One of my favorite memories with my grandfather is driving around on his blueberry farm in Woodbine, GA. He kept a pond on the property stocked with catfish and bream, and during the summer we would load the truck up with cane poles and sit for hours catching dinner. I'm beyond blessed to own that truck today, and to be able to remember him and our times together whenever I climb inside.
The truck has come a long way though. Although GM's legendary 4.3L V6 has kept it running without issue for 25 years, the paint and trim didn't hold up. After re-painting the truck the stock white, I began by working to replace all of the chrome trim with OEM matte black pieces. The front bumper was replaced with a slimmer design, and the rear was deleted so that a roll-pan could simplify the exterior.
For the majority of the time I've owned the truck I've struggled with which direction I wanted to go. I've alway been a huge fan of OEM+ builds, and tend to always err on the conservative side, especially with my Honda. That being said, I have a huge crush on the '80s and '90s Japanese shakotan and drift cultures, but don't have a car with which to pursue those whims. One day I was browsing for S10 parts however, and discovered the S10 Baja edition. This special edition, available on 4WD examples, featured a two-tone paint job and black trim. The similarity to the legendary 80's AE86s popularized by Initial D was staggering and I knew I had a plan.
After a two-tone makeover (exacerbated by a Line-X install gone wrong), I quickly decided that the Pontiac GTA Mesh wheels were a must. They bolt up directly to the S10 and recall vibes of vintage SSR and Epsilon mesh wheels of the eighties. The 235/70/16 BF Goodrich A/Ts were my only choice. The solid white letters are classic, and belong on every classic American car.
My interior has become one of my favorite parts of the entire process. I decided to keep the truck's maroon interior, mostly because it is such a reminder of a very particular era of automotive design. The seats and door panels were recovered in material from a Pendleton Woolen Mills blanket by Shadburn's Upholstery in Macon. I was actually astounded at how well it matched the Chevy maroon. The steering wheel was a fun find. It is a Sport Line, an Italian company, but was sourced and imported from Japan. It is mounted with an NRG quick release, which serves as an affordable security measure against any of the more nefarious characters that love compact trucks as much as I do.
Enthusiasts never want to admit that a project is done, but I think I think I'm just about done with the S10. I still need to address the failing stock radio and speakers, and the allure of the ubiquitous S10 V8 swap is always on the back burner, but I'm not necessarily in a rush for either. As it sits, it's functional as a pick-up, could pass as an OEM special edition, and has enough weird out-of-place details to satiate my '80s Japanese style crush. I believe its a reflection of myself, but its also still close enough to the same truck I climbed in as a child to ensure that it'll be with me forever. Here's to another 25 years of great memories.