Running a high-profile automotive aftermarket parts company is a fast-paced, stress-packed endeavor. Such a gig requires dedication, focus, and the willingness to pull long hours to ensure product orders keep coming. Mike Spagnola, owner and operator of Street Scene Equipment in Costa Mesa, California, is in fifth gear work mode 24/7, navigating the business' direction and working with the SSE team to develop new products for the demanding custom sport truck market. As a customized truck and performance sports car enthusiast, Mike pours his gear-grabbing, tire-blazing personality into every Street Scene part that pops from the mold and ships out of the warehouse. Street Scene Equipment specializes in custom body enhancement products, with an emphasis on aerodynamics and bold styling. Over the last few years, the company has successfully built a number of top-notch rides to show off their wares. The latest slammed and detailed show rides to exit the Street Scene stable are the '04 Chevy Colorado and matching '96 Chevy S-10 featured here.
SSE has a vast line of products for the '94-'03 Chevy S-10 pickups, and when the design team at GM decided to end the S-10's 21-year heritage with the '03 models, the SSE crew swallowed hard and prepared for what was next. Luckily, Chevy came threw with the sleek and stylish Colorado, and as soon as Mike caught a glimpse of one, it was all over. Now all he had to do was start designing.
In addition to being a full-throttle business man, Mike's also a family guy. The father of three kids, he naturally wanted to pass down his passion for custom rides, and when his oldest son AJ turned 15, the hunt for a project they could tackle together began. To make a strong visual impact Mike, decided to make AJ's first ride match the Colorado for a strong representation of old and new. Armed with a duet of concept drawings from Mike Rinaldi at Rinaldi Designs in Pasadena, California, the buildup madness began.
Starting with its body-styling expertise, Street Scene bored ahead with the Colorado's exterior makeover. SSE tooled up and mounted custom urethane side skirts, a tailgate wing, a custom rear roll pan, Cal-Vu forward- and rear-facing signal mirrors, a tailgate handle relocator, a smooth wiper cowl, and aluminum speed grille inserts to the Colorado's exterior. To offer customers different fascia looks, Mike had both a Generation 1 Street Scene bumper with driving lights and a Generation 2 SS-style bumper built for the nose of Chevy's latest pride. Behind the Street Scene custom roll pan is a Street Scene hidden hitch accessible through the SSE flip-up license plate kit.
Tasked with enhancing the Colorado's stance, the slam specialists at Belltech prototyped a 3/4-inch drop kit to get the truck a little closer to Mother Earth while maintaining drivability. Since Mike wanted to keep the truck fashioned in the traditional sport truck flair, a bolt-on suspension drop was perfect for his aggressive driving style. Planted at all four corners are Boyd Coddington 20x8.5-inch Smoothie spools cushioned by Toyo Proxes P255/45R20 rubber. Stainless Steel Brakes Corporation front and rear disc conversions bring the whole slammed and stunning package to a firm halt.
Mike had a Gibson exhaust system mounted up to expel the inline-five's fury, while a K&N intake pulls air into the operating cycle. An Optima battery cranks the Bow Tie's mill with ease and stands up to the power demands of the elaborate audio system.
Enter Kyle "K-Daddy" Gann of K-Daddy Kustoms in Bakersfield, California, who pulled off the subtle look Mike was going for perfectly by using a DuPont Hot Hues Silva base, K-Daddy's Kaib Night topped the look off with some traditional striping laid down in bright and popping House of Kolor Lime Green. Simple, smooth, effective, and distinctive characterize the truck's new face, and with a good portion of the project completed, the interior was next to receive some custom style.
Peering inside the cab reveals a pair of Street Scene SSR Street Seats and a matching center console that give the cockpit a race-style theme. Miscellaneous dash plastics and door panel trim were squirted with silver by Lance Laverty of Faded Kolors to carry the high-tech silver finish inside. American Stitches in Mesquite, Texas, hooked up the stock steering wheel with a custom wrap to match the seating surfaces, while Phoenix Imaging, also in Mesquite, fabbed up a custom dash kit. Billet Superstore in Anaheim, California, applied the inside trim spice and bolted the custom seats in position.
