RSO Shop Girl: The History of my ’72 C10
RSO Shop Girl is building her own truck? Yes, I am! Just to give you a bit of an introduction, this is my 1972 Chevrolet C10 Cheyenne Pickup. I purchased this truck in May of 2009 and like everything else that was mine, (ie: my snowmobile, my horse, my gloves) my Grandson Isaac immediately fell in love with it (he was 2 years old at the time). Isaac would pitch a fit if I ran an errand in it without him. Standing at the front screen crying, "Granny you 'dribe' my truck, don't 'dribe' my truck!" I would then take him out to the truck, set him on my lap and "let" him drive it up and down the long dirt driveway. All the while he would insist that the radio be turned on and at a high level. So needless to say the intent was to always rebuild / restore the truck so that one day it would be passed down to him. I just never in my life imagined, especially at that time, that I would be the one doing it.
1972 Chevy C10 Cheyenne
Isaac trying to start the truck
To the best of my knowledge and research, I am the third owner of this truck. The original sales documentation was laminated and in the glove box along with the original Owner's And Driver's Manual. The sales documentation states this truck was assembled at the Fremont, California General Motors Plant, which produced GM automobiles until it closed in 1982 due to production issues. The plant reopened in 1984, again producing GM vehicles along with Toyota until 2010 when the plant then became a Tesla Motors Factory. On the sales sheet this truck was charged to the John Geer Chevrolet Company in Sacramento, California. It's interesting to see where the truck has been, how it moved up to Southwestern Idaho with the first owner, and then across the State to Southeastern Idaho where I was. So now it seems fitting that the truck is back in Southern California where she started.
Original Sales Sheet - 1972add captions
Original Owner's & Driver's Manual
Now, just because I live and work in an Automotive Shop doesn't necessarily mean I have a plethora of mechanical and automotive knowledge because trust me when I say that I don't! This truly is my FIRST build project. Up until a year ago I had never even changed a tire, the most I'd ever done on any of my vehicles was check the fluids. Many may think this is no big deal, but take into consideration that it takes me 2 to 3 times longer for every part of this job than it does for the guys in the Shop. Some may even think that the guys are doing the work behind the scenes, NOT ON YOUR LIFE. This is my truck, my build, and I am just enough of a stubborn and determined woman to prove all the doubters wrong! Big Mike and the RSO Crew will instruct me as to what needs to be done, even take a moment to show me and give suggestions but when it comes time to getting hands dirty they are mine, gloved in 212 Performance Gloves of course, but mine. The bruises, scrapes, oil, dirt, and sore muscles are all a testament, battle scares if you will that me a 44 year old Granny is indeed rebuilding this truck.
RSO Shop Girl putting in the work!
A few Ladies have asked me, "Why? Why would you want to build a truck?" The answer is simple, Knowledge Is Power! As a woman though out my life there have been numerous times that I felt perhaps I was being taken advantage of for repairs that ranged from my house, property, and vehicles. When you don't know the difference, you just pay the bill. Or maybe you have a man, weather it be a brother, father, son, husband, or nephew to take care of those things for you. But what happens if that person is no longer there? Perhaps gone due to relocation, death, or divorce. That is the circumstance I found myself in, and I learned the best person to rely on is me. Despite the fact that I do have Big Mike and the RSO Crew, I never want to find myself in a situation again where I am dependent on others to repair what is mine, when I am perfectly capable of doing it myself. Granted, when I first moved to Southern California 3+ years ago I was fine with being behind the scenes of RSO. Doing the paperwork I started learning a few things about vehicles. Then I stepped up and started working the vehicles at Shows and Events, because I am so extremely impressed by the work and proud of the builds that I want the entire world to know and see what Big Mike and the RSO Crew build. So I began with the RSO Sniper (custom 75 FJ40). I had memorized everything about the build, despite the fact that I didn't always know where the parts were or how they functioned. Then the tables changed again when I came across a post on Instagram of a Calendar Contest for Offroad Ladies and their rigs. I scrolled through all the pictures and told Big Mike, there aren't any Landcruisers posted and this would be a great advertising tool for the Shop weather I actually made the calendar or not. I never expected to be one of the winners, but I was indeed Miss April in the 2017 Nitro Gear Goddess Calendar, then went on to be their Brand Ambassador for the same year. This put me farther into the industry, now being apart of Ladies Offroad pages, and having them ask me numerous automotive questions.
Driving this truck has always made me SMILE!
Miss April 2017 Nitro Gear Goddess Calendar
It was Christmas of last year that Big Mike gave me a priceless gift, a membership to the Ladies Offroad Network. Within this network of amazing ladies led by the one and only Charlene Bower I have learned so much, trail training, how to use a winch, the proper way to use a hi-lift jack, how to weld, and how to empower myself as a woman to do the repairs and maintenance on my truck and to now begin the restoration / build process. I don't have to be behind the scenes in the Shop doing the paperwork. I don't have to be just the pretty face in front of the rigs. I don't have to sacrifice make up, nails, or hairstyles to do my own mechanic work. I can and WILL do it all!
Trail Training at KOH 2018
Ladies Offroad Network Welding with ESAB at KOH 2018
Welding Helmet I won from ESAB through the Ladies Offroad Network
This journey will be tedious and long, but from what I've accomplished so far I am loving every moment of it! The rush you feel when you change that first tire, install new brakes, or tear down a motor is an amazing sense of accomplishment and pride that is difficult to explain. I just want to say Thank you to Big Mike, the RSO Crew, and Charlene Bower with Ladies Offroad Network for having my back and helping to give me the confidence to not only take on this project, but to have it ready to unveil at SEMA 2019.