Some might say “Minitruckin’ is Dead” but Blake Stewart begs to differ. Although times have changed and vehicle trends come and go, minitruckin’ culture has remained unaltered. From “old school” pinstripes and tilt-beds to dragging and big wheels, minitrucker’s put their heart and soul into each and every ride they build. As a custom truck owner, Blake knows the hard work and determination it takes to build a one-of-a-kind truck.
Blake Stewart of Bremen, Kentucky has been in the car scene since 2005. As a young kid, it was his dream to build a completely custom vehicle and now that dream has become a reality. Blake bought this 1995 GMC Sonoma approximately three years ago. “It was completely stock and in alright condition” Blake says as he begins the story of his build. Blake is a welder and fabricator by trade which aided in his creative journey with this truck. When it came to custom, Blake took that word to a whole new level. From custom rolled sheet metal fender flares to the stainless-steel bead-rolled bed panels, Blake made sure to cover all the bases with his truck. When asked how he came up with the design for the truck, Blake replied “I wanted it to be different. Something to change the game a little.” And that’s exactly what he did. Blake spent countless hours and late nights in the garage creating and designing the Sonoma. His very supportive wife and children stood by his side the entire time and now they can all enjoy the truck.
Blake’s Sonoma is definitely a work of art. He debuted the truck at the 15th Anniversary Lay’d Out at the Park in Morristown, Tennessee in April 2019. As soon as he hit the switches to lay it out, the crowd began to form. There is a lot to take in when walking around the Sonoma. The most unique feature about the truck is the exposed chassis in the bed. The hydro blue painted chassis contrasts the light wood in the bed of the Sonoma. “All of the design I put into the truck was just something I came up with in my head” Blake stated when asked how he came up with the idea for the truck.
As you climb into the driver’s seat, the old school vibe hits you with a modern twist. The 54’ Belair Dakota Digital instrument cluster blends seamlessly across the sleek hydro blue dash. The Forever Sharp Nostalgia steering wheel and 1949 Chevy steering column make this ride a true mix of past and present.
The name Blake chose for the truck fits perfectly. “I chose the name CLASIC because the truck has tons of classic car and truck parts incorporated into the build. I wanted to bring all the old school I could to a mini truck.”
(Insert Photo of Shifter) Another unique piece in Blake’s truck is the TCI Outlaw shifter. This shifter fits perfectly with his theme of bringing old school to a minitruck. Suicide doors with custom metal door panels really make this ride stand out in the crowd. Blake’s creativity shines when you take a look at the small details in the truck. His attention to detail truly makes this truck special. With only 4 miles on the odometer, Blake’s beautiful bagged truck is ready to hit the open roads.
Piece by piece, the truck was coming together just as Blake had imagined. Countless hours had been spent in the garage working on this truck and making his dream come true. When it came time to decide what motor to drop in, Blake knew exactly what to do. Inside the belly of the beast is a huge 5.7 Chevy LT1 V-8. However, just adding a V-8 wasn’t the only thing on Blake’s mind. This engine has been torn down and built from the ground up. KeithBlack pistons, Compcams Camshaft, port and polished heads and a Holley Sniper 800 cfm carburetor bring this engine to life. All custom vehicle owners will tell you it doesn’t just need to look good, it has to sound good. The dual Flowmaster 40 series mufflers make this truck growl as it travels down the road.
Blake also replaced the transmission with a Chevy transmission and beefed it up. He added a 16” Big End transmission cooler and TCI Shifting weights along with a TCI Torque Converter. The modifications didn’t end there. Blake also built the custom transmission cross member.
After stripping the truck down completely, Blake was ready to begin the frame modifications. He custom built the four link and tube chassis to give this Sonoma a truly custom look. Blake also added a three inch Body Dropped body lift. (Insert photo of front bumper) Up next, Slam Specialties air bags and Toxic shocks were installed which are controlled by an AVS switch box.(Insert photo of switch box) Once the air ride was installed, it was on to the wheels. The 22” KMC Super Sport wheels give the Sonoma an aggressive stance when tucked in the wheel wells.
The exterior of the vehicle was almost complete, so Blake moved on to the inside of the truck. Kentucky Kustoms took control of the seats while Blake handled the rest. The Pontiac bucket seats were wrapped in a charcoal gray leather textured vinyl which Blake then matched throughout the rest of the interior. (Insert photo of seats) Blake custom made the sheet metal center console that houses the Dakota Digital air gauges and two metal cup holders. The stereo system was upgraded with a Memphis old school head unit and JL Audio 13.5” subwoofers to give this truck a little extra thump. The classic Chevrolet logo was placed on the dash as Blake finally finished this truck.