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1985 Chevy S10 - Hip To Be Square

Keepin' It Boxy

John Mata Jr.
Jan 1, 2009
Photographers: John Mata Jr.
Photo 2/10   |   1985 Chevy S10 left Front Angle
The striking razor-sharp lines of the first generation Chevy S-10 have remained fine-edged ever since its '82 debut. As the calendar pages have been flipped well past the S-10's silver anniversary and considering that GM placed the species into retirement, maybe it's about time to consider naming the Chevy square an official classic mini-truck. Too soon? This may very well be, but there is no denying that it definitely has a reservation in the pickup hall of fame.
Others seem to think equally as high of the first generation S-10, specifically Sam Harper III. His sharp two-tone '85 dime, which has claimed more than forty trophies and plaques throughout its show career and is an eight-time winner at the Indy Truck Bash. In fact, we were stopped dead in our tracks by Sam's Chevy while truckin' along on location at the '08 ITB show. With a winning record like that it is no wonder why spectators were hovering around the truck like flies drawn to...well, needless to say, this S-10 was a rather popular attraction over the three-day event.
One reason why so many mini lovers have fallen head over shoelaces for Sam's dime piece is its simplicity. The truck is an absolute knockout and stays true to necessity over gluttony. The Chevy's low, relaxed stance, for instance, is achieved with Belltech 2-inch drop spindles and a Firestone 2,600-pound 'bag at each front corner while two 2,500-pound air springs properly position the rearend. The rear two-link setup has beencovered but not forgotten as it has been sunken underneath the factory bed floor, which has been raised a few inches - one of Sam's personal favorite alterations. Of course, the 21/2-inch body drop made achieving such an incredible, unnoticeable attribute easier to pull off. Sam was able to squeeze a set of 20x8.5-inch Boyd Magneto wheels with front Nitto 235/35/20 and rear 245/35/20 treaded companions underneath the impressive suspension work. Drooling yet?
Photo 6/10   |   1985 Chevy S10 left Side Angle
Just in case you are, grab a hanky and we'll skip the interior for the moment for obvious reasons. Sam drove the truck around for a while before he finally got around to rocking the two-tone paint scheme. The DuPont Prowler Orange and Matrix Andromeda Silver color combo complement each other nicely, giving the truck undeniable appeal. The S-10 received a nice helping of body modifications in the way of shaved fenders, wiper cowl, and a '91 grille shell insert and molded roll pan. Other than that, Sam allowed the truck to speak for itself. And what a tune it carries! Now, if there are no more salivary cases to speak of, it's about that time of the story to take a peek inside the cab.
Upon opening the S-10's doors for closer inspection, it's apparent that Sam had a theme that was exclusive to the inside of his cockpit - flames and skulls. The seats, door panels, center console, steering wheel have all been graced with stiffs and licks of some sort! The paint scheme from the truck's exterior skin was pulled into the cab for the sake of consistency. There are even more cranial creeps and fire to be found on Sam's truck. Look closely and pay attention to the details.
A quick walk to the front of the truck yields an eyeful once the hood is popped open. The front, inner fenders and K&N air cleaner cover complete the S-10's subdued tribute to the occult. Sam had the block of his '91 2.8L engine transplant cleaned and painted to complete the dime's visual charm that is guaranteed from any angle.
And speaking of angles, Sam pulled every string attached to his helpful father and understanding wife, to get his S-10 in pristine condition. Night after night, the missus must have had to sit through bouts of Sam's scheming and plans to pour even more funds into the straight-edged Chevy. Afternoons were spent in the garage with dear old dad as the truck was slowly but surely getting prepared for the '08 show season, which consisted of only the ITB event. Sam definitely knows how to make his presence known.


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