Stock & Drop: Syndicate Series 01
Syndicate Series 01

Every genre and marque of vehicle has a following, some niche and some widely known. Classic Mustangs, ’32 Fords, Volkswagen Beetles – broadly speaking these are a few of the biggest. Classic Chevy trucks have always had a following too, and the massive number of fans might surprise you. Sometimes it takes the right set of circumstances – be it a club, event or builder – to really turn on a lot of people to a specific kind of vehicle.

The Chevy truck wildfire started with the ’67-72 model, with a forum by the same name. Then, as the ’73-’87 body style (appropriately named ‘square body’ for its shape) grew more vintage each year and values of the previous gen steadily rose, enthusiasts starting turning their attention to the trucks that their dads used to drive. I’ve watched the popularity and prices grow in lockstep over the past several years, and we’ve finally reached the day that a square body can steal the show at an event as large as SEMA.


Of course, the forum helped spread the popularity of these Chevy trucks and there’s even a C-10 podcast now, but there’s also a crop of badass builders who are showing the way. These guys could be building hot rods or muscle cars, but the bowtie with a bed has their collective attention. Names like Delmo, Porterbuilt and Dino are just a few pushing the Chevy truck scene to new levels year after year.


Joe Yezzi, owner of Squarebody Syndicate is another character making his mark on the scene. This year he showed up at SEMA with his latest project, named Syndicate Series 01.


He calls the concept “stock and drop,” meaning you’ll find all the factory trim and body lines intact. But look a little closer and you’ll see that this is hardly a stock ’74 Cheyenne with a drop; clever touches are peppered all over the truck, just waiting for you to notice them.


The truck was slammed using a Porterbuilt chassis, the same brand that’s famous for its bolt-in drop-members that make so many Chevys scrape the ground.


The wheels are 22-inch Delmo Specials, styled after a factory option hubcap from the ’70s, and the fender wells that surround them have been stretched to optimize proportions.


The factory two-tone paint, side trim and even gas fillers (one on each side) are all there, but notice the truck has been body-dropped and the bed floor raised. To show off the custom chassis, the floor tilts up too.


From the rear we can see the taillights, bumper (with bolts), tailgate handle, trim and lettering were all left as stock. Each of these items has been altered or shaved by many a Chevy truck owner, but Syndicate Series 01 proves that the truck looks just as good with everything left alone.


I had to lean in to see what was under that tilted-up bed floor. AccuAir air management, Viair compressors, a Porterbuilt Watts link and three-inch Magnaflow exhaust were all packaged neatly under the bed.


I walked around to the front to find the hood open, and while it looked like an old small-block, this was something different.

A Closer Look

Closer inspection revealed an LS3 crate motor that’s been cleaned up to look like a vintage V8. This one is called a DELS3, thanks to Delmo’s involvement.


The air cleaner might look like a stamped sheetmetal original from a distance, but it’s actually machined aluminum that’s been anodized black. GSI Machine & Fabrication did some insane work on this one, coupling the custom air cleaner with a Holley intake manifold and EFI system to get the period-correct carbureted look on a modern engine.


Baer’s new master cylinder looked right at home in the engine bay and simplified the plumbing of the braking system.


New old stock (NOS) plaid was sourced for the upholstery. Fortunately I had matching decals to leave for Joe.


The rest of the interior is a mix of die-hard commitment to stock Chevy with just enough clever customization to keep you on your toes. Notice the Syndicate Series 01 badge in place of the original version.


The center console was also upholstered to match the seats.


The wood grain details in the doors were redone using water transfer graphics.


The same technique was used on the gauge surround and steering wheel. That might look like a stock wheel, but it’s actually been machined out of billet to achieve a smaller diameter and thicker grip.


Instrumentation was also upgraded to match the performance of the DELS3.


The Chevy truck guys have coined the phrase ‘Yezzi Clean’ to describe the extreme level of detail Joe Yezzi puts into his builds.


This guy could be building trophy-winning hot rods if he wanted to, but Chevy trucks are what makes him tick so that’s what gets the ‘Yezzi Clean’ treatment. After admiring his latest build, I’m just fine with that.

Keith Charvonia
Instagram: SpeedhuntersKeith



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Can't beat a Squarebody; lifted or lowered. :)


First time I heard about NOS was on the TV show home improvement lmao. I was sadden to learn that Tim Allen doesn't know much about cars as his character seem to know in the show


a period correct looking LS3





@Tom tim allen is a car enthusiast




I need that engine in my life.
Also a C10.


love it


This is so sick! The attention to detail is amazing.


love it!!
a hammered feature truck a day, keeps workplace boredom away


Saying this is a beautiful build does not do it any justice. Pure awesome. Love that air cleaner housing!


I like it. I've followed the build of this truck and many of Yezzi's and they are always top notch.


Tony_san  really? I remember reading that he wasn't really into cars. maybe he isn't great at fixing things? lol idk. his stand up is something else though. Anyways I learned a lot from that show, like old British cars are known for terrible wiring lol I watched that show all of the time.


You forgot to mention the comments: "If u were selling dis car 4 weeks ago, i wuld have jumped on it yo!!" or, "If it iz still there once I gets paid, dis be mine yo!!"  anyways, tight article bae.


Funny I just started listening to c10 talk regularly after their Juankybuilt episode so all these names sound familiar.
What a great looking build. That ls3 is incredible. Reliable power without spoiling the look. Much regret for not going this year.


Something else that I like is that it's a round eye. I've never been a fan of the '81-'87 front end. Also I like the fact that they used the small door panel covers over the '77 and later ones. Wood grain rocks.


That color was by far the best choice! 
Amazing build!


That is SO cool !!! I wonder about the value of the car...Anyone?


I'm not really a truck guy, but if I was...


kphillips9936 I love the two tone.


DaveT I just started listening too, it's really good. There's even an episode with Joe Yezzi.


donkyyyyyy I like both front ends, the round headlight because it's more classic and the square headlight because it takes me back to my childhood when they were new. It would be a tough decision if I built a square body, which I'm pretty sure I will one day.


MrTanuki The air cleaner is amazing!


JamesMiller7 I'll try to bring more trucks to Speedhunters!


Dill Pickle The lifted ones seem to go for less money. I've been wondering if you could take a 4WD and convert it to 2WD with a Porterbuilt drop member. Might make sense...


You should. I own a 76 swb fleet side Silverado. We're both the same age. I've had a 74 Cheyenne Super and a 87 Silverado loaded 4x4 but always a round headlight in my heart.


Ehh it might be possible but I feel that it'd probably be more expensive in the long run vs just starting with a 2wd. 4wds had a straight axle and 2wds had IFS. Seems like it could get pricey real quick


And people give the VW scene so much shit for "the details" and "stock + low". I'm a total VW nut, but I love all things American muscle too, and this build is so sick that it just speaks homage to the uber clean, stock and drop stable.

Double like.


Had to look at the pics a third time. Sooooooo sick. Probably one of the best contemporary retro builds I have ever seen. Those wheels, steering wheel, wood grain, seats, emblems and my my that engine with faux carb setup. Absolutely perfect. I would love to own that and I really don't favor trucks.


After 2 years hunting slammed trucks, i think, this is the best slammed truck ever!!! what a perfect combination of colors, seats, leathers, fabrics.. and the wheels.. alsoo.. awesome!!!


the car was very good 
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