1994 Chevrolet S-10 Custom Truck

During the 1950s and 1960s, the Kustom Kar scene in Southern California was in its heyday. Guys like Sam Barris, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, Von Dutch, and Gene Winfield were customizing and modifying cars in extreme new ways. With chopped roofs, shaved trim and smoothed sheet metal work, these customized cars came to be known as “lead sleds.” A favorite vehicle of choice in the scene was the 1949-1951 Mercury coupe.

What these builders would do is combine parts from different cars in order to make a truly unique creation. For example, a Kustom Kar might use a Ford grille and headlight trim rings, a Lincoln bumper, Cadillac taillights, and side mirrors from a Buick. Smooth chrome hubcaps and “lake pipe” side exhausts are other design elements common with these cars.

This is what a proper kustom build looks like. 1951 Kaiser

While the idea of building a “parts bin” hot rod has been around for decades, you don’t really see this happening with modern cars.

Perhaps there is just too much plastic or the labor involved is too intense, but people don’t really swap mirrors, door handles, taillights, and other parts on cars these days. That’s what makes this truck so interesting.

This truck appeared for sale on our local craigslist about two months ago. As you can tell, it looks very different from a conventional S-10 pickup. There has been a ton of body work done to this truck, with every panel modified in some way.

According to the listing, this truck has the HID headlights from a 2011 GMC Sierra with a custom front grille. The front bumper and hood are from a Ford Ranger Edge pickup. The side view mirrors are from a Suzuki Hayabusa sport bike!

Moving to the rear of the truck, the bed is also highly customized. A fleetside bed was turned into a dually-style bed, and taillights from a Chevrolet Colorado pickup were swapped over. The tailgate and rollpan have all been shaved and smoothed into one big seamless piece. The whole thing is riding on a set of 20-inch IROC style wheels, similar to what would have come on a third-gen Camaro but larger than the O.E. size.

Finally, we move to the interior which features the seats, dashboard, and center console from an Acura Integra. The listing states that the gauges are hooked up and that it has working air conditioning with a brand new compressor.

I’ve got to say that looking at the pictures of this truck confuses my brain. The headlights and bed make it look like a full-size truck, but it’s not. The cab and the taillights are both from a compact pickup, and the interior doesn’t look like it would be in a truck at all.

I’m really kind of wondering what kind of person would build this truck. It must be someone with access to a lot of late-model parts, who maybe works at an auto salvage or recycling center?

The idea of combining parts from Chevrolet, GMC, Ford, and Acura into one vehicle sounds like it just wouldn’t work at all, but somehow this person has pulled it off. In Phoenix, there is no shortage of lifted and Pre-runner/baja style trucks that never ever leave the pavement. This truck is truly original, and it doesn’t look like everything else out there.

 

Where Have All The Small Trucks Gone?

Above is a picture from my parents old Thunderbird sometime in the late 80’s, early 90’s. It’s just a random picture from somewhere in California during a trip. Notice anything? How about the three small pickup trucks? When i was growing up these things were everywhere and I simply do not understand why they have gone away. Continue reading

1st Gen Chevrolet S10 5th Wheel Trailer Setup

The less than pleasant GM rep at the 2012 SEMA show informed us that the LT1 name was back, again, for heritage reasons only.  That’s an acceptable answer, I guess, I don’t quite understand why but I’ll let it slide.  There are definitely better names to bring back, like, I don’t know.. the fucking Iron Duke.  If there were an american version of the hammer and sickle that’s what you would envision upon hearing its name, regardless of actual performance specs or reliability.

Also, I found this S10 5th wheel setup, which hopefully has a tired 350 under the hood.

Fuck Crossin Over To Them (S10 Blazer)

Believe it or not but there used to be small trucks, with a frame and everything, like this S10 Blazer I spotted the other day.  Now, I understand that the ‘need’ isn’t really there anymore but I miss seeing them around.  pretty much everything out there now is based off of a family sedan, which seems odd for a ‘truck’.

Crossovers are basically cars that sit too high with a hatch and worse mileage.  I’m not saying to sell your Fusion Edge or Altima Murano to rush out and buy a beat up old S10, what I’m trying to say is that if you keep mindlessly buying this shit they will keep making it.  Maybe I’m too old, or out of the loop, or I just simply do not get it (or all three).  Do people buy them to sit up higher and feel more confident?  I drive a 4 door car that is neither lifted nor lowered, I can see traffic around me just fine and I’m willing to bet it would do just as well offroad.  I’m having a hard time seeing the benefits of a crossover vs a normal car.

So you want a car that kind of reminds you of sitting in a small truck?  Is it one of those too cool for school things? You don’t want to be seen in a mini van so you choose to drive a what is essentially a mini van without sliding doors hoping that no one will notice?  The world may never know.  Then again, why were people buying S10 blazers?  Who knows?   At least they were capable when they needed to be though.

You are the reason they don’t make wagons anymore, and I’ve been on a wagon kick lately.. asshole.
Oh yeah, the S10 Blazer.. I didn’t crawl under it to have a look at what’s doing under the hood.  I know that I sure wouldn’t want someone crawling under my car while I was in the store, so I can’t confirm that there’s a small block sitting under the hood.  However, It’s safe to assume that there is and has been one there for probably 15 years, 6 years after they bought those wheels.  This truck is so close to looking right, I hope they fix some of what they messed up in the (obviously) 90’s.

Sentra GT-R

I’m pretty thrown by this. I’ve been researching the history of the Nissan Sentra for about an hour now and I didn’t really expect to find any “GTR” trim levels. Well, there never was one, obviously. I knew that even if there was a GTR, it certainly wouldn’t have been so, well, …garishly appointed, but I thought maybe this body kit was somehow “inspired” by some sort of real model somewhere. There was a Sentra GTS that was released only in the Philippines, but from what I’ve seen of it, the package didn’t include any kind of uncomfortably vague Subaru inspired body kit/ground clearance package. Also, “R” is not the same letter as “S”.

Then there’s the fact that it wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense to name your top of the line supercar after a trim level of one of your most underwhelming cars of all time. It’s bad for your image. The opposite also holds true. I mean, imagine if Chevy were to put out one of the best cars anybody had ever made, and then a couple years later pumped out an S10 with an identical, but numerically higher model designation than the Corv- …um…hypothetical car. People would think they were smoking crack and everyone would stop buying American cars and everything would turn front wheel drive and all the cars will look like soulless plastic lumps of plastic coal on plastic wheels.  Just imagine.