Owner: Josh Jewell
Ride: 1999 Chevy S-10 4x4
Hometown: Central City, KS
When you think of a four-wheel-drive vehicle, you typically think of a truck that can drive in the snow, the mud, a desert or even through your favorite rock-crawling course.
Now when you think of an "airbagged 4x4", the first thing that comes to mind is probably a massive truck towering over every vehicle on the road with 44-inch tires or bigger. Josh Jewell of Central City, Kentucky, owns a 'bagged 4x4, but it's nothing like what we all picture. The truck in question is this 1999 Chevy S-10 4x4 that is now a frame draggin' show truck. Josh opted to go the complete opposite route with his 4x4 and go down instead of up. Yes, there are plenty of other 4x4s out there that have been slammed, but those typically have the front drive axles taken out to make it a two-wheel-drive truck. But Josh decided he wanted to do something a little different and wanted to keep the full function of his four-wheel-drive and build the suspension around the front-drive setup. Keeping the system intact means all he has to do is press the button on the dash to engage the four-wheel traction.
Josh picked up this truck when he was barely 16 and knew almost instantly that it wouldn't stay stock for long. The first thing was to get the suspension and rolling attire in good form. Being it was a 4x4 truck, Josh did what most 4x4 owners do, he lifted the truck. He also bolted on a set of 35-inch tires to complete the lifted look. Knowing he wanted a little more custom work to the truck, he shaved the handles and a few other goodies as well as swapped out the taillights for a set of Cadillac lights. This is about the time that things took a complete 180-degree turn. Several of his friends had 'bagged trucks, so riding around with them was all in a days play. Seeing how they could adjust the ride height with the flip of a switch and drag their trucks at any given time, Josh instantly knew this was something he had to have. He took the truck back into the garage and ripped off the huge mud tires and lift kit and began to 'bag his truck. Being everyone told him that he couldn't lay out a 4x4 truck and keep it intact, he set his mind to and efforts to proving them wrong. The rear was pretty straight forward with a stand four-link and C-notch with bridge. But the front would be a completely different story. In order to keep the 4x4 option, major custom fabrication had to be done and some components moved, but after careful thought he was able to get it all to work like he wanted, despite the doubts from his friends.
Once the lifted truck was officially a frame dragger, it was time to upgrade the interior of the truck. The dash and door panels were smoothed and prepped for paint while a custom center console and speaker box was built and also set up to be painted to match. The seats were wrapped in red and gray leather and a few billet goodies were bolted on for a little flash. The bed also received a custom carpet treatment. Once all of the interior panels were ready for paint, they were stripped out and put in the paint booth with the truck in order to receive a slick red base with plenty of silver flame licks both inside and out.
One thing Josh has achieved with this build is the fact that he turned this truck build into a full blown shop, Sparky's Hardcore Customs. So now he can turn his love for building custom vehicles into a business, not just something he does on the side. For more info on this frame laying four-wheel-drive truck, check out the Lowdown.