Many trucks start life as something far from a show truck. The beater truck needs a rebuild, a new frontend, and some bodywork, so why not fix it up proper? Not so in this case. For Ron Bay of Collinsville, Illinois, his truck is his life. Ron has been an enthusiast for years, and long ago he set his sights on a dream machine. Rather than reworking a workhorse for show, Ron went straight to the showroom and drove away in a brand-new ’97 Chevy S-10. The sole intention of the purchase was a teardown and upgrade for show. That’s right—it’s never hauled any hay, sheetrock, or lawn clippings.

It all started with a set of Belltech drop spindles. After a few weeks of driving, the spindles proved too high, so back to Showcase Custom Automotive the truck went. Showcase slammed the door and told Ron to ignore the banging noise, his truck would be just fine. Weeks later, after the torch cooled, the S-10 emerged from the rack with a C-notch, Belltech 2-inch drop spindles, and airbags all around from Air Ride Technologies. To get the 8/10-drop the S-10 uses 4-inch angle blocks in the rear and a Master Image Customs manual valve setup. All bounces are dampened using Belltech’s Nitro Drop shocks.

With the S-10 on the ground it still needed to undergo some visual changes. Ron knew a factory paint job would never pass muster at a show. One cold morning, Ron woke friend Brett Logson and informed him that he had a project for him. The truck was dressed in stock black and it was Brett’s job for the next few months to turn it yellow. To save on masking tape for the paint job, Ron had the tailgate shaved, the front license frenched, the emblems hacked off, and a blazer grille put on. After some research, Ron couldn’t find the tone of yellow he’d always dreamed of so a custom blend of DuPont was created. Six weeks later, the big shiny beauty rolled out and Ron’s friendship with Brett stood on even better ground. Paint isn’t everything. The next stage in Ron’s journey was an interior change. The column shift was switched with a console model from a blazer. The stock seats were kept, but stripped of the “luxurious” velour. Jeff Hamlin of Woodriver, Illinois, had the painstaking task of making the inside match the outside. For starters, the door panels were stripped and covered in custom sculpted skins. The seats were next, followed by the dash in the series of tweed enhancements. Ron dressed up his cruiser using Empire billet gauge assemblies and faceplates. Tastefully hidden in the console are MIC’s airbag controls and gauges. Having a custom sound system to match was only appropriate. Ron’s S-10 sports an Alpine head unit driving two Alpine amps, four JL 3-ways, and three JL 8-inch subs for a mild output of 500 watts.

After the look-good part of the buildup came the feel-good one. The S-10 needed a bit more pep for trips to the auto shop so an Airaid intake was slapped on. The fully detailed engine compartment was treated to the same care in paint as the outside shell. A few billet chunks here, some chrome there, and purple wire looms set off the engine’s look to further contrast the yellow paint. After some tuning for optimum performance, a set of rims and rubber was chosen to deliver the S-10 to paradise. Mondera Bullet wheels make the ground connection, assisted by Toyo FZ4 225/40R18 tires.

After all was said and done the S-10 was 3 years old and had only logged 12,000 miles, leaving Ron and his ride with plenty of life for the journey to paradise.