So Fresh, And …So Kleen: 2000 Chevy S-10

There’s a lot to be said for going wild with a custom build and making sure that people take notice. But then there’s the other side of the “wild” card, where subtlety takes the place of “in-your-face.” Now, granted, a bodydropped S-10 isn’t the most subtle thing in the world, but compared to a truck with bright tribal graphics and 30-inch wheels, well, you get the picture. Oh, there are tons of mods besides the bodydrop on this 2000 Chevy S-10, but they’re the type that make you study the truck carefully, which are honestly our favorite kind. And, apparently, that’s Brian Conrad’s favorite kind, too. 

This truck has been a long journey for Brian, taking over 14 years to complete. But when you consider that Brian is an automotive painter by trade, it’s easy to understand how the S-10 was continuously put on the back burner over the years. Similar to that saying about the cobbler’s children not having any shoes, automotive painters tend to not have painted rides due to all the time they spend on customer vehicles.

Of course, life threw other obstacles into the mix over the years as well.

“Over the years I slowly lost my mother due to her heart, and she was the one who always had faith in me reaching a dream like this,” Brian says. “I married my wonderful wife, we bought our first home, and had two beautiful children together, Mila and Drayke.”

Aside from losing his mother, life was generally positive, but it was also busy!

Time to Get to Work

Well, Brian wanted to finally take the time to finish the truck over the past couple of years, so he buckled down and got to work. But that didn’t mean rushing things just to get them done. Instead, he kept the “quality” dial pegged at 11 to match the rest of the work he had already accomplished.

I wanted to show my abilities and to test them as well, apparently. I really just wanted a simple, clean, classy truck from top to bottom, inside and out 

The chassis was meticulously painted and detailed after the bodydrop and air-ride mods were done by Matt Gyles at Haggard Fab, which is insane considering that only the step notch, rear airbag setup, and axle are visible in the bed, which is also extensively modded. Aside from the frenched De Ville taillights, there’s also the sheetmetal bed floor, one-off CNC-machined bed floor strips, molded Cali combo tailgate/roll pan, and stamped ’54 Chevy pickup tailgate panel at the front of the bed. Oh, there’s even more going on with the bed, but you’ll have to check out the pics and the Tech Specs, because we’re running out of room to type it all out!

So why would Brian go through all of the trouble to modify parts of the truck that would never be seen?

“I wanted to show my abilities and to test them as well, apparently,” he says. “I really just wanted a simple, clean, classy truck from top to bottom, inside and out.”

He has obviously accomplished that in spades, and we can’t think of any better color to show off his skills than the House of Kolor Apple Red Kandy he chose to adorn the silky smooth body panels.

You may have noticed that Brian’s S-10 also wears an Xtreme model grille and valance, and that’s because this truck is, in fact, an Xtreme model, minus most of the body kit! He carefully created the low-profile valance by grafting together the Xtreme unit with a normal S-10 valance, and he went even further by extending the factory Xtreme fender flares to meet the bottoms of the fenders and bedsides! Who does something crazy like that? Uh, Brian, that’s who.

Understated Interior

He also kept things understated with the interior, opting to paint the interior panels black instead of red, and swapping the original dash for one from a 2003 Blazer. The seats were also changed out for 2004 Cavalier buckets, which were upholstered with faux leather and suede by Brad Wurzbacher at Stitcht Interiors. A few strategic pieces of billet here and there, a Billet Specialties GTX-01 steering wheel, and a Pioneer head unit with Memphis Audio amp and speakers finish off the main list of custom additions.

We have to say, we think most people would have given up and sold off their projects after such a long time, but Brian’s determination to see his S-10 reach the finish line is admirable and inspiring.

“Life can really test you at times,” he says. “Overcoming some of those obstacles was tough when it kept my main focus away from the truck.”

It also gave him another set of moneymaking skills, as this was the first vehicle that Brian had ever built from bare frame to finished and driving.

