The day I turned 18 was not only the day that I became a legal adult, but it was the day that forever changed my view on trucks. That morning, my mom and stepdad woke me up with a special birthday card containing a set of keys inside. As I realized what the keys were for, I raced downstairs to see what was waiting for me in the garage. Once I had the door open, my eyes locked on this '00 Chevy S-10 that was purchased for my commute to college. From that moment on I have been mesmerized by this truck's beauty and have been obsessed with finding ways to customize it.
When I had a few extra bucks to spend on my truck, I started out like most by adding a cold-air intake and custom exhaust. After some other power-boosting parts were attached to four-cylinder engine, I saved up for the truck's first suspension lowering. At the time, airbags were in the scene, but I thought a 5/6 slam job with 17-inch billet wheels would be good enough for me. That lasted a few months until I realized that I had too much motivation to stop there.
About the time I graduated college with a degree in photography, I was already freelancing for a few truck magazines and saving money to airbag the S-10. Once I had the money, I took the truck to Musso Motorsports for more suspension work. There, Adam Madrigal and Joe Musso attached a KP Components cantilever six-link in the rear and modified the front frame for a set of airbags on all four corners. From that point on, I took some time to concentrate on my photojournalism career while the truck build went on the backburner and received no further modifications.
By working hard in the scene, I landed my current job as feature editor here at Sport Truck. Since we here at the magazine are always doing tech articles on custom body mods, I let the truck get subjected to some sheetmetal work. That's when Devious Customs helped me add some old-school style by molding a '60 Chevy C10 tailgate into the S-10's factory gate. At the same time, the crew made a roll pan and frenched a set of Model A Ford taillights while the factory ones were shaved out. Then, to keep up with the retro flavor, Sir Michaels punched out several louvers in the hood.
After having several parts of the body down to bare metal, I knew the truck had to see a full coating of paint again. It also needed to catch up with the times by way of larger wheels. Because I had become more familiar with the folks at Ekstensive Metalworks and Kustom Werx Autobody, I decided to drive my truck to the Houston area of Texas in order to get this work done. At Extensive, the crew cut it to fit a set of 20-inch Bonspeed Huntingtons equipped with Toyo Proxes 4 tires. The majority of the work was on the front suspension, where custom lower control arms were made, while the firewall and A/C box were modified for tire clearance. Then, the front and rear was finished with a set of wheeltubs to cover all of the cuts made in the body.
With all of the suspension work done, the truck was then dropped off at Kustom Werx for paint. First thing on the to-do list was for Scott Rupp to shave the body clean of the door handles, antenna, third brake light, and cab seams. Then, Brandon Lowe worked the body straight before it was set in sealer primer. Next, it was rolled to the paint booth where James Sexton laid down the factory pewter with gold flake on top. When dry, Pat Maxwell added the custom graphics and pinstriping before the final clearcoats were sprayed on. After the truck was done in paint, I drove it home to SoCal to show it off at a few local shows.
A few months later, I decided to have the interior done with a lot of paint to match it to the exterior. So, the truck hit the road for a return trip to Houston for more custom work. Once again at Kustom Werx, the crew and I gutted the entire interior. Though all I intended to do was paint a few pieces, Justin Berry ended up painting all of the plastics including the pliable dash. Seeing as how there is over 1,500 miles between my home and the paint shop, I had to make sure everything would hold up through time. With Justin's painting experience, I was confident that the paint would hold up and it has.
Bearing in mind that I couldn't paint everything in the interior, I did my best to upgrade what was left. To execute this plan, I sprinkled in some shine with a billet steering wheel, rearview mirror, and window cranks from CFR Performance. Replacing some of the interior knobs with billet versions is an A/C and light switch knob kit from Billetin. Another piece of retro style is the Billet Specialties shifter from an '88-'98 Chevy fullsize that was machined to fit in place and topped with a custom grenade knob. To finish it off, I had Clemente's Auto Upholstery cut down the bench seat and add "tuck and roll" to it and the pads on the door panels.
Because I drive the truck everyday, I had to have a way to stream tunes from my iPod to a good sound system. Getting the music out of the digital media player is an Alpine CDA-9857 head unit. It sends my music to the amplified 6-inch components and 4x6-inch co-axial speakers I got from Rockford Fosgate. Since this is a standard-cab truck there is little to no room for a subwoofer box. However, Rockford Fosgate's Punch Stage-3 loaded shallow enclosure did fit between the seat and the back of the cab, while still being capable of hammering out a nice thump in the low frequencies.
