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Pistons & Pivots

Brad Hutchison's Rare 1970 C-10 4x4 & Devinci Spartan

Words AJ Barlas
Photos AJ Barlas
Date Dec 2, 2019
Presented By
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Pistons and Pivots is presented by Maxxis. Every second Monday, we'll present a new round of Pistons and Pivots which features cool vehicles with character, and a little about their owners and the bikes they ride.

If you've got a vehicle and bike that fit the series, you can submit your photos and articles to pistonsandpivots@nsmb.com. Make sure to include 'Pistons and Pivots' in the subject line. Once a month, we'll pick a winning submission and feature it on the site, and the person that submitted it will earn a fresh set of tires for their bike, courtesy of Maxxis. At the end of six months, we'll pick a grand prize winner, who will walk away with Maxxis rubber for the vehicle they submitted for Pistons and Pivots!


Brad Hutchison is a Vancouver native with a passion for automobiles. Thanks to his father, his interest started early. As a child, Brad would listen to his dad's stories about classic vehicles he owned before starting a family. Those stories are just fond memories now but they ignited a passion for automobiles.

In high school, Brad followed his interest and was part of a drag racing team that spent the majority of its time working on an old Chevelle race car. His time with the team steered him toward his first car; an ’81 Malibu, which he customized for the race track. Off-road sports have also been a big part of Brad’s life since grade 7, and dirt biking was his go-to activity throughout his teen years.

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The classic Chevy C-10 with hard to find 4x4 is a looker.

Brad's 1970 Chevy C-10 4x4

At home, Brad's whole family was into cars and trucks, including his younger brother, Dwayne. Their interests were similar and Dwayne, along with his father, had been in the process of restoring a two-wheel-drive 1970 Chevy C-10. Tragically, Dwayne committed suicide before completing the project, devastating the family.

The engine planned for Dwayne's C-10 project now sits in Brad’s 4x4 C-10, giving the vehicle a special place in his heart. His uncle now owns Dwayne's truck and Brad gave him the engine from this one so he could complete the build.

In 2016, after searching for months, Brad eventually found this C-10 on Vancouver Island. He had to be patient because he wasn't interested in the more common two-wheel-drive option and finding a 4x4 in good condition was difficult. When this truck was new 4x4 C-10s were a custom order from the dealer and they often spent their lives working hard in industry.

Brad had the engine mounted in the truck with the help of North Vancouver-based hot rod shop, Rusty Hookers. While Brad connected everything himself, dropping an engine into a vehicle isn't the light-work cyclists are accustomed to. Once the engine was in, Brad had the truck towed to a friend's house, where he was able to use the carport to plumb, wire and finish the swap. Unsurprisingly, the project has been a mission for Brad.

1970 Chevy C-10 Specs

  • LS engine swap
  • 3-speed Automatic with overdrive and a manual floor shift transfer case 4-High/4-Low
  • Posi-track rear differential
  • Warn manual locking front hubs
  • Solid front axle
  • 15 x 8 Ralley wheels from an early 80's Chevy Blazer
  • 33" BFG All-Terrain tires
  • All original interior except for the radio
  • Odometer says 37,000 km but it may have rolled over once or twice (It could be 137,000 or 237,000)
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Brad hasn't named his C-10 yet.

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The original badge lets collectors know this isn't the more commonly seen two-wheel-drive C-10.

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It drives on a set of 15 x 8 Ralley wheels from an early 80's Chevy Blazer. Brad's wrapped them in a set of 33" BFGoodrich All-Terrain tires.

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The old beast has a solid front axle, stock. Brad says it's not the smoothest ride and can be challenging to handle at times.

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Brad's kept his focus on the engine and the exterior finish was done by the previous owner. The chrome accents show some wear but the body is in amazing shape.

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There's something about the simple boxy lines of the classic C-10 that look so good to me. Simple but compelling. His headlights need some work because he's having issues with fuses blowing.


I think the headlight switch is broken because every time I turn them on I blow the fuse for my brake lights. When I drive the truck at night I have to decide between brake lights or headlights. It's always a tough call! – Brad Hutchison
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The finish of the body is excellent and Brad will take it off the road for the winter. He stores it at his uncle's property in the Fraser Valley and it's usually there by the time we got together for this shoot. But the unusually nice autumn conditions saw Brad keep it out for longer this year.

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The original gas tank is still in the cab behind the bench seat but Brad's installed a new tank under the box. The rubber gasket around the intake shows its age.

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The cab has a solid rear window and thankfully manually adjusted vents under the dash add some fresh air flow.

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The classic Chevrolet tailgate. This design has taken off again in recent years with manufacturers including Toyota, Ford, Dodge and Chevy embossing the sheet metal of the rear panel, but without the paint accent.


