Blood, Sweat & Gears

February 15th, 2010

Evolution of Style

ST-1003-GEARS-leadOwner
Troy Gudgel
1994 Chevrolet S-10
Champaign, IL
Relaxed Atmosphere

Evolution of Style

ST-1003-GEARS-leadOwner
Troy Gudgel
1994 Chevrolet S-10
Champaign, IL
Relaxed Atmosphere

Twenty-three-year-old Troy Gudgel has been churning out some high quality hot rod and truck builds from his shop BBT Fabrications in Champaign, Illinois. Like most in-demand shops, however, the owner’s projects tend to take longer to be finished than customer rides. This long term building method can help a truck evolve as skills and knowledge develop. Troy’s S-10 started its life much milder than the current state it is in with a simple ‘bag job and some body mods. Troy developed his metalworking skills on the truck and it has developed along with the shop into the innovative mini that it is today.

As Troy tears apart and rebuilds his formerly mild S-10 during late nights and after hours on the weekends, he spends his days fabricating and building custom trucks and hot rods at his shop BBT Fabrications. It is not uncommon to see a hand-built ’34 roadster tricked out with one-off components and a sleek look next to a body-dropped Ranger or Expedition with a fully fabricated frame. It is this blending of styles that has shone through in his S-10 into one cool, retro package that is sure to push the envelope of mini-trucks when it debuts. First was to redo the frame with a complete back half and a parallel 4-link and a Watts link keeping the rearend in line. A full set of Ridetech control arms was used up front in conjunction with BellTech drop spindles attached to custom 20-inch Centerline Smoothie wheels. Troy, having seen David Neal’s clean custom yellow and white C-10 featured a few months ago here in Street Trucks, gained inspiration to add some retro class to the smooth billets. He machined a custom center cap reminiscent of old ‘50s hubcaps to attach to the wheels.

This same retro fashion continues throughout the sheet metal of the S-10, with a splash of muscle car here, full-size Chevy there, and a dash (literally) from an Impala in between, and a custom wood bed floor. A Silverado front bumper was sectioned and mounted to the S-10 with custom brackets, but frenched into that bumper is a ’67 Camaro front bar. The roll pan out back houses a ’69 Camaro to match. Classic door handles were also saved from a ’69 Camaro and installed on the smoothed out doors. On the inside, a ’59 Impala dash was trimmed down to fit. A matching cluster hump was welded onto the passenger side of the dash for symmetry after it was shaved smooth of all of the Harley-Earl-inspired chrome trim and knobs. A steering wheel from a 1966 Chevelle tops things off. Once the truck leaves the paint booth, Ross over at Sinister Stitch Werks will get his scissors on some hides to finish of the interior. Troy hopes to have it ready for the next show season, but of course, like most shop projects, a high volume of customers might push it to the back burner. Regardless, we cannot wait to see it finished thanks to all of the cool retro tricks that the crew at BBT Fabrications have done so far.

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