Heaven Bound: Yancey Taylor’s Showstopping ’66 Chevy C10 Pickup

The story begins with a young boy, Yancey Taylor, growing up on a farm in Georgia, and falling in love with an old work truck. As he got older, he watched his father work on the truck, repaint it, and continue to use it as a daily driver. This is the story of Yancey and his 1966 Chevrolet C10 truck.

“I can remember listening for my dad to come home from work every afternoon. I could always hear him coming before seeing him, so I would always run out to meet him, jump on the step-side and ride back to the house,” says Yancey.

“As I got closer and closer to getting my driver’s license, I would always talk about getting the old truck for my birthday; the more I would talk about it, the more my dad would tell me, ‘We’ll just wait and see’.”

Upon his 15th birthday, Yancey’s father said a few magical words.

“He told me that he would give me the truck as long as I kept my grades up and continued to do my chores on the farm,” he says.

He immediately began to focus on how he wanted to rebuild the C10, saving money from his job working on a dairy farm so that he could afford to buy the parts, rebuild the engine, and buy a transmission, among other items.

“After saving my money, the very first purchase I made was some chrome door plates from Tuckers Classic Truck in Las Vegas. I was then able to pay my uncle Don Andrus to rebuild a small block 350 engine. I found a Turbo 350 transmission in a junkyard and then purchased some wheels and tires. I drove the wheels off that truck in high school!” he says.

Upon graduating high school, Yancey went off to join the U.S. Marine Corps; after serving for four years, he ended up settling down on the West Coast. After bouncing around a few cities, he relocated to Las Vegas and found his new career. Once he settled into his new home and career, it was time to bring the C10 to Las Vegas. His dad and grandfather got the truck together and running well enough that it could be transported across the country. After nearly seven long years apart, Yancey was finally able to put his hands back on the truck. During that downtime, he never lost his vision of building a show truck.

“I began to dismantle the entire truck down to its bare frame. As I did this, I began to read articles in magazines on what the latest trends were. From the very beginning, I knew I wanted to keep a lot of the truck’s integrity yet add custom qualities to it. After stripping the truck down to its frame, I sent everything off to get media blasted so I could see what I had to work with. The rust was extensive, and there was going to be a lot of time, work, and money needed to fulfill my dream,” he says.

“Since I had already decided I was going to work with the original framework, I decided to simply upgrade the suspension with modern parts. I’m a blue-collar kind of guy, so I needed a product I could afford all while having a product that provided the performance of a modern vehicle.”

He purchased Classic Performance Products’ upper and lower tubular control arms, 2-inch drop spindles, front and rear disk brakes, rear trailing arms, tubular transmission mount, C-notch kit, and in-frame gas tank, then sent all the new parts off to be powder coated and chromed. As those items were getting completed, Yancey began to work with close friends, Cedric and Robert Deas, to prepare the frame for powder coating. During this process, they prepared the C-notch, removed the old transmission mount, and began to fit the new parts. Once the mockup was complete, pieces started to arrive back just in time to assemble the rolling chassis.

“While completing the work for a rolling chassis, I had been introduced to a custom shop in Henderson, NV, and was able to come to an agreement/cost on what I was looking for. After dropping off the rolling chassis and all the media-blasted parts, I began the long three-and-a-half-year wait for the finished product. The time had finally come to unveil the finished product, which also happened to be right before the 2014 SEMA Show. My builder had a relationship with Raceline wheels, and I was blessed with a feature vehicle spot. This allowed me the chance to showcase my truck at one of the biggest car and truck shows in the world,” says Yancey.

“Now, of course, with every major build, there always happens to be a disaster right before the unveiling. My disaster was my brand-new engine leaking antifreeze in the 1, 3, and 5 cylinders. This is where Johnny D’s Auto (Henderson, NV) came into the picture. With the clock ticking away for the 2014 SEMA Show, we began to tear the engine down to see what the problem was. Due to the show closely approaching, Johnny D’s worked frantically to try to repair the motor. Unfortunately, we ended up unveiling my truck without it running—we actually pushed the truck into position. Even though we were unable to be a part of the SEMA cruise, the show opened my eyes to many possibilities and sponsorships.”

