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1999 Custom Chevy S10 - Smooth Blue Sky

This '99 S-10 Has All The Right Curves

Harley Camilleri
Jan 1, 2006
Photographers: Dan Ward
Photo 2/12   |   Unassumingly dumped on 22s and laying rocker, this S-10 doesn't appear to have much going on until you get up close and personal with it.
Let's face it, S-10s are a dime a dozen (pardon the pun). So, when we find one we like that has some stand-out modifications done to it, we jump for joy. But, that's not to say there aren't some killer mini Bow Ties running around the show circuit. After seeing so many, it all becomes a blur of shaved door handles, 20-inch wheels, and body drops. So, what's special about Rico Rodriguez's '99 S-10? Everything and nothing. Call it simplicity, pure and simple.
Underneath the Chevy shell is a fully modified frame. Starting with the front suspension, Mike Gonzalez and Jerry Sweeny of Hollywood, Florida, blew everything apart and made way for the installation of Belltech 2-inch drop spindles and Firestone 'bags. Under the bed, the entire frame was boxed with a C-notch to accommodate a TCI triangulated four-link and another pair of Firestone's double-bellow rubber springs. The entire air system is run with 3/8-inch stainless hard line, actuated by an engine-driven compressor from the stock 2.2L four-cylinder. Two 5-gallon air reserve tanks are molded into the bed floor for visual impact. A set of 22-inch chrome Status Legend wheels rolls all the way around, with Pirelli 245/30ZR22 shoes in front and 265/35ZR22s bringing up the rear.
Photo 3/12   |   1999 Custom Chevy S10 right Rear Angle
With the frame laid hard on the tarmac and rocking 22-inch wheels, attention was turned to the body. And the attention was focused around the very large gap between the ground and the rockers' pinch weld. Mike Gonzalez was called upon to attend to the necessary cutting and welding required to set the entire body down 3-1/4 inches onto the tarmac. Task completed, the S-10 was off to Mad Mods in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, for the rest of the planned bodywork. Once there, it was shave on. No longer on the body are the antenna, hood squirters, rain gutters, door and tailgate handles, fuel-filler door, taillights, third brake light, and rear bumper.
Photo 4/12   |   Airbag suspension, a 3-1/4-inch body drop, and big 22-inch Status rollers combine for a super-clean stance.
In place of the rear bumper is a roll pan, but instead of the usual LED light treatment in the pan, Rico sourced a '69 Camaro for its rear bumper and modified it to fit. For icing on the cake, LED taillights were slit stealth-like into the crease of the Camaro's bumper steel. To clear the engine, the hood was cut and pasted into a cowl-induction piece and then louvers were stamped into its skin. What will really grab your attention, though, is the baby's-butt smooth inner bed treatment. This truck's hauling days are far behind. Once the sheetmetal work was completed Mad Mods laid down one of Lamborghini's blue hues, before Joe Williams, also of Ft. Lauderdale, pinstriped the tailgate and hood, by hand. Finishing touches include a 35x35-inch Street Beat ragtop and clear corner lights in the billet-equipped factory grille shell.
Photo 5/12   |   Let the Florida sun shine in.
Things inside the truck were just as customized as the exterior but still kept fun and exciting. Ken's Upholstery in Cape Canaveral, Florida, cut down the seats before covering them with gray leather hides and black suede luxury. The black luxury also encompasses the headliner and door panels. Black was the chosen color of carpet for the floor, as well. Spicing up the clean door panels are one-off acrylic armrest/door pulls with barbwire from Acrylic Concepts running inside them. Austin Weiss built the crazy metal shifter, and the smooth, painted dash panel features additional Joe Williams pinstriping. No stereo, no A/C, and no problems. A Billet Specialties Chicayne steering wheel tops the stock steering column.
Photo 6/12   |   1999 Custom Chevy S10 bed Detail
From the humble beginnings of a factory-equipped S-10, this custom arose. Rico is thankful for his Aftermath crew, since he had to be driven everywhere for two years while this custom, his only vehicle, was being worked on. With the understanding of his wife, Danielle, and the backing of friends like Mike Gonzalez, Jerry Sweeny, Seth Paton, the crew at Mad Mods, and Shawn and Scott at Status Wheels, Rico has for himself one over-the-top, but understated, Chevy S-10. It has everything and nothing, pure and simple.


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