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Naysayers Beware: This Is for Real

Dan Ward
May 13, 2005
Photographers: Dan Ward
Photo 2/15   |   2001 Chevrolet S10 front Side View
You hear that? The sound of an even-firing V-6 with a blower whine, air exiting the 'bags at each corner, and the boom of bass coming from the custom center console? I am no different than you. I love trucks, horsepower, and proving people wrong. What was once a dream is now a reality and proof that a good-ol' boy from Georgia can design and help build some sick jive.
Purchased new in August 2001, my S-10 started life boring, slow, and, worse, stock. Thanks to the talented crew at Buck Wild Customs, in Covina, California, exterior appearances are a tad bit different than the stock Victory Red coat. Applied by the oh-too-humble Buck Martinez, House of Kolor Black, Orion Silver, and Blue Blood Red flames now adorn the S-10's skin. Bob Iverson took care of pinstriping the truck front to back and every stroke of his brush added a trendsetting flair. Looks were streamlined thanks to Street Scene's front bumper, mirrors, wiper cowl, and Speed Grilles. An aggressive Cervini's hood drapes the front end, and the Sir Michael's custom roll pan cleans up the rear. Pro Car Parts lighting makes the road easier to see and has the judges adding style points at the shows. To protect the entire front end, Joe at House of Tints, in Irvine, California, wrapped the truck with Clear Shield's invisible bra.
Within the shaved doors is an interior that I still can't get over. Before anything inside was touched, I had a steering wheel cover, a carbon-fiber stick-on dash kit, and stock bench seat. Now the truck pimps a Budnik billet steering wheel with LeCarra billet adapter, Empire Motorsports billet everywhere, and awesome Qualitex seats supplied by J.C. Whitney. Buck Wild's Andrew Babbish skillfully smoothed the entire dash and then painted it House of Kolor black. Keeping an eye on every engine vital sign is made easy thanks to the Matrix triple A-pillar pod housing Auto Meter's boost and fuel pressure gauges and an AEM UEGO controller. Andrew from Buck Wild also smoothed the door panels and, with Buck's help, incorporated the two-tone graphic inside the cab. Da' Shop, in Los Angeles, used Katzkin Suedezkin material for the stunning suede-covered seats, door pulls, kick panels, headliner, and visors. Without Da' Shop's owner, Albert, the interior just wouldn't be the same.
All of this eye candy is quickly drowned out by the tunes from the Pioneer system and Rosen video entertainment. Alex Keast, from the Orange, California, Al and Ed's Autosound built the entire audio system from bare sheets of wood. Built to my exact arm dimensions and shifting patterns, the center console houses two 10-inch Pioneer subs powered by four Pioneer amps located behind the seats. Alex also created trick speaker grilles covering the four Pioneer 6 1/2-inch coaxials and the sweet mount for the Pioneer AVIC-N1. Each piece of the audio puzzle was again masterfully sprayed by the team at Buck Wild Customs.
Needing two monitors installed pronto, the truck was delivered to Joe at Audio Innovations. With a smile on his face, Joe built a custom suede-covered mount for the Rosen 7-inch monitor and installed the Necvox 15.3-inch monitor under the Sprint lid with matching gray carpet. This extensive install took one day, and was so well done, it looks like it came factory. Keeping the system powered is a Powermaster alternator and three Optima batteries housed in killer billet brackets from Pro Precision billet. All audio and charging components were wired with huge 1/0-gauge StreetWires power cables.
