetrain complete, the next stop was at the paint and body salon for a couple layers of clearcoats and additional paint. The salon of choice was Ron's Auto Body in Mexico, Missouri. Once at Ron's, the Black Onyx paint was mixed and applied by artist Jim Bealmer, while the graphics were applied by hand by M.K. John of Mexico, Missouri. To add that hint of mystique, as well as provide some additional clearance for the supercharger, a fiberglass cowl-induction hood replaced the factory unit. The rear bed was replaced with a Stepside model. All trim pieces, including the door handles, the front bumper, and the headlight bezels were re-chromed and reinstalled. A steel rear roll pan was tacked into place prior to the paint being applied. To update the exterior, the rear taillights are from a '94 Chevy truck, and the headlights are halogen units. For increased safety and ground clearance, the fuel tank that was located between the framerails was replaced with a 16-gallon fuel cell, which was mounted in the bed.
The interior of Terry's ride is subtle and clean. The original dashboard and gauge cluster were retained and re-faced. A liquid-filled Auto Meter tachometer resides atop the dashboard. The factory bench seat was replaced with a bench seat from a '94 Chevy truck. The entire interior was reupholstered in gray velour and tweed. All stitching was done by Terry. The audio system installation looks as though it had been done at the factory. Residing neatly in the center of the dashboard is a Clarion CD player. Behind the seat is where the Kicker subwoofers and amplifiers are housed. The final signature on his truck was the custom leather LeCarra steering wheel.
From the numerous awards and trophies that he has received, for building such a beautiful truck, we can only wait in anticipation for his next creation. One word of caution, though: We did overhear him telling someone that he still has more to do on this particular truck. Larger tires, a bigger lift, more shocks, a few more ponies? What was he planning to do? We had to know, but he refused to comment. The only thing we got out of him was a just-wait-and-see grin. If anyone knows what he's planning on doing, please contact our office - fast.
|Owner/hometown ||: ||Terry Hultz/Mexico, Missouri |
|Make/model ||: ||'70 Chevy K-1500 4x4 |
|Engine ||: ||355-cid Chevy V-8 |
|Horsepower ||: ||515 @ 6,200 rpm |
|Transmission ||: ||Rebuilt TH350 Chevy |
|Axles/differentials ||: ||GM limited-slip (rear) |
|Suspension ||: ||6-inch Skyjacker leaf springs (front); |
|8-inch Skyjacker leaf springs (rear) |
|Wheels ||: ||15x12 Boyd Lotus |
|Tires ||: ||39.5x18x15 Super Swamper Boggers |
|Additional features ||: ||19-gallon fuel cell; custom-fabricated driveshafts |
|(front & rear); custom graphics; LeCarra |
|steering wheel; 17-inch shortened frame |
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