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  • 1990 Chevy S-10- Busted Knuckles: First & Last

1990 Chevy S-10- Busted Knuckles: First & Last

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Phil Gordon
Jan 8, 2019
Photographers: Phil Gordon
If you think back to the first car or truck you ever owned, most likely all you have left of it are memories. In a generation when most kids and adults go through vehicles at a rapid pace, it’s refreshing to hear a story about someone who has not only kept that first vehicle but values it above all else. Alan Smith of Lothian, Maryland, received his prized ’90 Chevy S-10 at age 17, when he got his driver’s license. The mini-truck was fresh out of the shop with a shiny, fire engine–red paintjob. Alan’s grandparents had decided Alan would enjoy the pickup for not only his daily transportation to school but also for his work around the family farm.
Photo 2/7   |   1990 Chevy S10 Busted Knuckles First Last Rear View
Alan had grandiose ideas about the Chevy, as most creative-minded 17-year-olds do. “I think I started customizing the way most kids do,” Alan tells Truckin. “I added some wheels, tint, and minor bolt-on accessories.” Alan began going to shows and seeing other custom trucks, and he got a lot more aggressive in his pursuit of creativity. Despite disapproval from his grandparents, he began shaving handles, mirrors, emblems, and the gas door, and had the truck brought to primer, removing the new paintjob.
Photo 3/7   |   1990 Chevy S10 Busted Knuckles First Last Front
The next drastic move went down when he brought the Chevy to his friend Johnny, where the suspension was installed to lower the primered pickup to the ground. Alan, with the help of his friends Brian, Sonny, and Trevor, added the traditional body drop in Brian’s family garage. In order to have a bit more power, the 4.3 was upgraded to a small-block 350. But, after being unimpressed with the upgrade, Alan upgraded to a 383 with a blower from a Chevy Camaro. He and his wife, Lindsey, contributed the wrench time to install the new house-rattling motor.
Photo 4/7   |   1990 Chevy S10 Busted Knuckles First Last Engine
“When I started building this truck, I told my friends I wanted three things,” Alan adds, “a body drop, a big motor, and righthand drive.” With two of three out of the way, Alan was a bit hesitant to begin the righthand-drive modification, but it had to be done to fulfill his “to-do list.” He enlisted his friends Trevor and John from Dead End Kustoms to begin the task of relocating everything to the other side. The problem was making sure the box didn’t flex and getting all the right tie rods and steering ends correct. The motor mounts had to be altered to make it work properly. Because the frame was made out of 2x3, there was extra room.
Photo 5/7   |   1990 Chevy S10 Busted Knuckles First Last Interior
Photo 6/7   |   1990 Chevy S10 Busted Knuckles First Last Bed
Photo 7/7   |   1990 Chevy S10 Busted Knuckles First Last Wheel
Alan still has a ways to go to complete his dream vehicle, but the progress he’s achieved is quite impressive. His grandmother passed about two years ago and never got to see the progress, but his grandfather stated the Chevy was “kinda cool,” which was satisfying for Alan. Alan is thankful for all the support and help over the years, and his motivation shows in every step of his project. His S-10 was the very first vehicle he ever received, and he values it more than anything he could possibly purchase today.

Inside the Build

Year/Make/Model: ’90 Chevy S-10
Owner and City/State: Alan Smith; Lothian, Maryland
Club Affiliation: Abnormal Behavior
Chassis: 2x3 frame, stock front crossmember
Front Suspension: Firestone 2,600-pound airbags, Lowrider Depot upper control arms, 2-inch Belltech drop spindles, Little Larry’s manual valves
Rear Suspension: Firestone 2,600-pound airbags, four-link with bag on top bars, two Viair 480 compressors, 9-gallon tank
Engine: Chevy small-block 383 stroker
Transmission: Turbo 350 3,000-rpm stall
Rearend: 373 gear with disc brakes
Body/Paint: Righthand-drive conversion, firewall relocated, shaved tailgate handle, shaved key holes, full sheetmetal bed with tubs, smoothed front bumper, bed gap closed
Interior: Custom metal dashboard and door panels, sheetmetal floor and transmission tunnel
Wheels & Tires:
Wheels: 20x8.5; KMC Nova
Tires: 225/35ZR20; Nexen
Special Thanks: My grandmother and grandfather; my wife, Lindsey; Mark H; Sonny; Trevor; Pate; Brandon,; John; Justin; Andy; CJ; Fred; Kyle; Ryan W; Kevin; and my Abnormal Behavior family.