When you’re at the top of your game in any field you want nothing but the best to showcase your skill and talent, and for Eric Conner and the crew at So-Cal Suspension in sunny San Diego, California it’s certainly no different – even even down to their “simple” shop truck build. Having started the business back in 1999 Eric quickly set to work establishing a name for himself as the premier suspension go-to guy in the Southern California area, which is no easy feat by any stretch of the terms. Eric worked around the clock, turning out customer cars by day and working on some of his own creations by night to help showcase the shop’s full potential.
Photos: David Moore | Words: Steven “Chance” Berndsen
This classy shop truck is the latest creation in his line-up with the build showcasing just what the shop is capable of when it comes to building a truck of this caliber, even if it originally just started as a parts getter “shop truck” for the crew to haul around. Eric tells us that to begin with the 1966 Chevy C10 wasn’t even his but rather a customer’s truck that had come in to get some new school flair in the form of a So-Cal Suspension notch, 4-link, and fuel cell. When the customer began to lose interest in the project Eric jumped at the opportunity to own a truck that had always been on his “list” and immediately after a deal was struck, he set about adding his own personal style and flair to the build.
“I built this truck to display the work and ability of my shop on both a customization and fabrication level. It started off as a simple shop truck that my guys could use to get parts and material. But over a short period of time it evolved into what you see today, and we even got invited out to the SEMA Show with the freshly built C10.”
At this point you’re probably thinking that if this is their shop truck then they must turn out some other pretty amazing builds, and you’d be correct. (In our best Troy McClure voice) “You might also remember So-Cal Suspension from other notable builds such as ‘El-Guapo’ the 1956 Austin FX3 London taxi, ‘Una Bella’ the Purple 1950 GMC Pickup complete with matching camper, and ‘Lucky Deluxe’ a gorgeous 1950 Chevy Deluxe that have all gained notoriety over the years.”
Having been into cars since the late ’80s and early ’90s while still pursuing other career choices, like being a professional skateboarder, allowed Eric to see the world at a young age and immerse himself in the automotive culture with view points from all walks of life. He began street racing in his early days then later moved into the custom scene and started doing modifications on cars of his own.
With the shop truck not only a functional hauler and road trip king, but now as a centerpiece for the capabilities of the SoCal Suspension crew, Eric chose the exterior of the truck to be a simple washed out red with gloss white accents and pinstriping to keep in with the overall feel of an old hauler. The chassis was powder coated along with the suspension components and up front a tidy small-block Chevy engine provides reliable power.
The whole crew came together on this build mainly after hours to create something that we at Slam’d believe is a true piece of craftsmanship. Debuting the truck at SEMA helped Eric land smack dab in the middle of our special Slam’d Mag SEMA Issue (Issue 04) and brought Eric the perfect opportunity to show his shops talent and foster new business amongst the car community as a whole. We’ll be right here, patiently waiting to see what he comes up with next!
Owner: Eric Conner
Vehicle: 1966 C10
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Club: Fellas Car Club
Ride tech tubular control arms
Late-model steering box
SoCal Suspension crossmember
Universal Air ‘bags
SoCal Suspension 4-link and step notch
Viair 444 stealth compressors
Frame smoothed and painted
Front disc brake conversion
Custom roll pan
One-off bumper mounts
Custom gloss white bed floor
Painted PPG red with matte clear
Matte red patina body, pearl gloss white roof
Gloss red interior, engine bay, and bed
Custom door logos for SoCal Suspension
Pinstriping on hood, tailgate, and roof
Performed by: Manny Cisneros at Cisneros Color Studio
Bench seat black leather with red stitching
Custom sheetmetal dash
Clock from 1951 Pontiac integrated into dash
Performed By: Armando at Lindy’s Upholstery and SoCal Suspension
Chevy 350 V-8
Hedman Hedders shorty headers
Magnaflow exhaust with custom dump through bedside
Painted block and engine bay
Chrome and Billet accessories
Performed by: SoCal Suspension
Special Thanks from Owner:
“I’d like to thank my wife and kids for all the support on every build I do. My crew Nick Gardner, Jayson Pang, Jeremy Runyen and Omar Aramburo at SoCal Suspension for their dedication, Armando Jr. at Lindy’s Auto Upholstery, Derek Schafer at AccuAir Suspension, Manny Cisneros at Cisneros Color Studio, and everyone else who has helped me along the way and followed my builds from the beginning, including Grinder TV and Slam’d Mag for their refreshing approach and commitment to the custom automotive industry!”