Owner: Steve Wilk
Ride: 1996 Chevy S-10
Hometown: Moreno Valley, CA
Club: No Regrets

Inspiration comes from all sorts of places. Many of us look to car shows, magazines, internet forums, friends, family, and more to draw inspiration for our latest custom creations.

But Steve Wilk from Moreno Valley, California, looked a little deeper for inspiration for the buildup of his 1996 S-10.

Steve has been a fabricator at Bio Kustumz for more than seven years, and in that time he's been around the block once or twice when it comes to building killer customs. But when he first started this S-10, he and his buddies didn't have the slightest clue and couldn't even tell you what the difference is between a stock-floor bodydrop and a traditional bodydrop. Keep in mind, the first time Steve cut up this very same S-10 to bodydrop it was before he had put in some serious suspension fabrication time with Bio under the watchful eyes of Max Fish. Everyone starts somewhere, and Steve started at the bottom and worked his way up, soaking up everything he could about building customs.

Over this time period, Steve met and became friends with Larry Watson, one of our favorite American custom icons. Larry Watson is synonymous with crazy and wild ideas and custom builds and paintjobs that were way radical, especially for his time. Watson painted the X-Sonic, which was the first car on hydraulics back in the early '60s and is credited for many innovations in the way of '60s customs.

Steve wanted to pay tribute to guys like Larry Watson and Gene Winfield who pioneered the true custom vehicles that we all know and love. Steve drew inspiration from these builders and wanted to build a clean yet custom mini with that throwback '60s kustom style. We'll be the first to admit that it takes some serious cajones to throw a set of Astro Supremes on a custom minitruck, but when done right, man does it look good! Steve and his good buddy "Painter Shak" Mike designed this paintjob based on a 1955 Ford that Larry Watson painted way back in 1958. Wanting to really pay tribute and homage to the custom icons of our past, Steve stayed true to this style by building a heavily modified truck that doesn't look it. In fact, that's the trick to building any killer custom-modifications that are done so well they look factory.

After Steve and Mike were happy with the killer throwback paint work, it was time to turn to James Mendoza at A&C Upholstery. He was commissioned to do the same look in the interior, heavily modified but still look factory, and well, James nailed it! The interior work is just as flawless as the exterior, creating an entire custom package that screams subtle yet really honors the custom heroes of our past. Congrats buddy, you nailed it! Due to the clean American custom tribute, Steve has been offered a spot at the 2010 Mooneyes Yokohama Japan Hot Rod Show in December of this year. This means he will be the first American minitrucker to have his truck on display in Japan. What an honor!

For more information on this clean custom, scope out the Lowdown.