So the next time you walk into the garage and stare at that pile of parts that’s been collecting dust, think of Brian, give yourself some grace, and get back to work!



Brian Conrad

2000 Chevy S-10

Chassis & Suspension

Center section of frame replaced for stock floor bodydrop
Front frame clip Z’d
Reshaped upper control arm mount
3×3-inch frame rails
Boxed and notched back half
Custom rear frame bridge for air-ride mounts
Tubular upper and lower control arms
Lowrider Depot triangulated 4-link
Slam Specialties RE-7 airbags front and rear
KYB color-matched rear shocks
Viair 480C air compressors
5-gallon air tank
3/8-inch air valves and air lines
Frame transitions smoothed to appear seamless
All stock frame sections shaved, smoothed, and metal-finished
Frame painted and clear-coated
Little Shop MFG. rear disc brake kit
PowerStop drilled and slotted rotors front and rear
Stock brake master cylinder with first-gen JM5 booster
All custom stainless steel hard and flex lines
Sectioned factory fuel tank

Wheels & Tires

20×8.5 and 22×10 Raceline Charger wheels
245/30/ZR20 & 285/25ZR22 Lexani LX-Twenty tires

Engine & Drivetrain

Chevy 4.3L V-6 engine, resealed and upgraded to MPFI
Black Bear Performance Inc. ECU tune
Energy Suspension engine mounts
Engine rewired and wires tucked/hidden
High volume oil pump
Edelbrock Elite valve covers
Billet reservoir caps
Billet Specialties thermostat housing
High torque starter
Lokar 12-inch dipstick
Modified intake plenum with stainless steel hardware
MSD ignition and wires w/Blaster coil
Weiand aluminum water pump
Pacesetter headers
Flex-A-Lite dual 12-inch electric fans and shroud
Stainless steel radiator hoses
Modified K&N air intake
March Performance pulleys (mid-mount) amp single-wire alternator
AC Delco power steering pump
Custom 2.5-inch exhaust, completely heat-wrapped
GM 4L60-E transmission
Energy Suspension transmission mount

Body & Paint

Painted House of Kolor Apple Red Kandy
Sectioned and customized S-10 Xtreme front valance
Lengthened S-10 Xtreme fender flares
Floor channeled 3/8 inch for frame clearance
Sheetmetal transmission and driveshaft tunnel
Tubbed and shaved firewall
Shaved washer nozzles, wiper cowl, antenna, door handles, taillights, fuel door, and Xtreme side skirts
Matt Hotch pop-up fuel filler on bedrail
Cali combo tailgate/roll pan skin molded to bed
Sheetmetal inner bed panels and floor w/1954 Chevy pickup tailgate section at front
CNC-machined billet bed floor strips

Interior & Stereo

Billet Specialties GTX-01 steering wheel
US Speedo stainless steel gauge face overlay
2004 Chevy Cavalier bucket seats, reupholstered with faux leather and suede
2003 Chevy Blazer dashboard
Door panels upholstered with faux leather and suede
ACC carpet kit, heated and reshaped due to floor modifications
All interior lights converted to red or white LEDs
GMC Envoy interior door handles
Billet third door handle
Battery relocated to third seat compartment with remote posts on firewall
Optima Red Top battery
Sniper FabWorks stainless steel battery box
All interior plastic painted black and clear-coated with Alsa Soft Fee
Billet Specialties shifter
Billet Specialties passenger grab bar
Billet and acrylic dash grab bar
Billet dash defrost vents
Perforated stainless steel dash vent inserts
1955 Chevy dash script on passenger side dash
Seatbelts re-webbed with black belts
Sound deadening throughout cab
RetroSound hideaway antenna
Boom Mat speaker baffles in dash and doors
Pioneer AVH-2330NEX 7-inch head unit w/CarPlay
Memphis Audio 4×6-inch and 6.5-inch M-Class speakers
Memphis Audio M3 12” subwoofer
Memphis Audio 16-MCD1000 amplifier
Memphis Audio speaker grilles grafted into door panels

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