I just figured out how to turn the interior dome light on at the photoshoot! Turns out it's worked the whole time I just didn't know how it worked. – Brad Hutchison
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Moving inside the cab, everything is original with the exception of the updated radio, which disguises itself well.

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The aftermarket radio has an auxiliary in port on the back but is designed to retain the original look to maintain its collector status.

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I actually thought it was original and couldn't believe it wasn't when Brad first told me it was an aftermarket update. It fits in well.

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Instructions for how to set the truck into 4x4 are kept in plain sight on the glovebox.


I'd like to update the steering and suspension. It's kinda scary driving a 450-500 HP truck with original steering and rock hard leaf spring suspension. You basically point it in a general direction, step on the gas and hang on for dear life! – Brad Hutchison
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The simplicity and finish of the old style dash cluster are great. It reminds me of aa vintage aviation instrument panel.

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The odometer read 37,929 miles when we shot but Brad says it's quite possibly rolled over once or twice.

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The lights are turned on by pulling on this button. Brad says that driving at night often means a decision in headlights to see where he's going or tail lights so others can see him. A quirk that is on the fix it list for next summer.

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The small metal 'button' on the floor is the high-beam switch. It's something I wish current vehicles still used, allowing us to keep our hands on the wheel and just tap away with the foot,

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Brad says he'd like to update the steering and suspension because it's "kinda scary driving a 450-500 HP truck with original steering and rock hard leaf spring suspension." As with almost everything in the cab, the steering wheel is original – cracks and all.


I've probably only put about 2,000km on it. It's been torn apart most of the time I've owned it. – Brad Hutchison
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The engine that holds a special place for Brad. It's an LS Swap which Brad informed me compared to the old 350 small block Chevy that was in the truck, is stronger, smarter, and more powerful. He says it's the current trend for V8 engine swaps in the custom car world. Different variations of LS engines are found in 2001 and newer GM/Cadillac trucks, SUVs, Camaro's, Corvettes and many other GM models.

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Stronger and smarter because of this. The 1970 C-10 now has a computer running the engine. Brad said people get these LS engines at junk yards and they're great platforms for making huge amounts of power. He told me people are putting these engines in anything from Lamborghinis to Nissan 240sx sports cars.

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We had a chuckle about how good this hood hinge system is and that the current versions – our shitty prop rods on most modern vehicles – don't reflect 50 years of progress.

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Brad's Devinci Spartan isn't as shiny and it doesn't have the heritage of his truck but it's still a beauty.

Brad's 2017 Devinci Spartan Carbon

Offroad sports have been a passion and hobby of Brad's since he got his first dirt bike in high school. Ever since his favourite place to pass time is the mountains and when it comes to mountain bikes, the quick and easy access to the trail makes it very appealing. And this is something new to Brad – he only began riding mountain bikes seven years ago.

His Devinci Spartan has a story too. His friend, Nick Brush currently manages the ski and bike shop at Silver Star in Vernon, B.C. Nick also has a mountain bike skills and development business called Bike Happy Trails in the Vernon area. Nick has also helped with the Canadian Paralympian Winter team in the past. Brad bought the bike from Nick at the end of 2017.

Devinci Spartan Carbon Specs

  • 27.5 Wheels
  • Upgraded Shimano XT Brakes (done when Nick owned the bike)
  • Upgraded Shimano XT Drivetrain (also done when Nick owned the bike)
  • Maxxis DHR II front and High Roller II rear tires
  • ODI Rogue Lock-On Grips
  • RockShox Pike front and Monarch Plus RC3 rear suspension
  • Kona Wah-Wah 2 Pedals
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Brad's not fussy about his mountain bike setup and as long as it runs, he's happy. His Maxxis tires allow him to do this and he's opted for a DHR II tire out front.

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He runs the High Roller II in the rear. Being a wear item, the tires are among the only parts on the bike that he's updated since purchasing.

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The well-received Kona Wah-Wah 2 pedal were an update to the bike.

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Brad's friend Nick, the original owner, upgraded the drivetrain to Shimano XT. Brad's had no issues with it since owning the bike.

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The derailleur hasn't had the easiest life but it continues to soldier on.

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The Shimano XT brakes were also upgraded before Brad bought the bike and stop fine for him to enjoy the North Shore, occasional Squamish, Whistler and Okanagan trips that he does each year.

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Brad's not a particularly big guy but he likes the ODI Rogue grips.

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The 160mm RockShox Pike RC balances the Spartan's front end with…

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The 165mm rear wheel travel that uses the RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 rear damper. Brad doesn't worry too much about setup so details on his setup weren't available.