I like to go fast, and I have the driving record to prove it. Therefore, horsepower was a given. Like bolt-ons? Under the hood lies a 4.3L V-6 force-fed by an AEM Brute force intake that sends air to a polished Vortech supercharger with a 9-psi pulley. Atomization occurs thanks to an AEM fuel pressure regulator with Beru Silverstone spark plugs sparked from Nology Hot Wires and a Nology Pro Fire coil and Crane Cams Hi-6R ignition. Computer programming is handled by a Fast Chips programmed ECU and spent gases exit JBA headers and dual MagnaFlow mufflers. A Flex-a-lite dual electric fan off of a 1-ton Chevy keeps the strained engine cool and also frees up parasitic loss for the blower. In case the situation calls for a quick getaway, a pop of the glovebox reveals the Venom VCN-2000 brain box, and with the push of a button, 50 extra horsepower turns the Unitrax 3:42 gears with Detroit Truetrac posi unit.
Bustin' through the gears is easy with the B&M short-throw shifter and Centerforce Dual Friction clutch. It took persuasion from all sides to convince me to 'bag the truck; I just loved the way the S-10 sat on the Belltech 5/5 lowering kit installed by CTL Motorsports. However, after Tony from Air Ride Technologies convinced me that the truck would handle even better with the RoadGrater kit and Strong Arms, I caved and said, "Let's do it." Contacting Cary from IF Customs in Sylmar, California, we discussed what I was looking for and arranged an install. Two days later, Cary, Fonzie, Cracker, and Phil transformed the mini rig into a dumped show truck for sure. Air Ride Tech gear is second to none, and with their new E-ride and Ride Pro kit, I can drop the truck or raise it with my key fob. Sick. IF Customs could put a Yugo on its frame.
Last but not least, no self-respecting truck owner wants to tuck little billets. Fortunately, Budnik saved me from disgrace. Manufacturing a rear set of 20x8.5-inch M5 wheels a week before SEMA, the S-10 was laying frame. Those precious rear Budnik billets are shod in Dunlop SP 9000 tires measuring 255/35ZR20. Up front, the 18x8-inch Budnik M5 wheels are wrapped in 225/35ZR18 Dunlop SP 9000 tires. Baer 13-inch brakes are exposed inside the front wheels and bring the truck to a halt race car style. Performed by Unitrax in Anaheim, a Baer 12-inch rear disc conversion ensures no need for disc simulators.
Every time I jump in the truck, I just can't stop smiling. But I'm doing my best to look tough throwing sparks and doing burnouts. Dream truck, for me, yes. Dream job, for me, definitely. Vindication, without question. A special thanks to Manny, Alex, Kenny, Buck, Andrew, Randy, Bob, Alan, Dave, Ross, Ramses, Tu, Cary, Cracker, Fonzie, Phil, Heather, James, Steve, Greg, Lawson, Tyler, Tanya, Kevin, Casey, Chan, Hal, Nic, Steve, Billy Ray, Buck, Will, Michael, Sheldon, Devin, Lyle, Jaed, Michelle, Eric, Terra, Tony, Albert, Cyndie, Allan, Phil, Sue, Layla, Porter, and Kristine. Big H and Havasu, thanks for the help while I was going crazy with the camera.
Photo 15/15   |   2001 Chevrolet S10 front Side View
Who says a cover truck can't pitch sideways in a full-on drift?


Auto Meter
Sycamore, IL 60178
Fife, WA 98424
Audio Innovations
Glendora, CA 91740
House Of Kolor
Garland, TX
MagnaFlow Performance Exhaust
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
Street Scene Equipment
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Hawthorne, CA 90250
Pioneer Electronics
Long Beach, CA 90810
Baer Brakes
Phoenix, AZ
JC Whitney
La Salle, IL
Centerforce Clutches
Prescott, AZ 86301
Vortech Superchargers
Oxnard, CA 93033
Auto Loc
Portland, OR 97214
Anaheim, CA 92806
Detroit Locker
Madison Heights, MI
(800) 328-3850
Katzkin Leather Interiors
Pro Car Parts
San Diego,, CA
Venom Performance
Stanton, CA 90680
Al & Ed's Autosound
Ontario, CA 91764
IF Custom
Bed Rug
Budnik Billet Wheels
CTL Motorsports
Da' Shopp
DEI Electronics
Empire Motorsports
PP Billet
Ride Tech
Rosen Entertainment
SGV Choppers
Covina, CA 91723


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