Drifters Garage 1970 C-40 Duramax Dump Truck

Drifters Garage built 1970 C-40 Dump Truck combines a classic look with all the modern conveniences. 

Founded in 2010, Drifters Garage provides automobile restoration, custom bodywork, professional paint, general maintenance, and more for the North County in Southern California. Ron Stahr and his seasoned mechanics are experts in the auto industry.

6.6L Duramax diesel engine
6.6L Duramax resides under the hood, as opposed to a 454 that was originally installed.

Ron’s love of classic automobiles started with his father and has continued to grow and bring him and others joy for more than half of a century now! What hasn’t changed is his work ethic and commitment to providing to highest quality of work and a sense of community for classic automobile enthusiasts.

From what we know of the builds coming out of Drifters Garage, every one of them is a standout. We first took notice of Ron’s creation, nicknamed “Crimson Beast”, at the 21st Annual Brothers Classic Chevy and GMC truck show in Orange County in July 2019. Completely enamored with what was in front of us, we stopped and asked Ron exactly what it was. According to Ron, “the theme of this build was taking modern parts back in a factory assembly line in 1970.” What would it look like? “We went for a very clean and original looking build with all the modern conveniences. Arguably one of the most unique trucks we have ever featured, thousands of hours were put into research, development, and fabrication.

The goal was to take General Motors built P-30, R.V. chassis and stuff a hopped-up Duramax diesel engine in it to create the ultimate shop truck. Ron and his staff knew what challenges were ahead of them, but they also knew they wanted to create something that’s never been done before. In order to build something that was never “meant to be” created, templates and drawings first had to be created. Ron’s team went all in on this build, spending thousands of hours and many long nights fitting and fabricating.


The chassis to be used in this build came out a 1989 P-30 recreational vehicle. These chassis’ came with gas-powered big block Chevrolet engines, thus, major modifications would be required for the Duramax. The P-30 frame was cut to create a 120-inch wheelbase and the frame was also reinforced for the new additions to be installed. For a more enjoyable ride, they installed an independent front suspension with air assist. Out back boast a 14-bolt dually posi-traction rear end with a custom-made drive shaft mating the two ends. Total suspension drop is 6” up front and 8” in the rear.

Garrett Turbo

Wherli Customs Duramax air intake elbow


The chosen powerplant for Crimson Beast was a 6.6-liter Duramax engine strapped to an Allison 6-speed automatic transmission. No big deal right? It will just drop right in without any problems, right? The original P-30 Recreational Vehicles came equipped with 454 cubic inch big blocks, accessible via the driver compartment. The challenge was, how do they fit a late model Duramax engine with an upgraded turbocharger into a shoebox sized engine compartment, add air conditioning, all while maintaining legroom. Let’s just say it took a little time, but Drifters Garage did it!

Drifters Garage customized interior


We love what the shop did with the interior of the Crimson Beast. The classic look with modern flare theme is also heavily noticed in the interior design. Ron chose to go with Glide Engineering’s split-back bucket seats, then had them wrapped in “distressed” brown leather by Eric Morales of Old Town Upholstery. Don’t let the old school look fool you, it has everything you need for modern day drivability needs. Air-conditioning, cruise control, power everything, killer sound system w/Bluetooth, yes it has all of it!

Glide Engineering’s split-back bucket leather seats Custom leather by Old Town Upholstery

Bluetooth speakers Custom leather door panels Custom leather roof paneling

The creation and implementation of the Crimson Beast, is truly and engineering masterpiece, combining knowledge of both classic and modern automobiles. Nothing was left undone on this build and you will not find another one like it unless it was built by Drifters Garage. According to Ron, the easiest part of this entire process was driving it upon final completion! “It’s an absolute joy driving something to have so much speed and power neatly packed. Everything about the Crimson Beast is unique, but the concept of a short bed, step side dually wins.” It didn’t take long for people to stop and notice the work that went into the Crimson Beast. Drifters Garage is already in the process of building two more! We can’t wait to see what Drifters Garage is cooking up for their next diesel swap!


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