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Published 6/20/24

Family Tradition: This 1972 C10 has Sentimental Value and LS376/480 Power



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Since the early 1970s, the same 1972 C10 has been in the Madding family. Fittingly, the Medium Bronze-colored truck is known as “Family Tradition.” 
“My dad bought the truck new and we've had it ever since,” Jeff Madding said during May’s C10 Nationals at Texas Motor Speedway. “[He] actually used the truck for a delivery service, he ran a little mom-and-pop delivery business and that's the truck.”

Jeff and Dalton Madding’s 1972 C10, known as “Family Tradition,” is powered by a Chevrolet Performance LS376/480 crate engine.*

James Madding traveled across the country with the C10, which was then handed down to his son, Jeff. Jeff learned to drive in the truck and went on dates with his now wife when both were in high school. Jeff then taught his son, Dalton, how to drive in it. 
Jeff Madding is originally from Cabot, Arkansas, but today the family lives in nearby Austin. Both father and son and their wives were attending the C10 Nationals at the track near Fort Worth. 
“We make it a family trip; car shows are like our vacation,” Dalton said. 
This year, the C10 Nationals served as the first big show for the latest incarnation of “Family Tradition,” which is now built in a restomod style and features a Chevrolet Performance LS376/480 crate engine* under the hood. The engine is part of a Connect & Cruise Crate Powertrain System and is mated to a SuperMatic 4L70-E four-speed automatic transmission. 
 “I've always been interested in hot rods, playing with hot rods; [rebuilding the truck] was always in the back of my mind because of the sentimental value,” Jeff explained.  

The LS376/480 crate engine under the hood.

The father-son project was a 12-year endeavor, but the fruits of their labor are apparent. 
The C10 originally was powered by a 350 cu.-in. Small-Block with a three-speed on the column. Jeff Madding at first planned to swap to a 454 Big-Block, but instead chose to go the LS route after speaking with a Chevrolet Performance representative at the brand’s display during a car show in Panama City Beach, Florida.  
“We were walking around killing time and I just happened to walk by and got to talking to this gentleman,” Jeff said. “He was talking about the LS3 Connect & Cruise packages and it just kind of intrigued me. I started doing my research and here we are.” 
The dependability and reliable horsepower were among Jeff’s primary reasons for selecting the LS3 power plant. He had originally planned to utilize the standard 430-horsepower LS3,* but after speaking with the Chevrolet Performance rep, chose to step up to the LS376/480 version.

The engine is capable of 495 horsepower and 473 lb.-ft. of torque, due in large part to the use of a racing-inspired Hot Cam which features a longer duration than the standard LS3 camshaft. It also provides a cool, old-school sound. 

The truck’s LS3-based power plant is part of a Chevrolet Performance Connect & Cruise Crate Powertrain System.

The Connect & Cruise system, which features all necessary engine and transmission controllers, a torque converter and supporting installation kits, was an easy plug-and-play process for the Maddings. 
“We primed the fuel system, primed the oil system, hit the key and it started,” Jeff said. 
Dalton also is a fan of LS engines* and encouraged his father to utilize the LS platform in the build for the modern technology and benefits of fuel injection. 
“I kind of was pushing him with the LS, too, because it’s so much easier to tune,” he said. “We can play with it, we can have fun with it, and also when it's cold you can just hop in and start it.” 
Outside of the powertrain, the C10 remains similar to how it originally rolled off the General Motors assembly line. However, there are a variety of updates. The truck sits on its original chassis, but it now features a variety of new suspension pieces. 

The Saddle interior includes several modern upgrades but maintains a vintage look.

In addition, many components were sand-blasted and powder-coated and every nut and bolt was checked or replaced. The Maddings also added a stainless-steel exhaust system and polished stainless-steel hard lines. The truck rides on American Racing Salt Flat wheels paired with Arroyo tires. Wilwood brakes provide the stopping power.

The truck has been repainted but is as close a match to its original GM Medium Bronze color as possible. Allen Thomas of Classic Colors Autobody in Searcy, Arkansas, did the work and added a new-school spin. 
The interior color is called “Saddle” and features Snowden seats, sun visors and dash. A collection of friends put it all together and Jeff did the carpet work himself. He also found a nearly perfect set of original door panels that he color-matched to the rest of the Saddle motif. The interior features modern accouterments including a Vintage Air system, Custom Autosound stereo and Classic Instruments gauge cluster as well.

Additionally, all the wiring has been upgraded to American Autowire, which worked well with the LS3 wiring harness.  

Dalton Madding (left) and his father, Jeff, with their 1972 C10 during the 2024 C10 Nationals at Texas Motor Speedway.

Jeff and Dalton Madding each work in businesses related to their automotive hobby. Jeff is a partner in a metal-fabrication business called Waters Welding, while Dalton is the marketing director at Arkansas-based Red River Auto Group. That knowledge helped him create a YouTube video and Instagram page for the truck. 
The Maddings are lifelong fans of the Chevrolet brand. 
“I’m a Chevrolet truck guy because that's all my dad ever had,” Jeff said. “As Dad's business grew, he started buying these Chevrolet one-tons and he was using them dragging a 48-foot flatbed trailer for his delivery-hauling business. I've always been around Chevrolet trucks and my mom had a Cadillac that she drove, so it's just been Chevrolet and GM products.” 
Dalton, meanwhile, was born into the hobby; it’s been a part of his identity ever since he was a kid. 
“At car shows when you're little there’s no one your age, so I just grew up with adults and old cars,” he said. “On the first day of school, everyone would come with new clothes, and I’d come with a new car show shirt.” 
Today, he and his father are honoring their family’s legacy with their classic C10, but also adding their own stamp with modern LS3 performance.  
Keep watching The BLOCK for more from the C10 Nationals and automotive events nationwide. 
*Because of their effect on a vehicle’s emissions performance, these engines are intended exclusively for use in competition vehicles. These engines are designed and intended for use in vehicles operated exclusively for competition: in racing or organized competition on courses separate from public roads, streets or highways. Installation or use of these engines on a vehicle operated on public roads, streets or highways is likely to violate U.S., Canadian, and state and provincial laws and regulations related to motor vehicle emissions.