"I learned a lot building...
"I learned a lot building this truck, and the biggest lesson was... deadlines blow!" -Justin Welch
In the world of custom trucks, dragging doesn't always mean hauling ass down the quarter-mile or between stoplights. For custom-truck junkies, it also means layin' your truck on the ground, whether it be at 5 or 50 mph. That was the intent of Justin Welch when he decided to build his '01 Chevy S-10-to be able to drag it.
Instead of modifying the stock frame, Justin started out by stripping the truck all of the way down to the frame, throwing it away, and completely starting over. For the last four years, he has worked for Scott's Hot Rod in Oxnard, California, learning everything from frame building to final assembly, and this project put his knowledge to the test. He needed to build a frame to include an airbag suspension system that would allow him to raise the crossmembers and gas tank to lay rockers over a big set of wheels. He used 2x4-inch box tubing for the framerails and 1-5/8-inch round stock for the crossmember, tranny mount, and rear bridge. In the front, he built a custom front crossmember and control arms with a set Slam's HE-6 'bags to give the truck enough lift to clear the wheels. The rear got the same treatment with a four-link rear suspension with Slam 'bags that drop the S-10 frame to the ground, front and rear. Once the body was also dropped 4 inches over the frame, the S-10 could now sit on its sheetmetal. To finish off the low stance, Justin added a set of Bonspeed 20- and 22-inch wheels, wrapped by a set of Michelin tires, which tuck nicely in the S-10's wheelwells.
Now that the rolling chassis was off to be powdercoated, he could turn his attention to the outer skin of the S-10. Justin and his friend, Severy Blake, got to work shaving the cab seams, door and tailgate handles, rear cab vent, third brake light, firewall, back of the cab, inside and outside of the bed floor, along with molding in a rear roll pan. Once the body was nice and straight, Doug Friedman in Ventura, California, covered the entire truck in House of Kolor Planetary Green. The front of the truck features a smoothed, painted bumper and factory air dam, while the hood was exchanged with a forced induction unit that covers a nicely detailed, six-cylinder engine.
Inside, the cab needed to look as good as the rest of the truck. So, Justin decided that a suede interior would fit right into the grand scheme of things. The stock bench was stripped down, and the headrests were removed and re-covered in forest-green suede with dark-green metallic vinyl piping. The door panels received the same treatment, while the dash was sent out and covered in paint. Also, the instrument cluster bezel was wrapped in dark-green metallic vinyl. The head unit is an Eclipse 7-inch touch-screen with DVD capabilities. In the doors is a set of Arc Audio 6.5-inch mids, with the tweeters replacing the air vents, and behind the front seats is a custom fiberglass speaker enclosure that houses two 12-inch Arc Audio subwoofers and two amplifiers.
Justin busted ass for three months straight, including nights and weekends, to get this truck done to make it to the SEMA Show. He would like to thank his parents, his patient wife, Lindsey, Justin at Scott's Hot Rod, as well as everyone who participated in the buildup.