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1985 GMC S-15 Extra Cab - SmoothSled

A First-Generation Built by Several Generations

John O' Neill
Sep 1, 2004
Photographers: John O' Neill
Photo 2/13   |   1985 GMC S 15 Extra Cab Front Driver Side View
In many families, as the love of custom vehicles gets passed down from generation to generation, it goes through gradual changes. While Grandpa may have a perfectly restored '57 F-100 and Dad may have a lowered '67 shortbed, when the time comes for Junior to get his first truck, he wants it to be 'bagged, body-dropped, and shaved clean. This story is all too familiar to Justin Smith and his father Howard.
Photo 3/13   |   1985 GMC S 15 Extra Cab Rear Passenger Side View
When the time came for Justin to get his very first vehicle, he knew that he wanted a 'bagged truck that would be fun to cruise around his hometown of Webster, Florida. After a quick flip through the classifieds, the father-and-son team found an '85 GMC Extra Cab that was in relatively good shape and aching to get cut up.
To get the truck to sit on the ground, there were a few suspension upgrades as well as a body drop that would be needed. Howard and his fellow crewmates at LA Kustoms in Bushnell, Florida, started by performing a 3-3/4-inch stock-floor body drop on the cab and created new mounting points for the bed to match. Up front, the stock spindles were removed and replaced with DJM 2-inch drop spindles. Behind them, a set of Firestone 'bags was mounted in the spring pockets and plumbed with 1/2-inch line, while out back, a two-link was used in conjunction with a set of Firestone 'bags to lay the truck out. Each of the wheelwells was then filled with 18-inch Enkei AKA wheels shod in Nitto rubber.
Photo 4/13   |   1985 GMC S 15 Extra Cab Moonroof Overhead View
Once the truck was ready to drag, LA Kustoms focused its attention on smoothing out the exterior of the truck. The door handles were shaved along with the gas tank and antenna. A 2-1/2-inch cowl-induction hood was bolted to the hinges up front, and a set of Street Scene mirrors was attached to each side. To clean up the bed of the truck, the tailgate was welded shut, the handle was shaved, and the taillights were deleted. Using 16-gauge steel, the entire tub of the bed was smoothed out and a set of LEDs was frenched into the top of the tailgate for braking and turns. Finally, the roof was measured and cut to allow a 35x35-inch Street Beat sliding ragtop to be installed.
Photo 8/13   |   1985 GMC S 15 Extra Cab Door Trim View
The next step was choosing a paint scheme for Justin's truck. He wanted something that would draw attention without being overly busy. House of Kolor's Tangelo Pearl was chosen and sprayed over each of the body panels once the truck was primered and blocked. After the paint had been cleared and baked, a 19-bar phantom billet grille was installed up front along with a freshly chromed bumper.Together, Justin and his father tackled the interior of the truck so it would match the rest of the build.
Photo 9/13   |   1985 GMC S 15 Extra Cab Rear Interior Space View
The stock seats were pulled out and a tan carpet kit was laid down as a base. Next, a set of newly upholstered Recaro buckets was bolted in the driver and passenger position and a custom center console was placed between them. Within the center console, a 5.6-inch Icon monitor was mounted along with the gauges and switches for the 'bags. A set of white face gauges was placed behind a freshly painted dash, then accented with a billet shifter as well as a billet steering wheel.
Photo 10/13   |   Eighteen-inch Enkei AKA wheels andNitto rubber are set at all four corners.
Behind the seats, a custom sub enclosure was built and stuffed with two 10-inch MTX subs. On the floor below the subs, a set of MTX 280-watt amps was bolted into place along with a PlayStation 2, which provides the video signal for the monitor. Heading up the tunes department is an Alpine CD player that was installed within the dash and wired to a set of Polk separates. The door panels were covered in tweed with cheetah inserts and accented with some paint to match the rest of the truck.
It's always refreshing to come across a first-generation Dime that has been built to today's standards. With the help of his dad and the crew at LA Kustoms as well as a helping hand from Linda's Upholstery on the seats, Justin was able to drag away a super-clean, super-smooth truck.


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