Find a truck you want to build. Go ahead, we’ll wait. Now once it’s in your possession, make a list of all the cool things you want to do to it. Then, do them. But right when the truck is so close to the end that you can taste it, stop all progress and wait six years to get it done. Sounds like a painful, tortuous route to go, right? You don’t know the half of it.
Let us introduce you to Troy Gudgel. He’s been a minitrucker for years now, dating back to when he was just eight years old in 1994. That’s when his brother was rolling an ’87 S-10 with splatter paint, ground effects and a spoiler on the tonneau. Troy got hooked, and ever since then he’s wanted to build a trick ride to top his older bro’s ’87. That was part of the reason why he bought this truck.
“They say that the plumber has leaky pipes, and when it comes to fabricators, they’re the ones with the half-finished trucks.”
The other came down to dollars and sense. Like many of us, we start off wanting a custom ride at 15 and having no way to fund it. We can’t buy $40K hot rods, so instead we build what we can afford. Troy’s dad pointed him towards S-10s because they’re plentiful, cheap to build (and repair) and have a low initial cost. Eventually he bought this ’94 beauty and went to work.
At this point in his life, Troy is a bit older. He’s working on building a small business for himself—BBT Fabrications, while simultaneously working on his S-10, which already had seen a few incarnations. They say that the plumber has leaky pipes, and when it comes to fabricators, they’re the ones with the half-finished trucks. That was the case with Troy, for sure. At the beginning, he was wrenching away on his truck, doing a lot of the body mods and getting the truck pretty far along the way. In fact, most of the sheetmetal work was done by 2006, but at that point the business was picking up steam and he has to push it off to the side. “Money over hobbies”, as it were, and that left the S-10 to collect dust.
Years go by, and Troy decides that he’s had enough. It’s time to tear into the S-10 and get it done, and that’s exactly how it all goes down. After polishing up all of the little details and making everything perfect, it was off to the painter for bodywork, paint and those finishing touches. The end result is the cyber-green beauty you see here, and frankly, it was worth the wait.
What has Troy learned from this experience? Not a thing. OK, that’s not totally true, because Troy sees the truck as a steppingstone to where he is today. After all, because he took that time away from the S-10 initially, he built up his business to the point where it currently sits. And if it weren’t for that business, he wouldn’t have the cash to work on the next project, or the one after that. So really, it all came out for the better.
They say the best things in life come to those who wait. Ask Troy how that all worked out for him, and we’re sure he’d agree.
1994 Chevrolet S-10
Troy Gudgel • Champaign, IL • Relaxed Atmosphere
Wheels: 20-inch Centerline wheels with one-off caps
Suspension (front): Belltech drop spindles, Ride Tech control arms, ’bags
Suspension (rear): Parallel four-link, watts link, ’bags
Frame Mods: Back-halved frame
Performed By: BBT Fabrications and Kern Fab
Shaved: Shaved mirrors, door handles, taillights, cowl, bumpers, roll pan
Bolt-ons: Camaro front and rear bumpers, custom taillights, custom door handles
Performed By: BBT Fabrications
Brand & Colors: PPG Cyber Green
Performed By: Ricky Van Dyke
Seats: Stock S-10 bench
Dash: ’60 Impala dashboard, narrowed and modified
Misc.: Dolphin gauges
Performed By: BBT Fabrications and Ross Johns
Engine: Small-block Chevrolet 350
Transmission: Turbo 350
Detail Work: Chrome and billet accessories
Special Thanks From Owner
“Thanks to everyone that’s helped along the way. I would list everyone, but I’m not sure there aren’t enough pages in this issue.”