Who said trucks can only store tools and haul trailers? Certainly not Rob and Brandy Phillips, who took their 1972 Chevy C10 and transformed it into an autocrossing beast seen all over the Southwestern U.S. The couple took the truck to SEMA last year, where it resided inside the Spectre Performance booth to showcase the company’s top-end enhancements, including a throttle body and an aluminum cold air intake kit.
But that wasn’t the only spot to see this growling gray pickup. The Phillips have blasted across autocross events including Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational (OUSCI) and Goodguys, where the C10 has made a name for itself weaving around traffic cones and shutting down car-based rivals on the asphalt. Just recently, the truck circled back to Spectre Performance for a moment of truth as it got strapped to the company’s in-house dynamometer.
Running on pump gas, the truck spun up to 6,500 rpm to reach its peak output. The question was finally answered as the computer gave the readout: 400.3 horsepower and 354.2 pound-feet of torque, a far cry from the low-200s made by small block Chevy V8s back in the ’70s–and even that was at the crank, not the rear wheels.
Factoring in the “20-percent” rule of thumb–that an engine loses 20 percent of its power as it gets transferred to the wheels–this places the engine’s output at over 500 horsepower and 425 pound-feet of torque. Phillips felt comfortable with saying the LS1 makes 515-525 horsepower. Either way, those numbers are nothing to sneeze at, and they make all the difference when the truck tears around the track.