Once everything was done, I drove the truck back home so I could enjoy it on my daily commute. Though most people are afraid to take a full painted vehicle on the road, I am willing to take the risk for the simple reason that I built it to drive. Seeing as how it has been several years since I got the truck, it has racked up some mileage and has gotten more stylish. However, one thing remains: I still drive it.
2.2L four-cylinder engine / CGS Motorsports intake and exhaust / STS Performance power pulleys / Flex-a-Lite electric fan / JET Stage II computer chip / CFR Performance coolant overflow tank / Optima YellowTop battery
BY: Owner / CGS Motorsports, Pomona, California (exhaust)
Front & Rear: 20x8.5 Bonspeed Huntington
Front: 255/30ZR20 Toyo Proxes 4
Rear: 245/35ZR20 Toyo Proxes 4
Front: Custom lower control arms / Slam Specialties RE-7 airbags / custom airbag mounts / Gabriel shocks
Rear: KP Components cantilever six-link with shocks / Slam Specialties RE-7 airbags
Accessories: Devious Customs aluminum fuel cell / two 5-gallon tanks / GC 450 valves / Dakota Digital air gauges / copper hardlines / Viair 480C compressors / Stillen sport brake rotors and metal matrix pads / brake booster from '82-'93 S-10
Chassis: Custom rear step notch
BY: Ekstensive Metalworks, Houston, Texas
Custom S-10 tailgate with '60 Chevrolet C10 tailgate welded in / custom roll pan with frenched Model A Ford taillights / hood louvered by Sir Michaels / GMC Sonoma front clip with '99 GMC Envoy bumper cover / shaved antenna, door handles, third brake light, cab seams, taillights, hood squirters, and wiper cowl / custom wheeltubs in bed and engine compartment / custom notch cover in bed / Gaylord's tonneau cover / Line-X spray-on bedliner / Street Scene signal mirrors / Trenz billet grilles
BY: Owner / Jose Rodriguez at Devious Customs, Riverside, California (tailgate and roll pan) / Scott Rupp and Brandon Lowe at Kustom Werx Autobody, Conroe, Texas (shaving and bodywork)
PPG Pewter with micro sequin gold flake and clearcoat / custom graphics done in custom-mixed PPG / custom-mixed green and purple One Shot for misc. pinstriping
BY: James Sexton at Kustom Werx Autobody / Pat Maxwell at Maxwell Designs, Conroe, Texas (graphics and pinstriping)
All interior plastics smoothed and painted to match exterior / CFR Performance billet rearview mirror, window cranks, steering wheel, and adapter / Nu Image silver-face gauges and needles / Billet Specialties '88-'98 Chevy fullsize billet shifter machined to fit by Dima Wheels / custom chrome grenade shift knob / Billetin Smooth Style A/C knobs and headlight switch knob / AVS billet brass knuckle switch box / Dakota Digital air gauges / Empire Motorsports billet foot pedals / factory bench seat with headrest cut off and covered in "tuck and roll"-style vinyl upholstery / door panel upper pads upholstered in matching vinyl
BY: Owner / Justin Berry at Kustom Werx Autobody (paint) / Celmente's Auto Upholstery, Houston, Texas / dash pinstriped by Tom McWeeney
Alpine CDA-9857 / Rockford Fosgate Dead Skin sound-deadening material / Power 4x6-inch 4-ohm two-way speakers / Power 6.5-inch two-way component system speakers / Power 400-watt four-channel amplifier for speakers / Punch Loaded P3L-S10 sub enclosure with P3 10-inch shallow subwoofer / Power 600-watt two-channel amplifier for subwoofer
BY: Chris Caldwell and Rocky Fox at Chaotic Rods & Customs, Conroe, Texas
I was so excited about this truck when I first got it that I photographed it several times
When I came up with the idea for the tailgate, I didn't know if it was going to look good
Making room for the 20s was no picnic because there were so many things that had to be mov
Kustom Werx did the truck justice by doing all of the topnotch shaving, bodyworking, and p
Pat Maxwell layed out fine line tape to outline the flames.
Mom and stepdad Brian Storey for the original truck, Dad, stepmom Janet Aguilar, wife Annette Aguilar, Cory Scott, Brandon Lowe, Scott Rupp, Jonathan Rascoe, Ryan Ruffin, Bill Carlton, Eric Rankins, Derek Kruse, Ron McDee, Chris Caldwell, Rocky Fox, Alfredo Diaz, Jeff Davy, Courtney Halowell, Pat Maxwell, Bill Hancock, Jeff Jones, Zach Luke, Casey Scranton, Jose Rodriguez, Jay Larossa, Darryl Tracy, James Sexton, Adam Madrigal, Joe Musso, Mike Sclimenti, John McFarland, Steve Platt, and everyone at Sport Truck