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1997 Chevy S10 - Navigational Cool

Going New Places In an S-10

Mike Finnegan
Jan 1, 2003
Photographers: Mike Finnegan
Photo 2/6   |   1997 Chevrolet S10 Navigational Cool left Side View
A while back, several staff members of this magazine and a few others who call this office home were discussing the state of the custom-truck world. The question we all tried to answer was: What single event or thing helped push the custom-truck industry to such dizzying heights in terms of sales and owner enthusiasm? One editor mused that the '88-'98 fullsize Chevy pickup was the major force behind the custom-truck explosion over the last two decades. While this was probably the most viable answer given, we at MT also felt that the '94-to-present Chevrolet S-10 platform also played a very important roll in the mainstream success of this business. This has been both good and bad for those of us who earn our living covering custom-truck shows and events. The reasons for this are fairly obvious. The S-10 is a great-looking truck straight from the factory, and it has turned into the single most-often customized mini-truck in the world. That's a bold statement, but when you walk the showgrounds at any event, the number of custom S-Dimes far outnumber other pickup makes and models present.
Photo 3/6   |   1997 Chevrolet S10 Navigational Cool suicide Doors
So we are faced with covering a multitude of events each show season where we are bombarded with all types of customized S-10s. Unfortunately, sometimes they all begin to look the same, until you find one such as Mike Butry's '97 Extended Cab model. We were stopped dead in our tracks this summer at the Carlisle All Truck Nationals as we happened upon this freshly finished mini, which was blingin' a Lincoln Navigator front end. The logistics of such a mod baffled us. The Navigator is a fullsize SUV, making the front sheetmetal much wider than the S-10s. That single mod was enough to warrant a photo shoot of Mike's truck. It could have been painted camouflage with a set of 12-inch lawn tractor wheels on it and we still would have fallen all over ourselves to shoot it. OK, maybe not, but Mike's mini has once again proven to us that there are still new custom possibilities for the most popular mini around.
Photo 4/6   |   1997 Chevrolet S10 Navigational Cool tailgate
The Lowdown
Saylor's Shop laid the framerails of Mike's mini on the ground by installing DJM lowered control arms and a pair Firestone 2500 'bags in the front suspension. The rear framerails were notched so the truck would lay out, and another pair of 'bags was added for suspension adjustability. The air system is controlled via 1/2-inch valves for speedy lifts and dumps.
18x8-inch chrome Polo rims are wrapped in 225/35ZR18 Kuhmo tires.
Photo 5/6   |   1997 Chevrolet S10 Navigational Cool truck Bed
Body Mods
Saylor's Shop worked overtime on this S-10, performing suicide doors and a Lincoln Navigator front-end swap. The swap was completed by transplanting the grille shell, headlights, and front bumper of the Navigator onto the S-10. The hard part was grafting one-quarter of the Navigator front fenders onto the fenders of the S-10. Out back, the rear end was shaved with clear LED lights taking up the duties of the taillights. A roll pan was also molded in. The list of shaved items includes the door handles, fuel filler door, windshield squirter holes, third brake light, and the tailgate.
Custom Paint
The PPG Turquoise paint was expertly sprayed at Saylor's Shop in Meshoppen, Pennsylvania.
Photo 6/6   |   1997 Chevrolet S10 Navigational Cool engine
Summit Station of Hanover, Pennsylvania, hooked this truck's interior up. The glovebox has been shaved along with the dash and door panels. The bucket seats are from a '95 Toyota Celica and everything is covered in miles of aqua and white vinyl.
Audio System
Mike installed a Panasonic DF-600U head unit that serves up his favorite frequencies to Alpine, Sony, and JL Audio component speakers and subwoofers.
The motor is basically stock with the exception of a Sportruck Specialties air intake and a Flowmaster exhaust system. Owner's Quote "I want to thank Jason Saylor, Mikey, Sipp, M.P., Truck Center, Lil' Dave, and Broke Brother Customs. Showin' the East Coast what's up!"


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