1983 Chevy S-10
Matt Smith - Ocala, FL
Text: Dakota Brantley
Photos: Kent Williams & Paul Snyder
Time is said to be a relative concept.
One minute to one person may seem much longer to another, but one thing that holds true from person to person is that everyone hates to waste time waiting. Everything that we were taught at a young age about patience seems to be forgotten when time is on the line. Patience is one of the hardest things to gain, but always the easiest to lose. But it isn’t always about waiting for worldly possessions. For many of us, it’s waiting for that one big breakthrough, and not many of us know this better than Matt Smith.
The owner of the masterpiece known as Redd Wud has bought his time in the garage and paint booth silently waiting on his turn to shock the custom world. Matt became the newest owner of his ‘83 long bed S10 with the help of his mom in 1988 with the original intention of getting it further away from the pavement rather than closer. Plans quickly changed when he realized that the price of tires would have depleted his high school age budget. Traveling to and from school of his senior year of high school, Matt continuously passed a lowered Isuzu that always caught his attention. Slowly but surely, he was hooked on the idea of a lowered truck. To quote Matt directly, he was “hooked by the bug”.
Fast forwarding a few years, the beginning stages of the build process began to take shape. A little persuasion from a few friends led Matt to begin the frame-off build. Shortly after tearing apart the front end and improving the engine compartment with a few more horses by way of a ‘63 Corvette engine built by his father, Matt moved his focus to the chassis. Matt took the time to personally box in the frame from front to back with no help which showed him how vital patience can be. One small mishap and the entire build could have come to a screeching halt. Matt began the body work by removing the front bed wall and bringing the subtle body lines of the truck into focus by eliminating the tailgate handle and taillights. After the unfortunate passing of Matt’s grandfather, the build was pushed in the corner and postponed for a few years until he couldn’t wait any longer.
After driving around for a few years with the truck in all primer, the creative mojo began working its way back into the build. While mixing up clear coat with a wooden paddle in the paint booth, the idea of woodgrain worked its way into the build plans. Viking Cycle painted some minor touches of woodgrain on the suspension pieces as well as the fuel cell and air tank with more work in mind until their schedules filled up. With the truck entered in a few shows back in 2015, Matt found his final motivation to push the truck to the end when he received some great feedback on his work. After Slamfest 2015, Matt took it upon himself to take the truck apart one last time for some final touches and changes. It was at this point that Matt had found his way around waiting for others help with the grace of Jason Haymaker from Airbrush This! Jason stepped up to the plate and began knocking out the woodgrain we see throughout the truck along with the painted mural and custom interior pieces. Matt and Jason burnt the midnight oil in Matt’s garage using every ounce of motivation they had to finish up the small details leading up to Lay’d Out at the Park in 2016.
It is hard to deny that Redd Wud is truly a work of automotive art. The time spent on the truck is obvious in the small details that refuse to be overlooked. The seamless incorporation of the ‘55 Chevrolet dash and reshaped Honda CRX bucket seats speak volumes to the amount of creativity and focus put into this truck. The details continue with the custom built door panels and fiberglass back wall which bring the interior of the truck together. Taking on this mountain of a project practically by himself, Matt has had his patience tested and then renewed through his strong faith in the good Lord above. Without his faith and endless support from his wife and friends, the truck may still be sitting in the corner of his garage. After many years and countless hours in the garage, the wait is over. Redd Wud has successfully shown the world what a little patience and a lot of focused time can get you.
Matt would like to extend his thanks to Jason Haymaker at Airbrush This, Dave Benck with PPG paint, Scott Lapham, Tommy Gloer and Frank at Auto Glass Pluss, Ted Wiggins at Gibbs Upholstery and Jerry Gallery and Duane Olson for being there when he needed them. A special thank you is reserved for His wife Vicky, son Vance and mother for all of the continued support, love and understanding throughout the build. Common Treads Magazine would like to thank Matt for opening up with us and sharing his story. Keep an eye out for Matt’s truck at your next show.
Check out this feature in Common Treads Magazine Issue 23. Click the image above to order a printed copy of the magazine.