'99 Chevy S-10
Five years is a long time to build a Chevy S-10, even one as nice as this one. Short of the truck being involved in a bad accident, there usually isn't a bunch of restoration work needed before the custom work can begin because these contemporary mini-trucks aren't rust buckets. While Mark Hernandez did have the good fortune of starting with a clean truck, he still spent a lot of time fixing mistakes and changing his mind, which held up the build big time. After two paintjobs, three different sets of wheels, two 'bag jobs, two sets of seats, and three audio systems, his truck still isn't finished but he's learned a lot and is happy at long last.
Mark's journey began at age 14, when he discovered how much fun his older cousin was having cruising his own custom truck. His cousin started letting Mark tag along to truck shows back in '98 and it wasn't long before Mark began lusting for a truck of his own. He immediately latched onto the idea that custom truck ownership was a lifestyle that could yield good times, great friends, and experiences that go way beyond conventional automotive ownership. That lifestyle change was thoroughly ingrained in Mark's psyche, and he spent every waking moment after the purchase of this S-10 dreaming up ways to make it his own.
Like every young guy with cash in his pocket and a new truck, Mark made a few mistakes along the way. He rushed into performing a few of the mods he had swimming in his head and dealt with a few seedy individuals who broke promises and inflicted substandard work on his ride. Mark also changed his mind frequently about the look of his truck because he had little experience behind his ideas. To date, his truck has worn 18-inch KMC Stealth rims, 18-inch Akuzas, and finally 22-inch Cattivos. During the ever-changing rim parade, Mark's truck had to be 'bagged twice and then completely revamped by DND Fabrication to lay frame over even larger wheels. Admittedly, he spent more than necessary and endured a lot of grief to get the stance of this truck correct. But hey, it was a learning experience.
The body of this truck wasn't always so fresh and so clean either. Thanks to a few haters who decided the spankin' new Canary Yellow paintjob was too nice to not be keyed, Mark had to start over just as soon as he began modifying his truck. Luckily, he had Jay's Auto Body in his back pocket and the crew there was probably the most reliable member of the team responsible for the build. Since Jay's had sprayed the original yellow paint, the truck went back to them for an updated two-tone paintjob. Jay Martinez also introduced Mark to Kool Hand Luke, who's pinstriped many of the nicest rides to come out of central California of late. Luke finished off the new paint with two different shades of blue pinstriping, which accents the hood, mirrors, door, B-pillars, tailgate, and step-notch cover.
The audio and video system in this truck is outstanding to say the least, but it too was not an easy project. Tony Paz busted out a mind-numbing bass-heavy install, which Mark changed his mind about several times. The design and fabrication took months, but in the end the sweet sound of Memphis Audio subwoofers and component speakers filled the cab and surrounding space with thunderously clean music. Not to be outdone by the music, Big Daddy's Upholstery two-toned the seats and doors in vinyl and wrapped the headliner in vinyl. Then Mark's friend Chava finished the job by painting most of the interior plastic parts to match the outside of the truck.
Although this is Mark's first truck, he's experienced more with this build than most guys do over the course of two or three. While he's a new member of club Aftermath, he's surely gained a great deal of wisdom over the last five years and still managed to keep a positive outlook regardless of how much drama his truck has caused him. When asked if he'd do it all over again, he responded with a resounding "Yes!" although he said he would change one thing: he'd body-drop the truck to make it really low. We figure that this lifestyle will keep him changing things anyway, and we'd be real surprised if his truck didn't show up next season lying on the rockers with new paint and wheels.