Master Audio craftsman Joe Provenzano and his crew from Audio Innovations in Glendora, California, hooked up the Colorado with a system that makes any fortunate pilot want to hit replay. "Hot For Teacher" and "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" never sounded so good! Mega bass comes from a Lightning Audio Strike Series S4.10.4 10-inch single voice coil subwoofer, which is fed firing power from a Lightning Audio S2.800.4 amplifier. The subwoofer booms in a down-firing position inside a custom Audio Innovations box and is complemented by Lightning Audio Strike Series S2.65 C 6.5-inch components rocking in the doors. Sitting at the command center of the system is a Rockford Fosgate RAV DVD2 AM/FM, DVD, and TV tuner head unit. Audio Innovations covered the 3/4-inch MDF in color-matching vinyl and highlighted the box with Street Glow neon for aesthetic appeal.
With the Colorado customized inside, outside, and underneath, the time came for AJ's truck to get the red carpet treatment and go from stocker to shocker. Mike made it clear to AJ when he purchased the high-mileage '96 standard cab S-series that he would be willing to help him every step of the way with the buildup, but he had to earn it. Simply put, this teenager was not going to be handed the keys to a head-turning custom without some good old-fashioned hard work.
First on the list of custom priorities was the suspension, and after refurbishing the front end with fresh bushings from Energy Suspension, a Belltech 3/4-inch drop kit was slung underneath to establish the Bow Tie's cruising altitude. All of the underpinnings went back together with black powdercoating from High Tech Coatings in Santa Ana, California. Capping off the suspension in traditional hot rod flavor are 18x8-inch front and 20x10-inch rear Boyd Coddington Smoothie wheels wrapped with Toyo Proxes P245/40ZR18 front and P275/30ZR20 rear. Sitting pretty behind the Boyd rollers are Stainless Steel Brake Corporation's binders with a rear disc conversion out back for optimum stopping power.
With the suspension stance in check and a fresh set of big and little billets on fresh rubber, Mike and AJ tore the original '96 front end off the truck (it was smashed anyway) and replaced it with a '98-'04 front end, complete with Street Scene upper and lower brushed aluminum Speed Grille inserts, a chrome Bow Tie, and a Generation 3 bumper cover with driving lights and a matching Speed Grille insert. Moving from front to rear, the father and son team smoothed off the Bow Tie's side profile with a pair of Street Scene Cal-Vu Signal Mirrors, smooth wiper cowl, and side skirts. Bringing the style in around back is a Street Scene Holey Rollie-style roll pan with the tips from the Gibson exhaust system poking through. Crowning the sensational pan is a shaved tailgate fit with a Street Scene handle relocator kit. A Street Scene hidden hitch is mounted behind the roll pan for those days when Mike and AJ want to load up their dirt bikes and head for the desert.
Since the body upgrades were already handled, the truck was delivered to Kyle at K-Daddy Kustoms where the once-battered Bow Tie got the hot rod touch. After Kyle and his crew spent time ironing out the wrinkles, a fresh coat of DuPont Hot Hues Silva was laid down and topped with some traditional striping on the hood and tailgate.
Now that the suspension, body, and paint were in check, some style was brought to the interior with off-the-hook threads and sounds. Once again, Audio Innovations came to the rescue and hooked up the S-10's interior with brain-rattling mobile entertainment and eye-popping interior enhancements. They installed a Rockford Fosgate RAV DVD2 AM/FM in-dash DVD/TV tuner sending audio signals to a Rockford Fosgate Punch P4004 amplifier, which lights up a Rockford Fosgate P2 Punch Series 10-inch subwoofer. The sub was mounted in a black, vinyl-wrapped Audio Innovations enclosure positioned behind the passenger seat. Lending a balance to all the bone-shaking bass are Rockford Fosgate FNQ3614 Fanatic Q Series 6.5-inch mids and highs placed in the door panels.On the fabric side of the custom equation, Audio Innovations added red suede to the black Street Scene seats to match the smoothed, red suede and vinyl-covered door panels. A red suede headliner, red cab plastics, and a smoothed dash covered with red and silver paint done by Lance Laverty of Faded Kolors and Theresa Contreras of L&G Custom Paint round out the wild inside. For a few more grins, AJ tossed in some billet spice here and there and an American Stitches revamped steering wheel thanks to Colby McGehee at Billet Superstore. A Nu-Image gauge panel helps AJ keep a watchful eye on engine vitals.
Completing both projects put two more amazing Street Scene customs on the road and strengthened a father and son bond. If only all custom truck stories were this cool.