In order to bring you the very best trucks on the scene, we visit a great number of shows during the year, and there always seems to be at least one truck that catches us out of the corner of our eye. Like a friend who just shaved off his goatee, you try not to stare too impolitely while you try to figure out what subtle difference now sets him apart. In the case of Rod Strawderman of Alexandria, Virginia's '95 S-Dime, it is not the fact that it is wearing often-forgotten white paint, or even the stand-out graphics, but rather the 1-1/2-inch chop to its cab that gives it a profile that is a little bit sleeker than the S-10 next to it. Rod picked up this S-10 for $12,000 in 1995, and nearly 10 years and more than $26,000 later, has built this killer S-10, which can be seen showing off its stuff at car shows throughout the Southeast, such as Showfest in Greenville, Mississippi, where we caught up with Rod for this shoot.
As with all projects, they have to start somewhere, so Rod began his S-10 project by installing a Belltech 3-inch drop spindle and nitrogen shocks. The rear of the truck features KP Components' six-link cantilever spring setup, and the rear was bridge-notched. Next, he added an airlift system, which gives the S-10 an altitude adjustment at the flip of a switch. Holding the P225/40R18 BFGoodrich g-Force tires are four 18x8-inch Billet Specialties billet wheels. The whole package gives Rod a good ride on the road and good looks when aired down at a show.
Under the hood, the engine compartment was dressed up with a custom shroud that matches the interior and the bed. The 2.2L four-banger breathes easy, thanks to a Hotshot chrome intake and a Gibson 2-1/2-inch exhaust.
Most of Rod's customization efforts were directed toward the body of his 1995. With all of the unnecessary accoutrements shaved off for that oh-so-clean look, including tailgate handle, antenna, wipers, squirters, and third brake light, J&J Custom Motorsports of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, gave some life to the S-10 with a splash of paint. Rod chose a conservative White DuPont basecoat with a hint of classy Blue Pearl mixed in for a delicate glow. On top of the base, J&J applied a smattering of color in a wild graphic, which stretches from the hood and front wheelwells, wrapping through the door frames to the rear. As if the untamed colors were somehow not enough, Emen Heiser's Auto Body of Red Lion, Pennsylvania, cut off the roof and reinstalled it at a hat-squishing 1-1/2 inches lower than stock, giving Rod's S-10 a low and long appearance. Capping off the bed is a Stockland lid with integrated spoiler that covers the ultra-clean box.
Next, Rod ditched the stock interior, in favor of a navy-blue and white tweed, upholstered by Don Elkins Upholstery in Fairfax, Virginia. The front buckets are from Flofit seats, and the headliner eschews the stock tweed for white cuddle fur - more often found on the heads of Troll dolls. A canvas sunroof allows the sun's rays reflect down on the billet accents by Billet & Acrylic Fantasies and a Billet Specialties steering wheel, giving the interior some sparkle.