Des Moines, IOWA – Preston Folkestad of GC Cooling is entering the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show “Battle of the Builders Competition” as a Young Gun. To qualify as a Young Gun, the builder must be 27 years old or younger by the final night of the SEMA Show on November 3, 2017.
Preston Folkestad , 22, is a graduate of Iowa State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Graphic Design. Growing up in an automotive-centered family, Preston developed a passion for anything with a motor early on in life. He learned to ride a motorcycle at 3 years old despite not knowing how to ride a bicycle without training wheels until about a year later. Preston later learned how to drive for the first time at the Bonneville Salt Flats while his father set land speed records in a Ford Ranger dubbed “The Rocket Ranger.” The son of Bob Folkestad, a well-known engineer and sales professional in the aftermarket industry and owner of Creative Werks, Inc., the distributor of GC Cooling, Preston was raised around insider knowledge of the industry. He has experience in design, engineering, fabrication, assembly, machining, welding and painting.
In June of 2017, Preston Folkestad embarked on rebuilding the 1973 Chevrolet C10 he inherited from his great-grandfather, Maurice “Buck” Heckart. The C10, named “Buck” the Truck in memory of Preston’s great-grandfather, was purchased new by Buck in 1973. A World War II veteran who served in the 707 Tank division and was a motorcycle messenger and medic, Buck was a major influence in Preston’s life. The C10 truck was used primarily on Buck’s farm in rural Iowa. Preston drove the C10 as his personal use vehicle through high school as well as during his years at Iowa State.
When driving the truck in high school, Preston Folkestad and Bob cut the truck’s frame to transform it from a long box C10 to a short box. The pair added a small block engine and painted it flat black.
For the SEMA Show, however, Preston knew he needed to create a masterpiece with the C10 in order to enter the truck into the Young Gun competition while honoring Buck’s memory. To do this, Preston Folkestad decided to rebuild the truck as a street-ready, track day capable vehicle.
“I really want to honor my great-grandpa and make my dad proud. My dad would be pretty happy if I placed well. This is my first SEMA Show, and I’ve been looking at some of the great builds already entered in the Young Guns portion of the competition. I hope Buck the Truck can make it into the top 10,” Preston Folkestad said.
Preston spent over 80 hours of the redesign correcting gaps and fitting the doors and fenders. Rust spots were fixed and rockers, cab corners and cab supports were replaced. The whole truck was skim coated with filler and blocked six times. The exterior was completed with a custom paint job by Chris Cope, using paint from House of Kolors. The C10 has a Kandy Orange color over an Orion Silver base. It is two-toned and has an airbrushed carbon fiber pinstriped graphic.
The modified short bed C10 was designed to be aggressive and race ready. To lower the C10 an additional two inches with a notched frame, Preston elected to use a RideTech Sreet Grip rear suspension. No Limit Engineering front crossmember with tubular control arms, RideTech coil over shocks, a No Limit Engineering sway bar, along with a power rack and pinion steering setup. Preston knew he would need to get the truck to slow quickly so he used Wilwood six-piston brakes with 14-inch calipers on the front while four-piston brakes are used on the rear. Wilwood also supplied the master cylinder. The transmission is a 700R4 transmission with a B&M 2600 RPM stall converter built by Ed Slivka.
For the engine, Preston chose to use custom aluminum heads from Automotive Machine Shop Services, Comp Roller Cam with 4-7 firing order swap, an All American Billet front drive with ceramic coating, a single plane intake manifold and scorpion shaft rocker arms. To further customize Buck the Truck, custom sheet metal valve covers and breather system with ceramic coating are under the hood. Naturally, Preston chose a custom FLUIDYNE radiator with GC Cooling’s High-Performance Series fans.
Preston took the time to personally design the interior of the truck. From custom door panels, a hand-sculpted bench seat, an Alpine stereo system and more customizations, no part of the truck was overlooked. Vintage Air performance air conditioning and Dakota Digital Instruments were also added to the interior for a modern touch.
“Being able to design something from start to finish and work through every step of the build allowed me the opportunity to take my time and have a no compromise attitude toward building “Buck.” We spent numerous hours trying to perfect everything from the stance to the overall design. My dad taught me everything I know, but this truck is a tribute to my great-grandfather, and I wanted to build this truck knowing he would be proud of it,” Preston said.
At 22 years old, Preston Preston Folkestad knows that the 2017 SEMA Show will be the first he attends but it will be just the first of many years to come.
Check out all our previous SEMA Show Coverage!