SEMA Show: Chip Foose’s C/28
THE FIRST MUSCLE TRUCK?
Have you ever wondered why the factory didn’t build something back in the day that could been a huge sales success? If Chevrolet would have just pushed the envelope a little further, could they have created the first muscle truck? While collecting parts for a prior Z/28 Camaro project, Chip Foose stumbled across a rare 302ci engine out of a 1967 Z/28. He thought it would be really cool to find a 1967 Chevy short bed pickup and then do something that the factory designers should have done back in 1967. How about the idea of combining the body of a C-10 with the drivetrain of a Z/28, and then sprinkle some first-generation Camaro bits into the mix? And when you’re done, call it a C/28.
IT WAS MEANT TO BE
In 1967, Chevrolet built only 602 Z/28 Camaros, making them the rarest of the first-generation Z/28s. After locating a decent ’67 pickup, Chip did a little homework and discovered that his recently purchased 302 engine had a secret. That engine shared the EXACT same date code as the build date of the original engine in the pickup. Both engine blocks were cast on the same day, January 23rd, 1967! There was no turning back, this truck had to be built.
Now that Chip had collected all the critical pieces of the truck, it was time to get busy. Everything was stripped down to bare metal. Care was taken to make everything look “factory” and to not go for the “show car perfect” look. All of the body parts were sprayed in solid white using BASF materials. Even the tiny ripples on top of the bed rails and the saw marks in the bed wood were left as-is to retain the factory appearance. Once the bare metal parts and pieces were either painted or powdercoated, the assembly began.
CHIP USES HIS MOTOR SKILLS
The 302 engine was freshened up with new internal parts and reassembled. Chip used the factory Z/28 intake manifold, all the way down to the oil filler neck and PCV fitting. Cast iron exhaust manifolds handle the spent exhaust gases. For a bit of flash, original valve covers and a chrome twin snorkel Z/28 air cleaner were used. In typical Foose style, Chip used factory underhood decals in every place that he could. He could have gone with a small late model A/C compressor, but he decided that the original A6-style compressor was the only one that would look correct. In a further quest for accuracy, Chip even duplicated the factory grease pencil marks on the firewall, and even added a subtle CF mark right behind the driver side hood hinge.
No first-generation Z/28 ever came with an automatic transmission, so a Tremec 5-speed transmission was called into service. Nothing says “hot rod” like three pedals on the floor!
THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
The interior has the look of a late ’60s factory GM musclecar. Bright red finishes cover nearly every surface, and are highlighted with black accents. 1969 Camaro houndstooth upholstery material was used on the seat cover and door panels. A Hurst shifter handle protrudes from the floor with the iconic white shifter knob. A deviation from the factory 1967 Z/28 theme was the addition of air conditioning, but the warm Southern California summers mandated it. Chip used the factory C-10 A/C air controller and dash vents, so it all integrates seamlessly. An optional 1969 Camaro N34 steering wheel completes the factory performance vibe.
MAKING IT ALL LOOK FACTORY
The exterior still looks like a stock truck with a couple subtle additions that only a true gear head would notice at first glance. The factory truck bumpers were replaced with 1967 Camaro front and rear bumpers, which were widened 14.5 inches. To complete the “factory” look, Chip added front and rear roll pans to fill the empty space below the bumpers. Instead of welding them in solid, he added flanges to the edges in order to make them bolt in and appear like the original 1967 Camaro lower valance panels.
Chip also added a restored Rydell Chevrolet dealer emblem to the tailgate to honor his good friends, the Rydell family. The truck has been lowered 3″ in the front and 5″ in the rear. The Foose wheels are wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero rubber.
ROUND SIX EXCLUSIVE
Did you know that this truck has had three different wheel combinations during it’s build-up? Here’s the first, a set of original Rally wheels:
Then, he decided to go with a more flashier wheel, the Foose Heritage:
And finally he settled on this wheel:
Did you think that Chip picked the right wheel? We do!
A FACTORY PROTOTYPE, 51 YEARS AFTER THE FACT
This truck looks like it could have been a factory prototype that never made it to production. In 1990, Chevrolet came out with the SS454 pickup truck, and it was a huge hit. What if Chevrolet would built a 1967 C/28 pickup 23 years prior to the launch of the SS454? Thanks to the vision of Chip Foose, we can now see with our own eyes that this clever concept would have been a real game-changer if Chevrolet would have pulled the trigger in 1967.
FOLLOW THE C/28 TO THE SHOW FLOOR!
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to load a vehicle from the parking lot into the SEMA Show, the Gearheads have you covered. We were there from unloading through set-up, and we’re sharing this behind-the-scenes peek with you, right here. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more videos like this, and much, much more!
Have you ever wondered how a car ends up inside the SEMA show? The logistics of making it happen are harder than one might expect, but the Round Six boys are going to show you how a vehicle gets from point B to point A!