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1998 Chevy S10 - Learning Curve

An Education With Low Expectations

John Mata Jr.
Jun 1, 2009
Photographers: Brandan Gillogly
Photo 2/8   |   1998 Chevy S10 right Front Angle
One thing Felix Gomez, from Richmond, Texas, knows for sure is that it doesn't pay to skimp on costs or cut corners while building a legitimate custom truck. Rushing into modifications or following flavor-of-the-month trends are also two paths that can lead to more work, poor results, and possibly more out-of-pocket expense if a job needs to be done multiple times. "Measure twice and cut once" is always a great motto to follow and Felix must have been paying close attention since he got exactly what he wanted the first time around-a clean and respectable, reflector collecting S-10.
To help Felix achieve his goals, Solo Customs in Houston, Texas, tore into the '98 Chevy Dime and prepared its frame and suspension for a hearty helping of airbags and all the fixings. A 31/2-inch body drop was first on the agenda, since being one of the lowest minitrucks around was a prerequisite for Felix's vision to be a successful one. Custom fabricating a set of upper control arms was also a necessity since being stuck without air conditioning in Texas is simply a form of torture no one should have to endure, especially those only millimeters away from the searing streets. Belltech 2-inch drop spindles have also been recruited to assist in removing a few more inches from the S-10's stock stance. A few frame modifications were needed in order to ensure the safety of a few of the truck's vital organs, namely the gas tank, which had to have its crossmember notched. A set of customary step notches also had to be welded into place after the frame was cut just above the rear axle which ensures an ample amount of clearance for a drop of this magnitude.
With his truck now laying out on Boyd Coddington wheels and BF Goodrich tires, it was time for Felix to work on the S-10's ability to make a lasting first impression. The door and tailgate handles, hood squirters, gas door, and all brake lights were lathered up and shaved clean from the Chevy's mug. Selecting the right paint scheme is a daunting task, let alone hiring a quality painter but Felix had no problems with that one bit - Juan Martinez and Pat Reed from MKW in Friendswood, Texas, sprayed a flaming hot combo of DuPont Shadow Blue Metallic, Almond Gold, and Tangerine Orange. Retro licks will never go out of style and neither will the clean little body-dropped trucks that adorn them.
The deep blue paint isn't exclusive to the exterior, however, as Felix removed and sanded the dash bezel, A/C vents, door panels, and a few other parts to prep them for a shiny coat of DuPont goodness. The stock 60/40 seats were chopped into low back buckets and treated to tan tweed and leather inserts. Although the S-10 has a handsome interior, any respectable custom truck should have a deafening sound system to go along with it. Luckily, Felix understands this better than anybody. A Pioneer head unit controls the interior sounds. Kenwood supplies the mids and highs while Kicker subs handle the lower frequencies. Memphis Audio amplifiers were selected and wired up to the speakers for crisp and clear sounds that capture attention from around the corner.
Speaking of capturing attention, you may be wondering just what exactly is lurking underneath the S-10's hood. Friends, you are looking at a stock 2.2L, which isn't super quick by any stretch of the imagination, but it has been polished up nicely with a few performance goodies such as a K&N cold air intake, Flowmaster exhaust system, MSD ignition, and an Optima red top cell. This four-banger may not win too many races, but it sure is easy on the eyes!
With this his second S-series build (the first being a '92 S-10 Blazer), Felix made sure to take good notes and follow them meticulously. Being a truck club president, Felix felt it extremely important to lead by example and his Grounded crew must be proud to see his project finally completed. Felix would like to extend a special thanks to his wife, Grounded club brothers, Juan Martinez at MKW, Mario at Low Kustoms, and Insane Racing for all the support.


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