Although Tom Glass is in his late 40s, he likes to have fun and drive mini-trucks as if he's still in his 20s. He admits most of the guys he knows that are his age aren't as actively involved in their hobbies as he is, let alone have custom trucks in their garages. Despite his peers' relative lack of enthusiasm, Tom is fully into the scene and has no qualms about owning a low and clean show truck. In case you were wondering, Tom is not going through a mid-life crisis. In fact, he's been customizing vehicles since he was a kid.
Tom's father was a really big do-it-yourselfer, and it's from him that Tom picked up the skills to wrench. Tom started off working on trucks and eventually went on to a career in the automotive field-at first on the mechanical side and later on in retail parts sales. He gained years of experience in the industry, so when a good friend asked him to help with the start-up of an audio shop he was well up to the task.
As a way to help promote the upstart shop, Tom set up booths at and attended many auto shows. At these shows, Tom met Alan "Farva" Jackson, who owned an audio-heavy '00 Chevy S-10. It caught Tom's attention for two reasons: First, he loves mini-trucks. Second, it sported the same audio equipment he was selling. The latter really piqued his interest in that he envisioned the truck as a mobile showroom of Memphis Car Audio equipment. All that gear was mounted in custom fiberglass panels, and the interior's center console boasted nine amplifiers for the excess of speakers in the cab and subwoofers mounted in a blow-though enclosure.
It wasn't just the Chevy's interior that caught Tom's eye (and ear)-the truck had clean exterior features as well. The first thing he noticed was the frame-scraping stance achieved with a set of airbags on all four corners along with drop spindles up front and a triangulated four-link in the rear. The body itself was also transformed with a GMC Envoy front end and a cleanly shaved bed. The factory pewter color was painted Viper Blue to distinguish the vehicle as custom.
When Tom first saw the truck, Farva had just recently swapped out the original four-cylinder engine for a 4.3L V-6 from an S-10 Xtreme. Though the kinks involved in this swap hadn't yet been worked out, Farva needed to sell the S-10 in order to fund his "Blazerado" project. Tom opted to buy the truck and get it back to optimum operating condition. The deal was perfect for him because not only would he get to own a clean show truck, he would also have a great marketing platform for the audio shop.
Once Tom had the keys, he got the S-10 running smoothly by changing the rearend gears to a set of 3.23s. One kink unkinked. Another kink was that the truck tended to shut down at highway speeds. Tom figured out that all he needed to do was change the speed sensor on the transmission for a proper match. After fixing these driving issues, Tom added a few performance parts to give the 4.3L more kick. Then, it was finished with steel-braided hoses and a billet dress-up kit.
With everything fixed up, Tom now drives this truck to all shows within a couple hundred miles of his hometown. It does well as it's an all-around clean truck with a gnarly sound system. It just goes to show that you're never too old to own a nice ride.