1994 Chevrolet S-10 Mini Truck

Suicide's An Alternative

David Brown
Jul 1, 2000
Photographers: Rick Amado, Scott Killeen
Some might say customizing a truck is like a slow death for the vehicle--but not in a negative sense. It's a passing that opens the doors to a new life. The builder becomes a skilled executioner of sorts. One who destroys the old only to pave the way for the new. The entire process is a rebirth. But sometimes it can be futile if no one knows where the project is headed. If there's not even a vague idea of what the truck is to become, it's just a slow death to the bank account. At least that's the way Scott France sees it.
A boom operator in St. Peters, Missouri, Scott knows what hard work is all about. And he knows what making a sport truck is all about. It's always been his hobby, so he knows that personalizing a truck takes a lot of work, and there's no use in wasting time, energy, or money.
From the beginning, Scott kept his perfect vision for the '94 S-10 in focus. He envisioned a body-dropped, suicide-doored, magazine-featured mini that would make everyone happy. It would have the overall look of a hot rod, a street-rod color scheme, and a lowrider stance. His father-in-law, Larry Leach, helped him build it. They guys carefully considered the troubles they might encounter as they worked on their product, but they realized there would be "too many problems to ever get started," so they got started anyway.
The job took shape in three stages over two years. When Scott purchased the truck, he immediately slammed the stance. Then he gave it a few exterior mods and new paint. But it wasn't until he and Larry stripped it down to the frame that the whole picture began to change. The entire chassis, engine, and transmission were painted. The engine room's firewall was shaved of its A/C, heater boxes, and wiring holes. The inner fenders were shaved. Then the entire body was given a 31/2-inch drop. When the bed and cockpit's floors were raised, the two builders wanted to make sure the modification looked clean--and they succeeded. When we saw it, we couldn't even tell that the truck had a body drop by look-ing at the floors, but we wondered how the truck's body appeared so incredibly low and well proportioned. The interior craftsmanship hid any hint of floor work, as did the design of the bed.
Finally, most of the truck's re-creation was complete, but one last, drastic move was in the works: The suicidedoors had to be modified and installed. When the work was started, it was easier than Scott and Larry anticipated. By the end of the process, most aspects of the switch seemed relatively trouble-free. But it was still a slow-going process.
Next, the body was given another color change, and a few fine-tuning sessions ironed everything out. The interior was beautified with Pontiac Fiero seats, dyed tweed, panel sculpturing, and shiny extras like the Billet Special-ties steering wheel. New wheels were slapped on with 4-inch backspacing, and low-profile rubber was applied.
At last, the rebirth was complete.



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