Everyone wants to build something legendary but, even so, it’s a relatively rare occurrence. It takes a well-trained eye and lots of determination, especially in a space where shortcuts and small budgets are often the norm. And there’s nothing wrong with that at all, but when counterfeit parts and off-brand tires are so readily available with a few thumb taps, it takes some extra effort to stand out.
Carl Kolling of Rosamond, California, grew up around custom trucks and quickly fell in love with all things lowered. Having memories of famous SoCal trucks like Last Look and Something Wicked This Way Comes as inspiration, Carl had a clear picture of the type of truck he would love to someday own. Once he picked up a ’95 Chevy S-10 as a project, all bets were off!
He knew from day one that the truck would have to lay body on big wheels, so he enlisted the help of Shaun Headley to make it happen. A stock-floor body drop and an air suspension utilizing a Thorbros bolt-on back-half and front control arms got the job done nicely, leaving just enough room to rest the rockers firmly on the ground on 22s and 24s.
As a child of the ’70s and ’80s, Carl has always been entranced by the Star Wars saga—so much so that when it came time to come up with a cohesive theme for his truck, he had no hesitation in committing to a complete Star Wars motif inside and out. As you can imagine, though, it would be very easy to go down a slippery slope and overdo things in a hurry, which is not what Carl wanted at all. He definitely wanted the truck to be memorable, but not for the wrong reasons. That meant going wild, but with measured subtlety that would remain timeless.
The paintjob was absolutely critical to the success of the build, and to pull it off correctly would require the precision and finesse of a Jedi master. Only one team came to mind, and that was Dion Giuliano at Kal Koncepts and Craig Fraser at Air Syndicate. The duo have worked seamlessly over the past few decades to create some of the most legendary paintjobs in the automotive universe, so they were the perfect pair to handle what Carl had stirring in his brain. After a short drive through the Kessel Run (namely, Highway 14 to Highway 58) just a few parsecs away in Bakersfield, California, Carl handed the S-10 off to Craig and Dion to work their magic.
As most fans will generally agree, The Empire Strikes Back was the best film of the original trilogy, in no small part due to the Battle of Hoth, and so Craig and Dion found a lot of their inspiration there, with plenty of other Star Wars references peppered about. The “Kal Koncepts look” was applied to the truck over a pearl white base, with House of Kolor’s Orion Silver, Oriental Blue and Tangelo Orange graphics inside and out. The epic battle scene was then painstakingly airbrushed throughout before copious amounts of clear were sprayed onto every panel.
The wheels are another feature that Carl had to make sure was done right and paid homage to the trucks that inspired him, and once again he didn’t hold back to get exactly what he wanted. A phone call to Chris Coddington at Hot Rods by Boyd got the gears turning, and Carl ended up ordering a mega plus-sized set of Retro Series Gotcha II wheels measuring 22×7.5 and 24×10. The Falken 235/20R22 and 255/30R24 tires were ready to be mounted as soon as the wheels were welded up, creating a look that’s both futuristic and reminiscent of something from a long time ago, even possibly from a galaxy far, far away.
Heading into the interior like an X-wing fighter looking for a particle exhaust vent, we can see that Carl spared no expense with the street rod style formed leather seats and panels, which were done up by Meece Car Audio. It also includes a more recent addition of a custom bed kit underneath an ARE shell, with plenty of Star Wars flair such as the R2D2-themed air tank. And in another nod to the custom truck era that got Carl started, he also installed a now-vintage Boyd steering wheel.
Carl tells us that even though most people would consider the truck to be finished, “not taking the truck further is impossible for me.” One thing he’s been planning for a while is to do a modified Girodyne SRB42 sublight engine swap so that he can finally hit ludicr…. uh, light speed, but if for some reason that doesn’t fit, the backup plan is a V-8 with an automatic transmission. In either case it should make for easier cruising, but the rebuilt 2.2L four-banger hasn’t given up the ghost so he’s not in a huge hurry to make it happen just yet.
Oh, and he’d also like to tear the truck back apart and smooth and powdercoat the frame to make it even more insane. May the Force be with you, Carl. A special thanks goes out to Carl’s fellow No Regrets club members for their support, including Brad Creasman, Grizzly, Miami, Ernie Macias and Danny Avila. Last but certainly not least, Carl wanted to thank his dad for always being a huge part of this journey.