Once, when a guy with the last name Darwin traveled to a chain of islands called the Galapagos, he noticed that between each island there were many of the same-looking animals, yet each one was just slightly different, or as he deemed them, "evolved." If you've traveled to a few truck shows throughout the U.S., you've probably noticed a similar trend - minus that whole animal part. Over the years, trucks have evolved from static drops with 15-inch wheels to adjustable suspensions with huge wheels - add in a body drop and full custom frame and you truly have a whole new animal.
Brad Speir has watched the way S-10s have evolved since he purchased his truck back in 1997. In fact, keeping up with the trends and figuring out exactly how he wanted to build his ride were the hardest parts. Fortunately for Brad, his father's background in building custom rods helped adapt each project to new trends and kept everything up-to-date.
The father-and-son duo started on the truck by cleaning up the exterior. A complete shave job smoothed out the driprails, third brake light, wiper cowl, antenna, door handles, side mirrors, and taillights, and the entire rear of the truck was molded as one. To update the front, the grille, lights, and bumper were removed and replaced with '00 Envoy components.
To get the truck to sit flat on the ground and tuck 22-inch Lexani wheels in each fenderwell, a few things needed to be modified: Up front, DJM 2-inch drop spindles and AIM control arms were used along with Slam Specialties 'bags. The truck was body-dropped to the pinch moldings, which were then flushed in to fill the gap. Out back, a Corvette independent rear suspension setup was adapted between the custom rear framerails. The only remaining stock piece from the IRS was the housing. Each of the axleshafts were custom-made, and a set of Firestone 9000 tapered 'bags was used to control the height. The Corvette IRS was mated through a custom driveshaft to a 2,500-rpm converter and a TCI Performance 350 tranny. Beneath the hood sits the 4.3L V-6 that's been dressed up with chrome as well as a set of Edelbrock headers and a 1-1/2-inch custom-bent exhaust.
When it came time for paint, Brad knew he wanted something that would stand out at the shows. Maxwell of Texas designed the multilayered paint scheme that would eventually make its way onto the truck. House of Kolor Planet Green was sprayed as a base over the entire truck, and then the graphics were taped off one layer at a time. Lime Gold, Organic Green, and Navy Blue Kandies as well as Tangelo Orange and Pearl stretched their way across Brad's S-10 canvas and hide within a bone yard of skulls that run from the front wheelwells to the tailgate, where they eventually meet. The exterior wasn't the only metal covered with the green tones: The entire frame and undercarriage as well as the interior were sprayed green to match.
Within the cab of the truck sits a mixture of green and blue accented with billet brightwork from Billet and Acrylic Fantasies. The stock seats were cut down and covered using blue-ostrich material, and the carpet was replaced with matching blue tweed. Brad and his father then created a custom center console and reworked the door panels so the interior would flow together seamlessly. Finally, a 40x38-inch hole was measured out and a Street Beat ragtop was installed.