Barrett Stewart is no stranger to these pages. His '94 GMC sonoma named sweet as candy was featured in Mini Truckin' in the november '03 issue. The truck was a labor of love for almost eight years and the article was the perfect finishing touch.

When Barrett got the news that he and his wife, Nikki, were having a baby, he realized it was time for a larger, more practical vehicle. Since Barrett is a stereo installation specialist who owns Mainstream Customs, abandoning the excitement of driving a custom truck was not an option, even though a more roomy approach was in order. It came in the form of a bone stock, two-door '96 S-10 Blazer that he found on a used car lot. It had that essential back seat along with lots of customizing potential. Within a very short time, the truck was in the shop and the personalizing process began. The goal was to create something he could drive during the week and collect trophies with on the weekend.

One of the biggest modifications was to body drop the Blazer and replace the stock chassis with a custom designed 2X3-inch square tubing version. It allowed a proper step notch in the rear for clearance when the truck was on the ground. Fitted with a custom two-link rear with Airlift bags on the bars, the truck now rides better than before. Four Monroe shocks keep everything stable and thinking ahead, the tubs designed into the rear are big enough for even larger tires than the current set of 20-inch Foose Type S rear wheels.

Barrett took a practical turn with the body mods by keeping the roof rack and door handles but substituting a second-generation Goodmark cowl hood, T-Rex grille insert, and '02 bumper and air dam. The mirrors were shaved and replaced with motorcycle billet versions and the tailgate was smoothed, eliminating the rear wiper. House of Kolor Orion Silver, accented with House of Kolor Blue Pearl scallops and old-school pinstriping made the truck a serious competitor.

The real fun for this professional stereo installation specialist was the interior. Inside the rear hatch is loaded with a stereo system that not only sounds amazing but also showcases the talent of his shop and staff. The touch screen Panasonic head unit up front, the Eiger Vision monitor in the rear, and multiple Rockford Fosgate amps powering the MB Quart speakers, combine to create an audio and visual system with concert hall sound quality.

Is he pleased with his "practical" custom? Absolutely! The completed truck is the perfect family solution and he and his wife drive it everywhere. It not only has room for their young son Rett, but it is also the perfect rolling calling card for the business. Equally important, Barrett gets to experience the rare thrill of "double exposure" in his favorite truck magazine!

The Lowdown
Rolling Attire
Wheels: 18x7 and 20x8.5 Foose Type S
Tires: Nitto 225/40R18 and 245/35R20

Chassis Modifications
Suspension Front: Belltech 2-inch drop spindles, and Airlift 2600 'bags
Suspension Rear: Custom two-link with Airlift 2600 'bags on the bars
Control arms: Air Ride Technologies lower arms
Frame mods: Frame notched in front for steering, new frame from the A-arms back using 2x3-inch square tubing
Misc.: Clearance for wheels two inches larger, frame powdercoated black
Performed by: Bob Reffel of Ground Werx

Body Modifications
Shaved: Hood squirters, antenna, and rear wiper
Body-dropped: Stock floored 5 1/2 inches
Body mods: Goodmark Cowl Hood, T-Rex billet insert and billet Bowtie, '98 and newer front bumper and valance, '98 rear bumper
Bolt-ons: Billet Harley Davidson mirrors
Performed by: Kevin Haulbrook at Unlimited Customz, Jamie and Chad Edwards

Paint
Brand and colors: House of Kolor Orion Silver base with House of Kolor Blue Pearl scallops
Misc.: White and gray pinstriping
Performed by: Kevin Haulbrook and Unlimited Customz

Interior
Seats: Stock minus headrests with Katzkin leather front and rear, in two-tone gray
Dash: Painted to match exterior
Misc.: Flaming River billet steering wheel
Performed by: Brown's Upholstery (Seats), Unlimited Customz (Dash) Owner (Billet and steering wheel)

Stereo
Head unit: Panasonic 7-inch touch screen
Mids and highs: Two sets of MB Quart 6.5-inch components
Amplifier for mids and highs: Rockford Fosgate Power 4004
Subwoofers: Two Rockford Fosgate P2DVC
Misc.: Rockford Fosgate Power 3002, Rockford Fosgate wiring and dB Link, Eiger Vision 7.8-inch LCD monitor, custom sub enclosure, Amp rack, and fake floor to cover air suspension
Performed by: Owner and Greg Cheely of Mainstream Customs

Engine/Performance
Intake: Modified to clear hood
Header/exhaust: Custom Y-downpipe, and Flowmaster muffler
Misc.: Shortened driveshaft, Optima YellowTop, trailer tubs
Performed by: Bob Reffel of Ground Werx City

Special Thanks From Owner
Thanks to my wife and son, Nikki and Rett, to my parents, Greg Cheely, Bob Reffel, Kevin, Haulbrook, Jeremy Hudson, John Bebe, Jamie and Chad Edwards, Jon Fulmer, and everyone else who helped me along the way.