I recall in high school the cool kids were more defined by what they drove than anything else. At best, we were lucky to see a father’s hot rod when he was out of town. It was inevitable that we all wrecked our first truck. I had an ’88 Suburban that went down in a hail of flying sheetmetal and almost took me with it. When Shayne King showed us what a determined teenager could produce from an almost scrapped truck, we were impressed. Shayne’s ’94 S-10 is on its second wreck rebuild and has been brought back from ashes in the best of ways.

The now pristine truck has had its share of accidental modifications. Shayne purchased the truck as a total-loss vehicle. The previous owner decided to see firsthand the effects of rolling a truck. Damage entailed replacing the top half of the cab and numerous panel-beatings. After many late nights, the body repair was complete and the truck was put back to its stock colors. Shayne and his father, Dickey, then lowered the pickup for cool kid appeal. Only three weeks later, a Chevrolet sandwich was made, virtually destroying all the bodywork and suspension modifications that had been done. The repair bill entailed a new bed, a new door, a replacement front clip, and all new suspension.

So why go to all the trouble of rebuilding a twice-demolished pickup? The answer is simple—the energy and determination of youth. Shayne made a Phoenix of the truck, “because I wanted it to look like all the custom-painted Harleys that came out of my dad’s shop.” Dickey King owns a custom body shop that specializes in flames on go-fast Harleys. As such, it was an absolute necessity that the truck’s rebirth be accompanied by a killer flame job.

Shayne and his dad started twisting wrenches and removing sheetmetal for the repair. A large number of new components replaced the mangled metal and allowed for quick installation of custom parts. It’s real easy to access the suspension with the bed removed and front clip piled in the corner. Up front new bushings and tie rods control a set of Belltech lowering spindles that bring the bird 2 inches closer to earth. Using Belltech springs coupled to Toxic Shocks created an additional 2-inch drop. The rear axle was flipped on blocks and brought down 4 inches, complemented by new Belltech leaves that lowered the altitude a total of 6 inches.

With suspension modifications complete, the replacement sheetmetal was bolted on. Body modifications were kept to a minimum. Sir Michael’s supplied a roll pan to be welded in the tail. A custom front bumper from GM was added to smooth out the front. With some filling and sanding, the S-10 was ready for the final step in its rebirth.

Dickey King is a master of flames in his neck of the woods. The truck was prepped for fire with a coat of PPG Prowler Purple. The tribal look was decided on and the truck taped off accordingly. Dickey applied House of Kolor’s Ultra Orange Pearl for flames. Following up on Dickey’s work was Mark Peters pinstriping detail. To finish the flames, all of the paint was lightly sanded and House of Kolor’s Flo-Clear topcoat was applied.

A roll pan from Sir Michael’s finishes the tail. The Phoenix relies on Billet Specialties 17-inch rims for flight. A custom tribal flame job graces the hood and body. We’d never guess this truck was wrapped around a telephone pole three months earlier.

Finishing out the S-10 is a set of Billet Specialties GT53 17-inch rims. The stock drivetrain spins a set of Falken 235/45R17s by way of a limited slip Posi-traction rearend. Except for a Flowmaster exhaust, the mechanics in motion remain factory. Plans include a booming stereo, Euro lighting, and a full hard bedcover. Three months of hard work has pulled a truck from the ashes to rise as a Phoenix.