Once the SEMA Show was finished, Yancey to the truck back to Johnny D’s to get the C10’s engine problems ironed out. The engine rebuild was complete just in time for the 2015 show circuit. He attended the Goodguys Spring Nationals in Scottsdale, where his truck was chosen as a 2015 Truck of the Year – Late Finalist and Top 10 of Show. After attending this show, he went on to showcase his truck at the Goodguys Del Mar show in San Diego, where he displayed his vehicle among the industry’s finest show vehicles.

“While traveling in the circuit, I began to see many imperfections and work that had not been completed as agreed upon. And even though I was receiving major awards, reviews, and media coverage from the truck, I still felt I had not received what I paid for. I decided to go back to my builder and try to work out what should have been completed. Unfortunately, my builder did not want to go back and correct the areas they had rushed through and overlooked. After much debate, we were unable to come to an agreement, agreed our journey together had run its course and parted ways,” says Yancey.

“This is where my current builder—Dermie Close of Close Fabrications in Henderson, NV—came in to save the day. After taking my truck over to his shop, we went over the entire truck and discussed what I didn’t like about it and what he thought needed to be changed to be a contender in the show circuit. So, after coming to an agreement, a six-month build began.”

With the extensive amount of work needed to perfect the C10, the rebuild began immediately. The bed post holes were filled, corners were shaped and rounded, new Eddie Motorsports polished hardware and gas cap were added and smoothed Bedwood and Parts bed rails installed. It came down to the wire just a few weeks out before the 2015 SEMA Show, where Yancey’s truck would be on display for the second year in a row. The final touches were made, and a fresh coat of House of Kolor Sunset Pearl pigment was applied to its exterior.

“Being invited back to SEMA was a blessing due to the fact that the company who was sponsoring me in the show provided a way for my dad to see the truck for the first time since this long process had begun. There were plenty of tears and memories discussed as the unveiling occurred,” recalls Yancey.

After the 2015 SEMA Show, the C10 once again went back into the shop to tackle more fabrication. The massive list of modifications included relocating the battery from under the hood to under the rear driver’s side step side, smoothing the engine firewall, relocating the air-conditioning hoses, replacing and rerouting electrical wires, replacing old the old fans with new Spal fans, filling all seams in the hood and fenders, smoothing corners, removing inner fender braces, filling hood hinge cutouts, shaving the cowl vent and evening out the gaps and seams, all in the interest of perfecting the truck.

It received new hardware such as Eddie Motorsports billet hood hinges along with custom fan shrouds, custom radiator support panels, custom hood latch, custom overflow tank, reshaping the fenders, and custom step headers. New door rubbers from Precision Replacement Parts were added.

Once fabrication was complete, Dreamweaver Custom Paint came back in to lay the Sunset Pearl on the truck. Heaven Bound was re-debuted as a finished product at the 2016 Hot August Nights show, and what a show it was for Yancey!

“We were blessed with receiving Runner-up for the Summit Racing Downtown Show and Shine Award, beat out by my builder with his ’48 Chevy, ‘The Dream’.”

In closing, after waiting a long 12 years, rebuilding two motors—and the C10 twice, with fabrication, hardware, and paint from front to back—Yancey mentioned that he could finally say that he is satisfied with the finished product. It’s a heart-stopping show winner that has several Best of Show wins and a first-place award in its class at the Grand National Roadster Show.

Yancey sums up, “I would like for it to be known that I am grateful for all that went into the initial build, but after being out in the show circuit, there was no question there was room for major improvement. From day one of this build, I have never wanted to cut corners, nor did I change my initial thoughts of what I wanted my truck to be. Being a former Marine, we know one motto: Adapt and Overcome, and that is what I feel this 12-year journey has been.”

I will end by explaining why my truck is called Heaven Bound. Due to my being raised in a Christian home, and me believing in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I feel the Lord has been with me during this entire build. I do thank God for giving me the courage to remain focused and never losing hope; while believing I would one day receive a great reward. Even though I have had highs and lows, I have always known the Lord was directing my path and opening up doors I could have never imagined. When I get to see the reactions of people at shows and listen to how much they admire the truck, it takes me to a place of happiness knowing the beauty to come when Jesus Christ returns to this earth. Even though this truck is a fleshly object, it encourages me of what’s to come in the very near future. To God be the glory!”

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