Kevin Barnett wanted to build a bitchin' truck that could compete not only at the mini-truck events he frequented with his club, Negative Camber, but he also wanted it to hold its own at traditional street rod gatherings. Setting his sights on winning at the Hot Rod Super Nats proved to be a tall order, and it took nearly five years to attain his goal of building a truck that would win a Best Of trophy at such an event. The time spent building his mini, "2NRVOUS", was well spent though, as it did win big not only at the Super Nats, but it also took home the gold at Indy Truck Bash and at Nopi in 2002.
To begin the task of taking his '91 S-10 from daily driver to show-stopper, Kevin pulled the body completely off of the frame. He then sand-blasted the chassis and painted it to match what would eventually be the color of the bottom portion of the body. Air Ride Technologies Shockwaves soon made its way into the front suspension, as did a pair of Budnik Spider II rims that was stuffed into Nitto Extreme radials. Moving to the rear suspension, Kevin again chose Air Ride Technologies for its smooth-riding Ride Pro suspension system with four-corner controls. A pair of 18x8-inch Budnik Spider II's soon found a home on the GM rearend, completing the suspension buildup.
Next on the agenda were the custom body mods, which Kevin also tackled with ease. The suicide doors and factory '69 Camaro cowl-induction hood worked perfectly with his street rod styling agenda, and soon the entire body was shaved and ready for paint. Meanwhile, a seriously healthy 425cid small-block was being assembled by John Burlock of Youngstown, Ohio. By the time John was done working his own brand of magic, the mouse motor and accompanying drivetrain were stuffed with goodies from MSD, Pete Jackson, Crane Cams, and B&M. When it came time to finally cover the custom body panels, it was Kevin who sprayed the Diamond BASF two-tone base in Dark Cherry and Granite Red. He then called upon Wizard Graphics of New Middletown, Ohio, to break up the different colors on the truck with its own unique take on the classic flame job. The crowning touch to this street rodding masterpiece is the incredible interior. Portage Trim in Revanna, Ohio pulled out all the stops to tie together the outside of the truck with the interior, sculpting beautiful flames into the Pontiac Fiero bucket seats. The work inside the cab of Kevin's truck rivals the best of what cruises through shows, which is what he was aiming for, and so does the rest of the work on his truck.
The Low Down
Chassis/Suspension Kevin took it upon himself to 'bag his mini using products from Air Ride Technologies. Shockwaves were bolted into the front suspension to provide adjustability, and their unique combination of air springs and HAL adjustable shocks make for an excellent ride. Kevin also went to Air Ride Technologies for a four-link rear suspension and its Ride Pro control system. The Ride Pro control system features four-corner adjustability via 3/8-inch electric solenoid valves for the air suspension. When the chassis work was complete, Kevin sandblasted the frame and hardware, and then painted them to match the outside of his mini.
Body Mods There are some very clean and functional mods lurking in Kevin's mini. The suicide doors work perfectly, and the custom steel hood features a working cowl-induction from a '69 Camaro. The hood is also lifted by gas-charged struts for a nice and modern touch. The factory front bumper had its mounting bolts and holes shaved, while the rear bumper was exchanged for a Sir Michael's roll pan. The stock mirrors were also replaced with custom units, and the grille shell was shod with billet inserts. Kevin then shaved the body of its door handles, fuel filler door, tailgate handle, and taillights. The custom tonneau cover was built by Frank Hassey at Quality Autobody.
Custom Paint Because Kevin is a body technician by trade, it makes sense that he sprayed the RM Diamond BASF paint. The two-tone colors are Dark Cherry and Garnite Red. Wizard Graphics of New Middletown, Ohio, gets credit for the custom flame job that breaks up the two-tone paint scheme.
Engine/Drivetrain Motivation for Kevin's pride and joy comes from a custom 425cid small-block and a GM Turbo-350 automatic transmission. The bottom end of the small-block is stock, but far from that once you get past the short block. A Crane camshaft checks in with a 0.266 duration and 0.501 lift. Aluminum heads complete the long-block, and timing is handled by a Pete Jackson gear drive and an MSD distributor. A chromed-out Holley double pumper carb and K&N filter provide the air and fuel and Sanderson headers, coupled with a 3-inch Flowmaster exhaust, send the exhaust packing once the mixture has been burned. The Turbo-350 tranny has been outfitted with a B&M Shift Kit and 2,600-rpm stall converter. Chrome plating can be found everwhere on the motor and the transmission.
Interior Kevin, Albert, and Paul fabricated the trick dash, which houses digital gauges. Portage Trim of Revanna, Ohio, installed the wool carpeting and covered the Fiero bucket seats in tweed and leather. Setting off the fresh beige interior are a Billet Specialties steering wheel, B&M shifter, and billet pedals and window cranks. The center console was custom-built by Portage Trim.
Owner's Quote "I'd like to thank my dad for helping. Thanks to Paul for his time and garage space. I'd also like to thank Steve "The Wizard" for the flames and Frank at Quality Autobody for the awesome tonneau cover."