In 1960 Chevrolet introduced the C/K truck series, and during its 40-year reign it included three major body changes. That said, its long history made Chevy pickups America’s truck and has since become a popular platform amongst classic truck and lowriding enthusiasts. But their reputation comes with good reason; they are beautiful pieces of machinery that have captured an audience. Among them is John Santillanes, the owner of this featured truck.

One day while visiting a friend at his mechanic shop, he stumbled upon a 1966 C10 longbed. The truck was in really good shape for its age, and as it turns out the customer brought it in for a new motor but couldn’t justify the cost so he decided to sell it. Taking note of John’s enthusiasm for the truck was his wife, Phyllis, and in turn she wound up purchasing the truck for him.

More than excited, John hauled the truck back home and the first thing he did was rebuild the 283. Once up and running it became his daily driver to and from work up until he retired, at which point he had even more time to spend modifying the truck.

The revamp began when he removed the bed and started repairing or replacing everything that required attention. From the brakes all the way to the driveline, he went through the truck with a fine-tooth comb, and since the bed was off, he had Jerome at Southwest Choppers C-notch the frame and install a new air-ride setup from Plug and Play Bags. From there the truck was body worked and repainted by Karmer’s Body Shop in a Sky Blue Metallic that’s even more enticing to view in person. John then proceeded to have Clydes Upholstery redo the seats and carpet and then called airbrush artist Mike Mirabal for some extra flavor and personal touches.

The truck was put back together alongside his sons Johnny, James, and Jay, and in the process even helped him with the custom wood floor in the bed. Now that the truck is complete, one would think he’s now got a lot of free time, but that’s just not the case as he’s starting a few more projects, including a 1963 Impala that we’re sure will land its way onto the pages of an upcoming issue of LR.

1966 Chevrolet C10

Vehicle Nickname
Blessed 66

John Santillanes

Albuquerque NM


Original 283, chrome valve covers and air cleaner, Flowmaster exhaust

Sikens Sky Blue Metallic with white top, airbrushed murals in the ‘jambs

Plug-and-play air-ride setup front to back and side to side

Black with blue stitch original seats

Original wheels and hubcaps with Coker 215/75R15 tires

His family