This is a great-looking sport truck. The builder managed to successfully combine at least three different car-building traditions in his beautiful and superbly executed '84 S-10 Blazer. You can see the musclecar influence with the bubble hood and polished small-block. The frame-dragging, wheel-inhaling street stance is all about the new-school custom look. And the interior is totally influenced by current street-rod styling trends.
We have to give Dan Russell credit. This Selden, New York-based sport truck builder has a great sense of style. We featured his wife's custom '72 Chevy in our Jan. '04 issue ("She 20s"), featuring a high-quality build and eclectic styling choices to give the classic truck a fresh street style. And we're more impressed that he's able to repeat it with his Blazer. Here's how he did it.
The first thing Dan had to do is get the chassis right. The Drop Shop in Bellport, New York, back-halved the truck's frame to set up the CCE nitrogen-charged hydraulic accumulators and the notch to clear the rear axle. The shop also installed the Pete & Jake's triangulated four-link to control the rear axle. To drop the nose, the crew used a combination of CCE hydraulic accumulators and Trail Master 2-inch drop spindles. The guys also installed a pair of chromed CCE pumps and pump heads, hard-lined the hydraulic system to fixed points, then ran stainless braided to allow for suspension motion. After that, the crew set it down on 18x7-inch Billet Specialties wheels and 215/35R18 Nitto tires. The shop also installed a 20-gallon Triangle Engineering fuel cell.
After the chassis work was done, Dan got busy on the body. He had Big Al do the 4-1/2-inch body drop, then Dan took over shaving the door handles, antenna, body line, roof rack, and side mirrors. He also smoothed the cowl, removed one wiper, and installed the roll pan. He added a fiberglass hood and billet grille, as well as fitting a Toyota front bumper. He prepped the surface - he says it took "lots of blocking to get it smooth" - before dropping it off at Class Act Collision in Selden for the Acura Algerian Blue paint.
Dan and his wife designed and handbuilt most of the interior. The extensive fiberglass work on the console and amp rack is impressive and pro-quality. The only structures Dan didn't build were the sub enclosures, which were built by Main Street Stereo. The killer stereo system uses a Pioneer source with MA Audio amps, subs, and separates. Dan also had Main Street Stereo stitch up the interior in camel-hued leather and carpeting. Leather was selected for the Fiero seats, door panels, headliner, and Billet Specialties steering wheel; he used carpeting on the floor and lower portion of the doors.
To finish this piece, Dan installed a slightly warmed-up Chevy Mouse motor, which he detailed in classic hot-rod style. He painted the block and polished the aluminum intake and valve covers, installed a few key chrome accessories, and finished it with stainless braided line.
It's not often we see such a complete build. Everything is done and done well. It's got great street presence, exceptional craftsmanship throughout, and even though Dan prefers to drag frame instead of drag racing, he says he's had it up to 130 mph. This is a build quality that we should all aspire to.