Posted On Feb 1, 2023
JT Christensen is the proud owner of this stunning 1970 C10 named "Big Wheel".
JT purchased the truck when he was just 14 years old, working as a dishwasher at a local Mexican restaurant to make his $137.56 a month payment. But the journey to owning this truck was not without its challenges. JT’s truck was almost repossessed, but his grandpa came to the rescue, showing up just in time to pay off the remaining $700 owed on the truck. So, for JT, the truck is more than just a vehicle, it's sentimental and holds a special place in his heart. "It's a 'not for sale' kind of special. There is not a dollar value on the truck. It's more sentimental than that," says JT.
After high school, JT moved to Phoenix and lived with his sister while attending tech school studying mechanics, welding and fabrication. Since then, he has been working for Empire Cat for 25 years, and currently runs their entire rental division. He started at the very bottom and worked his way up. As life changed, moves were made along the way. JT says the truck was moved from place to place through 4-6 different moves, staying in a storage shed, Conex box, side of the house, and in the garage waiting to get put back together. But through it all, JT never considered leaving the truck behind, it always had to come with him.
When it came time to pick back up on the build, JT stumbled across GSI and fell in love with their style and the product they created. Knowing the work that goes in to the fabrication process, JT instantly felt connected to GSI, the company responsible for the truck's air ride back half and front kit. "If I'm going to spend $12,000 on wheels, I want them to be next to that frame”, said JT, “It's not just cutting and welding, it's an entire style they've created. The lines and sharp detail sell it. It isn't just a pretty frame. They're building badass chassis’ made to be daily drivers."
For JT, this truck represents his childhood. It's the truck he wanted as a kid. He did all the work himself, with the help of his wife and daughter. He says the process can be overwhelming at times, "Picking out every fitting, every washer, every hose. There are 15,000 options for something as simple as a fuel line." He adds that "Every single decision you've made is on display. All the good ones and the bad ones. I know all the mistakes. I see them. And it's the most vulnerable feeling.” His next dream builds include a 67-72 C10 Autocross truck and a 4x4 K5 Blazer w/ a Premier Street Rod cab for his wife.
“Big Wheel” made its first truck show debut at Dino's Git Down 2021. JT's favorite thing about attending truck shows is that they have all different types of trucks, all different years, but they're all amazing. Whether it's a custom build top to bottom or a stock OBS, they're all equally as cool. You can appreciate them both for what they are and the joy they bring. Not only to their owners, but to car lovers everywhere.
JT says he has been humbled by the outpouring of support from the community, and grateful to be a part of the GSI group. Be sure to follow him to see what builds he has next!