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The RaceFace cockpit was stock with the bike and works for what Brad needs – which is something he doesn't need to worry about but can have a good time on.

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The bike is dark and muted in every way, components included.

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He's using the stock 150mm RockShox Reverb that came on the bike and hasn't had any problems with it so far.

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Clear tape keeps some of the frame clear of scuffs. Brad says he'll probably look for a replacement toward the end of the next riding season.

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Thanks to the Squamish Nation for giving us access to the property beneath the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge.

Brad's priorities diverge from the first Pistons & Pivots subject, Owen. Where Owen's bike was meticulously built and maintained, Brad instead puts his time into his collector truck with a goal of eventually driving it down the west coast of the U.S. and hitting some truck shows. That means there are more plans to come and with them more expenses. While he doesn't outright say it, you can bet Brad's attitude toward updating his bike suffers because of this. 'Trying' not to dream of other bikes and keeping part updates to necessary wear items help him keep the focus on the truck. Customizing and working on old vehicles is "painfully expensive" he says, but this one is more than a truck; it holds dear memories for a family member who left us too soon.

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Comments

satn
+1 Pete Roggeman
satn  - Dec. 2, 2019, 7:40 a.m.

Beautiful Truck! And bike.  Sorry for your loss.   Was wondering if I would see a tailgate pad on but fully understand the dollar value and personal value of the truck as I have owned a collectors car in the past.  Thank you for sharing!

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0 Pete Roggeman satn
AJ Barlas  - Dec. 2, 2019, 9:31 a.m.

Aside from the potential damage, why ruin it with a padded vinyl heap over the tail? :D There is a two bike tray rack if you look closely at the rear shot though. Brad often has the bike on there in the summer months.

Reply

mammal
0
Mammal  - Dec. 2, 2019, 8:16 a.m.

Great truck, I've always loved C-10's despite being more of a vintage Ford truck guy.  My buddy's boss in Squamish has a 90's dodge 4x4 diesel chassis with a mint C-10 cab/bed on it. SUCH an nice combo!! Drool worthy.

Reply

AJ_Barlas
-1 satn
AJ Barlas  - Dec. 2, 2019, 9:32 a.m.

Wow. That sounds like a looker of a truck. I'm surprised I haven't seen it about—or have I?

Reply

cyclotoine
+1 AJ Barlas
cyclotoine  - Dec. 2, 2019, 9:33 a.m.

Beauty, my brother had basically the same truck, even a 70 I think with original orange paint in decent shape. These trucks have beauty interiors with the metal dash before they went vinyl covered foam (try finding one of those that isn't split). Unfortunately, my brother's truck was stolen and never recovered. It had the original 350 V8 in it. I understand the motivation with an L/S swap but those old carbed Chevy 350 may be the best American motor ever made.

Reply

andy-eunson
+5 mike Andrew Major Pete Roggeman Mammal AJ Barlas
Andy Eunson  - Dec. 2, 2019, 1:06 p.m.

Why can’t truck interiors come like this today? Utilitarian. Cloth seats are stupid. Muddy bikers grind mud into the fabric and they get wet and stay wet when you drive the next day. Carpets? Oh yeah, you can buy rubber mats to cover the carpet. Should be the other way. Rubber floors and carpeting is extra. I like a few creature comforts like air conditioning and I like good power and all wheel traction. That doesn’t seem to be available. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places.

Great truck and bike.

Reply

AJ_Barlas
+1 Andy Eunson Pete Roggeman satn
AJ Barlas  - Dec. 2, 2019, 1:50 p.m.

Great points, Andy. I guess it's because nowadays more people buy them for general car duties than years ago. It'd be interesting to see how the demographics split out with the sales numbers.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
+1 Andy Eunson
Pete Roggeman  - Dec. 2, 2019, 4:18 p.m.

Amen!

Reply

FLATCH
0
flatch  - Dec. 2, 2019, 4:25 p.m.

This comment has been removed.

DemonMike
0
mike  - Dec. 2, 2019, 6:48 p.m.

how do you submit?

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
+1 mike
Pete Roggeman  - Dec. 2, 2019, 8:17 p.m.

All the info is up top, Mike, in the opening section. But send photos of vehicle and bike plus text to pistonsandpivots@nsmb.com. Once a month we'll pick a winner who win a set of Maxxis tires for their bike. After six months the big winner will receive Maxxis tires for their vehicle, be it a car, truck, motor, etc.

Reply

byron
+4 satn Cam McRae AJ Barlas Pete Roggeman
Byron  - Dec. 2, 2019, 7:59 p.m.

Great article!  Thanks AJ, and keep the Pistons & Pivots stuff coming.

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