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02-26-09, 08:44 AM
1965 Chevy C10 Pickup Truck - A Marine, In Memoriam
David And Pattie Barnett's Tribute To Their Son
By Ryan Manson
Photography by Dan Davis

When David and Pattie Barnett spotted and subsequently purchased this '65 Chevy C10, they never imagined that day would be one that would so dramatically change their lives. But it wasn't the purchase of the Chevy hauler that would impact the Centerville, Indiana family so profoundly, but the news that the United States Marines were to deliver later that fateful day. March 14, 2002 etched itself into the hearts of the Barnett family for that was the day they were notified that their son, David Marvin Barnett had been murdered while stationed at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina. Reeling from the loss of their son, the Barnett's decided to use their newly purchased truck as not only a form of therapy, becoming completely immersed in every aspect of the build, but also as a rolling dedication to their beloved son.

The first task at hand was to sort out the chassis and create the foundation for the rest of the build. David started by installing a Ford 9-inch rearend out back to replace the stock GM component on the stock parallel leaf springs. The front suspension was rebuilt using 2-inch dropped spindles and GM disc brakes while a power steering box from a '72 pickup was swapped for the stock steering box. A set of Colorado Custom wheels were then bolted up, 17x8s up front and 17x10s out back shod in Sumitomo low-profile, ZR-series rubber. With the rolling responsibilities handled, David then turned his attention to the drivetrain. A GM ZZ4 small-block was equipped with a Holley 650-cfm four-barrel carb and topped with a custom air cleaner fabricated by David's son-in-law Jeremy Isaacs to mimic the shape of the C10's hood. A 700-R4 transmission was bolted up behind the motor, giving the truck an overdrive Fourth gear to make highway cruising a more economical venture before the two were slipped into place between the C10's framerails. A serpentine belt system was installed to drive the A/C compressor, alternator, and power steering pump while an aluminum radiator mated to a puller electric fan ensures the mighty mouse motor maintains its cool.

Motivation for the C10 complete, David then requested the help of his buddies Herb Kuhner and Tommy Callahan to pitch in fitting the body panels and blocking them out nice and smooth. Once the fit and finish of everything was up to par, David hired Todd Weatherly to spray the Maroon and Pearl White finish over every square inch of the pickup. Reassembled, the crew then installed the oak bed wood kit and bolted up all the chrome and stainless goodies. A Ron Francis wiring kit was then strung up the length of the truck to connect all the lights and electrical circuits to a main panel under the dash.

With the majority of the build complete, the truck was then sent across town to Rick Holiday who stitched up the maroon and white leather over the split bench seat and maroon wool carpet. Jeremy Isaacs chipped in again, fabricating a pair of kick panels that house speakers on either side of the cab. A chrome tilt steering column was topped with a Colorado Custom wheel and below it a sub-dash was fabricated to house a trio of A/C vents and a pair of courtesy lights. A billet aluminum dash panel was installed in the stock location and filled with a sextet of VDO Heritage Gold Series gauges.

Since completed in under three years, the Barnett's have won numerous Best of Show and Best Truck awards over the past two years, and have shared many memories together, harking back to their younger days when David was courting a young Pattie in a '64 Chevy C10 some years back. But as the memories pour on, it's hard to not think about their young son who was taken away from them at such an early age. But not thinking about David Marvin is exactly what their plan with their C10 is intended to prevent. Given the circumstances that surround the procurement of the truck, it only made sense to build the pickup as a dedication to David Marvin, a rolling memorial to a young Marine, to guarantee that his life was not in vain, nor will his memory ever be forgotten.