Photos: Transforming 1968 Chevy farm truck to show stopper

Richard Matoian’s 1968 pickup started out as a typical farm truck. It served his Fresno County, Calif., farming family well for more than 30 years. However, by 2007 it was worn out and destined for the wrecking yard. Richard is a gearhead, and he could not let old reliable fade away. Thus began a restoration project that included switching it from a long bed to a short bed, installing a new engine and a decent coat of paint to make it a daily driver. That ended up as just the beginning. As most restoration projects go, one decision led to another. Five years after he started, patience aplenty and loads of extra cash, the project resulted in a show truck that has been featured at the SEMA show in Las Vegas and photographed for a national truck magazine.

The builder of Matoian’s C-10 was Richard Ruiz, PPC Customs, Clovis, Calif. Some of the goodies of the cherry ride include:

•  Chevy Performance LS3 “Hot Cam” engine – 480 hp / 475 lb. torque

•  4L60e Overdrive Transmission

•  3.73 Eaton/Tru – Trac Gears

•  McGaughy’s suspension

•  Vintage Air

•  Pirelli 245/40-ZR20  275/40-ZR20

•  Realm Speakers

•  Hedman Headers; Flowmaster exhaust

•  Dakota Digital gauges

•  Eddie Motorsports polished hinges and pulleys

•  Ron Francis wiring

•  Marquez Design LED brake lights and side markers

•  Borgeson steering

•  Early Classic Enterprises drop spindles and suspension

•  Early Classic Enterprises Front discs, Monster rear drums

•  Early Classic Enterprises tonneau cover w/electric lifts

•  AutoRad Aluminum high flow radiator

•  American Racing 20-inch Torq Thrust ST wheels

•  Frame-off restoration, powder coated frame

•  Shaved front and rear bumpers

•  No Limit Rack and Pinion power steering

Richard’s farming ancestry parallels the C-10. He grew up in Fowler, Calif., on a 40-acre raisin vineyard. He was involved in FFA in High School, and won the state deciduous tree pruning championship and separately the deciduous tree judging championships. He is a 1984 California State University, Fresno graduate with a B.S. in Ag Business. He is a licensed California Pest Control Adviser. He and his brother have farmed table grapes in the Easton area for the past 20 years. Richard has worked for agricultural associations commodity groups his entire career. He was with the California Grape and Tree Fruit League for 17 years — the last 10 as its president. He also was manager at the California Fig Advisory Board for five years. Richard just celebrated his fifth year as executive director at American Pistachio Growers.

If you would like your ride featured in Western Farm Press, email: Harry Cline ([email protected]). You shine up your ride like Richard did, and Harry will shoot the photos.


For more Harry Cline photo galleries, see:

Rods in Ag: Tecklenburg's nifty 69 Mustang convertible — photos

Rod House's Red ’52 Chevy-Ford beast — photo gallery

TAGS: Equipment
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