Imagination is everything! Without it, we wouldn’t have the great technologies that make our lives more enjoyable. Of course, the automotive world thrives on this, too, as vehicles are consistently getting better with each and every year. However, there are a few that prefer styles from the past, only updated with today’s convenient amenities. It’s people like this who use their imaginations to conjure up new visions of how the classics would look and perform if they were built now.

Randall Robertson of Rtech Fabrications in Coeur d’Alene, ID, is one such person that dreams of what could have been. He, like many of us, is a fan of classic vehicles and loves to retrofit them with modern features, such as air conditioning, a larger seating capacity, diesel engines and increased towing capabilities. These are all things that we take for granted in our modern rides, and adapting a classic truck to have all these pieces makes for the ultimate pickup.

Not only does Randall like to add these elements to classic trucks, but he also likes to reimagine them as well. For those that may not be in the know, General Motors didn’t produce a crew cab dually until two body styles after the first generation of C/K trucks. There were also a few companies that converted these old trucks into crew cabs for various utility purposes, but none were actually from GM. Several people have used these cabs to make trucks like this, but none have done exactly what Randall has accomplished. He noticed a few things he could improve on and decided to build his own version of the ’66 C/K pickup he first envisioned.

Randall then named his new build The Ponderosa, as it reminded him of good times during his childhood at the Ponderosa Ranch theme park near Tahoe, NV. Turning dreams into reality, the truck started with a ’72 C30 motorhome frame that received some new crossmembers for the suspension components. Giving this truck a solid foundation is a Dana 60 front axle and Dana 70 rear axle with a locking differential. The front was equipped with custom disc brakes while 13” drums went on the rear. Handling the duties of the suspension is a set of Skyjacker leaf springs combined with Bilstein reservoir shocks. Reinforcing the rear is a custom set of traction bars.

The Ponderosa gets its distinctive look in part with the custom-made crew cab that Randall created by salvaging parts from donor ’64-’66 Chevy trucks. Rtech uses as much original steel as possible since they believe nothing else compares. Once the cab was stretched, a pair of front doors were used and modified to fit the final vision. For the rear of the truck, Randall used an original 8’ bed and utilized a set of stepside fenders and modified them to make dually bedsides. The wood bed floor was then created using Bedwood & Parts strips and planks. Up front, the clip is all original but was smoothed out along with the rest of the truck. Continuing with the theme, a custom utility-style rear bumper was made and bolted on the back end.

The intention of building The Ponderosa was to not only make a beefy looking truck but to also improve its functions. To help increase power capabilities, Randall rebuilt a 5.9L 12-valve Cummins diesel engine and added a Comp Cams camshaft along with a few other mods. A K&N filter breathes air into the Borg-Warner K27 turbo and Rtech water-to-air intercooler. This was backed up with a NV500 five-speed manual transmission that sends the 550hp and 1,300tq to the axles via a NP205 transfer case and custom driveshafts.

After the truck was mocked up, it was torn down for the chassis to get powder coated and the body to be painted in the original light green color. Giving this truck a bulkier look is a set of six American Force Cannon 20” wheels with 37” Nitto Trail Grappler tires. On the inside, original buddy bucket seats frames were secured up front while a bench seat was used in the rear. The springs were removed and foam was added before they were reupholstered in reproduction materials. For some extra styling, an original hood was chopped down to create a trick lid for the center console. Finishing it all off, custom door panels and a headliner was created to match the rest of the interior.

From top to bottom this truck is completely badass. It is done so well that you would have thought GM had originally made one of these trucks back in the day. Now that this K30 is completed, it stands as an example of what Rtech is capable of producing and Randall is not stopping here. He has a bunch of other creations in the works, so keep on the lookout for more wild trucks like this in the future!

GEAR: 1966 CHEVROLET

K30 Custom Crew Cab Dually

WHEELS / TIRES

  • 20×8.25 American Force Cannon wheels
  • 37×11.50R20LT Nitto Trail Grappler MT tires

SUSPENSION

  • 1972 C30 Class C motorhome frame with custom crossmembers for spring and drivetrain mounts
  • Skyjacker springs and Bilstein 5160 reservoir shocks for front suspension
  • Skyjacker springs with custom-made Rtech shackle-end traction bars and Bilstein 5160 reservoir shocks for rear suspension

PERFORMANCE

  • ‘96 5.9L Cummins 12-valve rebuilt by Rtech Fabrications
  • Mahle pistons
  • Ported-and-polished heads
  • COMP Cams camshaft
  • BD Diesel three-piece manifold and turbocharger
  • Bosch/Dynomite Diesel Stage 3 injectors
  • K&N filter
  • 4” Flowmaster exhaust
  • Derale fans
  • Champion three-core radiator
  • Custom water-to-air intercooler
  • NV500 five-speed manual transmission
  • NP205 transfer case
  • Custom driveshafts from Six States Distributors
  • (Spokane, WA)
  • Dana 60 front axle
  • Dana 70 rear axle with locking differential
  • G2 diff covers
  • Warn locking hubs

EXTERIOR / ARMOR

  • Custom Rtech Crew Cab conversion/rear doors fabricated from fronts
  • Custom window frames
  • Roof reinforced
  • Hydraulic cab mounts, stepside fenders grafted to 8’ bed
  • Nu-Relics power windows
  • Glass by Grizzly Glass (Hayden, ID)
  • Precision Replacement Parts window seals and weatherstriping
  • One-off Dino’s Chevy Only badges
  • AMP Research PowerStep retractable running boards
  • Factory front bumper
  • Modified dealer-accessory rear step bumper
  • GM 503 Light Green Northstar paint

RECOVERY

  • Warn front winch

LIGHTING

  • Offroad LED bars, headlights and taillights

ACCESSORIES

  • RedHead-modified Saginaw steering box
  • Speedway Motors wiring harness installed by Jose Gonzales at Rtech Fabrications

INTERIOR

  • ‘66 GMC Sports Trim buckets
  • Console lid made from hood by Jarin Hirschi at Rtech Fabrications
  • Deluxe steering wheel on ‘67-to-’72 GM tilt column
  • Old Air Products A/C
  • Factory AC vents
  • Reproduction vinyl and cloth by SMS Auto Fabrics
  • Daytona-weave nylon carpet
  • Electric windows
  • Precision Replacement Parts seal and window seals
  • Upholstery by Rick Theissat Rtech Fabrications

INFOTAINMENT / ELECTRONICS

  • RetroSound Hermosa Bluetooth-capable AM/FM RetroRadio
  • Kenwood amplifier and speakers

NAVIGATION

  • Hull Mfg. compass

IMAGE GALLERY

SOURCES:

Rtech Fabrications rtechfabrications.com | rtechfabrications
American Force Wheelsamericanforcewheels.com
AMP Research amp-research.com | Amsoil amsoil.com
Bed Wood & Parts americanforcewheels.com
BD Diesel americanforcewheels.com | K & N knfilters.com
Mother mothers.com | Nitto Tire nittotire.com
Offroad LED Bars offroadledbars.com
RedHead Steering redheadsteeringgears.com