True Dedication to the Mini-Truck Movement
THERE’S THAT OLD SAYING THAT IF YOU WAIT LONG ENOUGH, A TREND WILL COME BACK IN STYLE. In Brandon and Sherrie Johnson’s case, that’s exactly what happened.
Back in the day, Chevy S-10s were everywhere, used mostly as a light utility vehicle doing everything from landscaping to pool cleaning. A certain group of enthusiasts, however, always saw these “dimes” as more than a service truck or glorified grocery getter. In a mini-trucker’s eyes, the S-10 was a blank canvas for wild paint jobs, custom wheels and a host of other cool custom options that would make theirs stand out in a crowd.
Brandon has had an addiction for these small Chevys ever since high school. Twenty years ago, he bought this S-10 o a used car lot in some secret location. (We asked him where it was, but he refused to tell us—not even after we o ered him bribes that ranged from a coupon from the Dollar General store to a free ice cream from Dairy Queen. That’s true dedication to the mini-truck movement.) Anyway, once Brandon bought the S-10, he didn’t waste any time in turning the little truck into a rolling piece of art.
Since owning it, this Chevy has gone through several changes. Once it was lowrider-styled, complete with marble paint and 13×7-inch Supreme wire wheels. Those days are long gone, and Brandon now sports staggered Centerline smoothies, 18×8 up front and 20×9 in the rear. So, he’s offcially back with a vengeance and ready to bust this mini out to the fans of Street Trucks.
Let’s back up a moment and give some background on Brandon. A multi-talented individual who used to belong to a lowrider club in Wichita, Kansas, Brandon also paints aircrafts for living and does custom paint on cars, trucks and motorcycles on the weekends. Being a body man and custom painter, Brandon had no problem in turning an otherwise plain Jane mini-truck into what you see on these pages—starting with bodywork, and lots of it.
Brandon first shaved the door handles, third brake light, and shaved and smoothed the firewall and tailgate. He added Cando Specialties mini Caddy tail lights, Street Beat rag top and a full fi berglass bed enclosure. After hours of sanding and prepping the body to perfection, Brandon chose House of Kolor Black Base (BC-25) with Zenith Gold (BC-12) and, of course, the absolute badass Key Lime Kandy paint to adorn this mini-truck. With the help of Larry at Wholesale Auto Paint, the right color selection was a breeze. Brandon had a little help from the talented Chad Ward who did the pinstriping and made the Kandy paint pop.
Most of these S-10s came with either a four-cylinder or a six-banger. Brandon needed more power because, well, he just did. The S-10 may be on the small side of trucks, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have big horsepower lurking under the hood.
IN A MINI-TRUCKER’S EYES, THE S-10 WAS A BLANK CANVAS FOR WILD PAINT JOBS, CUSTOM WHEELS AND A HOST OF OTHER COOL CUSTOM OPTIONS THAT WOULD MAKE THEIRS STAND OUT IN A CROWD.
Brandon had Curtis Eccles build a 350 small-block motor complete with an old-school Holley 600 sitting on an Edelbrock polished intake manifold blasting out exhaust through a set of Hedman headers. Then he coupled that to a rebuilt 700R4 automatic trans that will help push this mini-truck down the mean streets of Wichita and beyond.
One of the coolest features of this truck is the fi berglass bed enclosure, featuring a metal frame made out of 1-by-1 metal square tubing that was also used to house the ginormous nitrogen bottle. Brandon and his friend Paul Izzio built the cool bed, and the talented Ed Williamson created the beautiful skull graphic to keep with the “Toxic Kolor” theme.
The S-10 had some major surgery with a C-notched frame, suicide doors and three-link from SuicideDoors. com. This bagged truck lays out on 2,500-pound Firestones up front and 2,600-pound bags in the rear, and it doesn’t hurt to have a pair of Bell Tech 2-inch spindles up front to make this all happen.
Now, you might be wondering why there are no compressors on this mad build, and here’s the scoop: This mini Chevy rides on nitrogen gas—yep, and lots of it, 2,000 pounds to be exact. Brandon tells us that a 2,000-pound bottle will last him almost a full year with limited use, but if he was hitting it hard every day he would definitely go through a few bottles. He is contemplating some backup compressors, but for now he is on the gas.
No self-respecting mini-truck dude is going to roll hard without a kicking sound system, and Brandon has got that covered with an Alpine head unit with Diamond 4×10 in the back and 6.5 in the fiberglass door panels, all powered by Memphis 1500D and a 3004 mounted on a floating amp rack.
IF YOU WAIT AROUND LONG ENOUGH, THINGS WILL COME BACK INTO STYLE AND DREAMS DO COME TRUE.
So, yeah, it’s true. If you wait around long enough, things will come back into style and dreams do come true. Thanks for hanging in there Brandon and Sherrie, and if your reading this, congrats dude from all of us at Street Trucks magazine. Next time we are in the Midwest, we’ll hit you up for a cruise down Douglas Street. ST