1966 Chevrolet ‘Ponderosa’ Is a $150,000 Pickup Truck With Big Rig Power

It’s 8 feet tall, 20 feet long, and puts out 1,300 pound-feet of torque thanks to a Cummins diesel engine.

byCaleb Jacobs|
Chevrolet News photo

The best restomods are performed in the name of style and speed, often equipping classic cars with modern power to create cruisers with output figures near or above the four-digit mark (like the Ringbrothers AMC Javelin). However, these jobs aren't limited to vintage muscle as others in the modified truck world also produce handsome builds with gobs of power and nostalgia.

The 1966 Chevrolet pickup by Rtech Fabrications seen here is a prime example of that, with every bit of hardware, panelwork, and running gear having been retouched to create the high-rolling gem.

Rtech Fabrications

Starting with a Chevy K30-style body, the Idaho-based shop found a 1972 C30 platform to place the classically designed sheet metal atop of. This meant a lengthened wheelbase that now measures 175 inches, which compliments the girthy dual rear wheels out back. Having completed the basic rolling setup with 20-inch by 8.25-inch American Force wheels and 37-inch Nitto Trail Grappler tires, it was then time to build a power plant that could back up the truck's intimidating stance.

Rtech Fabrications
Rtech Fabrications

A tried-and-true Cummins diesel engine takes care of the needed gruntwork with the 5.9-liter, 12-valve unit now producing 550 horsepower and a mountainous 1,300 pound-feet of torque. That's enough to push the 8-foot-tall, 20-foot-long truck named "Ponderosa" through any obstacle while hauling an imaginary load. After all, it's doubtful that this ol' Chevy will ever actually tow anything, and the crew at Rtech even admits they installed a fifth-wheel hitch "just for fun," as Autoblog notes. These almighty numbers are achieved through a plethora of modifications which, for starters, include a Competition Camshaft cam, Mahle pistons, a ported and polished head and, of course, an upgraded turbo and intercooler.

These are all enough to impress on paper, but the real show-stopping upgrades are to the exterior. The '66 has been built sturdy with 16-ply metal as well as loads of rigidity-improving tactics, from extra bracing in its roof to tubular steel rocker panels. Lucent GM Light Green paint places the pickup in period-correct light, although the rest of the build is clearly contemporary. That ethos is reinforced by LED illumination, metallic-coated Dana axles at the front and back, and Bilstein 5160 remote-reservoir shocks along with Skyjacker leaf springs.

Folks can rest easy on the inside knowing they're as comfortable as they are cool with swaths of present-day amenities. The crew cab has a trick touch where the rear half has been modified to accommodate another pair of front doors, meaning more room for passengers. With this extra space, Rtech Fabrications has fitted loads of retro-inspired instrumentation while retaining such niceties as cruise control, air conditioning, and a Bluetooth stereo that sends power to a set of hard-hitting Kenwood speakers.

These aren't even all of the custom touches made to the Ponderosa—for that exhaustive list, you can check out Rtech Fabrications' website. The high-end garage will even build you your own version of the pickup, with "endless options for both drivetrain and interiors." It'll cost you at least $150,000—or a little less than the price of two completely loaded Chevrolet Silverado HD High Country trucks.

Once we win the lottery, we'll hit them up.