"I'm a full time mechanic for a living, and have always loved to weld, grind, and cut sh*t up and put it back together", says Dennis Cline. "I grew up in a small town in Illinois with the cops that always flexed a power trip and seemed to hate on anything custom and different." Dennis was exposed to the world of minitrucks at an early age due to his older brother's obsession with them. He started with model cars, lowrider bikes, and finally moved on actual vehicles once he was old enough to legally drive them. If you're doing the math, here, you could imagine the equal amounts of joy and headache Dennis has dealt with being a minitrucker in an area where it isn't embraced by the local fuzz.
But the law wasn't the only thing had to worry about when going out for a cruise, or even building something to cruise for that matter. "Three years ago when I first started on my S-10, I broke up with my girlfriend to build the truck. Once I got the truck drivable, I drove it to Camp N Drag in 2010 and destroyed the rockers I made, and the stock 2.5L was starting to give me some major problems. The cab was also pretty rusted out and wasn't worth saving, so I took some time off to regroup and gather parts." So, in what seemed like a lifetime, Dennis started hoarding stuff in his garage. He found a clean '86 cab, a used 350 to plant under the hood, a Chevy LUV dash, and an assortment of necessities he'd need for the build up. But staying true to what Dennis had experienced in the past, his progress was stopped cold. "That 350 was a piece of crap. I would fix one thing and 10 other problems would pop up. Everything that could go wrong—did."
After clearing the many hurdles that stood in his way to the finish line, Dennis took the in-between time to do what he really wanted to his truck. "I wanted to redo the rear suspension but decided to just cut the frame behind the cab and build a new rear frame with a cantilever setup. I also wanted to make an attempt to paint the truck myself, which came out pretty good for my first time." In three years, Dennis took his $300 beater project and turned it into a truck that drips with subtle style. He's forgotten just how much money he had to part with to get it to this point, but that's the least of his worries.
"I don't really have a reason for building this truck other than I love to fabricate. I love anything low and I like to make sh*t do what it's not supposed to. I had a great time in the garage, and heading to shows, being with people who love minitrucks as much as I do. This is what I do it for."
I love anything low and I like to make sh*t do what it's not supposed to.
1986 Chevrolet S-10
Dennis Cline • East Alton, IL
Wheels: 18x8-Ridler 695 (front) / 18x9.5 (rear)
Tires: 225/40/18 Falken FK452 (front) / 265/35/18 (rear)
Suspension (front): Air Lift Dominator 2500 'bags
Suspension (rear): Air Lift Dominator 2600 'bags, cantilever setup
Control Arms: Modified Belltech
Compressor(s): Viair 480
Air/Hydro Accessories: AVS seven-switch box
Frame Mods: Smoothed and painted, 2x3 back half, handmade four-link
Performed By: Owner and friends
Shaved: Door handles, wiper cowl, antenna, gas door
Body Mods: Tailgate molded and smoothed
Bolt-ons: Clear tails and marker lenses
Performed By: Owner and friends
Brand & Colors: Nason/DuPont Mazda Ice Blue
Misc.: Pinstriping and airbrushed pinup girl by Marvin Cox
Performed By: Owner
Seats: Dodge Dakota bench
Dash: Smoothed Chevy LUV
Gauges: Auto Meter
Misc.: Custom center console, custom door panels
Performed By: Owner, Jeff Jones, Denny from Denny's Upholstery
Head Unit: JVC
Mids & Highs: Alpine
Performed By: Owner, Mikey Storer
Engine: Chevy 350 .030 over
Intake: Weiand Hi-Rise
Rearend Type: Stock
Detail Work: Engine painted to match truck, billet accessories
Misc.: Shotgun scoop
Performed By: Owner and P.J. Southard
Special Thanks From Owner
"Joey Tichenal and his parents for letting me use their garage, my brother Danne, my family, my awesome girlfriend Sage, Denny's Upholstery, Jeff Jones, P.J., Dave Jones for the paint, Mikey, Marvin Cox, and anyone else I forgot that had anything to do with making this all possible."