1994 Chevy S-10
Land O' Lakes, FL
Not often do we get the chance to feature a chassis, as not many are as detailed and fully show-worthy as Jason Ballard's Project Bada Bing.
The chassis on Jason's Dime has a long story behind it, but we'll stick with the main details. This project began in 1994 as a factory chassis. The truck was purchased in 1997 and first 'bagged in 1999 using a triangulated four-link with a C-notch in the factory frame. After the truck was body-dropped in 2000, Jason decided he wanted to have a new frame built. His buddy Matt Torgersen built a firewall-back chassis that incorporated spiked rear bars. While saving money and waiting to get more work done on the truck, his friend Matt ended up moving out of state. As it tends to happen to full-frame buildups, Jason's truck got put on the backburner.
With a house purchase, a wedding planned, and a child on the way, the last thing on Jason's mind (much less his wallet) was working on his Dime. Once the dust settled from the big life changes, Jason decided to give Jimmy's Rod and Customs a call with the hope that his truck would someday be finished. Jason discussed with Jimmy Graham what he wanted done. The year was 2008 and the truck scene had drastically changed in terms of top-quality rides, so Jason decided to let Jimmy go wild with the build. Having seen Jimmy's top-notch work on multiple cover trucks, Jason knew the truck was in very capable hands. Jimmy scrapped the firewall-back chassis and built, from scratch, an entirely new foundation. This included tubular motor and steering mounts and a rear suspension that incorporated a stainless steel air tank molded between the framerails. Keeping in mind the location of the stainless exhaust, fuel lines, and air management valves, Jimmy was able to craft a truly remarkable chassis that was all purpose-built.
Once Jimmy finished the structure of the chassis, it was just in time for the Spring Rod Show at the Daytona International Speedway. The chassis got many looks from the hot-rod guys, including plenty of thumbs-up from onlookers. Once the chassis made it back to the lab at Jimmy's Rod and Customs, it was on to the final assembly. Jimmy had Mike Lewis at Jurnigans in Plant City, Florida, take care of matching the chassis to the blue powdercoat that was already on the block and heads of the motor. Chrome Addicts in Orlando, Florida, took care of the shiny stuff and dipped multiple pieces to add some bling to the build. By this time, Jason had already called upon Eisele's Automotive Machine Shop in Tampa to reassemble the motor after NAPA hot-tanked the block and heads before powdercoat. With the motor together and the beefed up transmission ready to be installed, the chassis was coming to a close. At this juncture, Jimmy decided to roll out the complete rolling chassis. This time, the Turkey Rod Run was just around the corner at the Daytona International Speedway. With the Colorado Custom South Beach wheels and Dunlop tires freshly mounted by Platinum Wrench in St. Pete, Florida, it was finally time to see what the masses thought of the chassis. The truck was a hit in Jimmy's booth, and once again many hot-rod guys were giving compliments to a minitruck that some thought would never make it to this stage.
Throughout the years of working on the build, some of Jason's friends who are not involved in the truck scene continued to motivate him to finish the truck. An old high-school friend of Jason's, Doug Bauer, would check in on the build from time to time. He was always stoked to hear what was next on the list to be completed. Knowing Doug was going to be checking in on the status of Bada Bing, Jason never wanted to let his old buddy down and tell him the truck was sold or not getting finished. Jason plans to keep this truck until he one day hands the keys over to his 4-year-old son, Preston.
Jimmy Graham took care of the many details needed to complete this truck for the world to see. Jimmy's time in the scene has helped him to become one of the top builders on the East Coast when it comes to anything custom. Jason's truck is only a small glimpse into what Jimmy is capable of doing with a welder and a bit of time on his hands. Keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming full feature of this build right here in Mini Truckin'.