Corvette LS3 Swapped GMC Sonoma Truck Built for Street & Drag

GMC Sonoma / Chevy S10 Drag Build with LS3 motor

If you were to take a stroll down the memory lane of America’s car culture, you would likely stumble upon the compact pickup trucks that reigned supreme in the late ’90s and early 2000s.

The GMC Sonoma, along with its Chevy S10 sibling, played a significant role in the street scene of that era. Like a chameleon, the Sonoma was known for its versatility, able to blend into the background of a construction site, or catch the eye as a sleek custom street machine. Light and compact, it offered an ample playground for modifications and quickly won the hearts of gearheads.

Modified Chevy S10/ GMC SOnoma on 18×4.5 Front Weld s71 RTS wheels and 15×10 on the rear with 275/60/15 Mickey Thompson ET Streets
18×4.5 Front Weld s71 RTS wheels and 15×10 on the rear with 275/60/15 Mickey Thompson ET Streets.

For the fans of American muscle cars, a modded S10/Sonoma is more than just a statement; it’s a testament to an era where the mini truck scene was an icon of street performance.

It was here that the real magic happened: the gentle humdrum of the four and six-cylinder engines were replaced by the throaty rumble of powerful V8s. The Sonoma quickly transitioned from being just another truck, into an epitome of speed and power that muscle car fans had long associated with bigger, bulkier vehicles.

Modified Chevy S10 / GMC Sonoma drag racing mini truck

Such transformations were, and still are, met with sheer awe, admiration and, at times, bewilderment. How could a seemingly unassuming compact truck pack such an unexpected punch?

The answer lies in the genius of the modifications – specifically, engine swaps – that gearheads across the country have been carrying out for decades. And that brings us to our main event – a modded, mean, and incredibly fast 1998 GMC Sonoma.

About The Model

The GMC Sonoma, first introduced in 1982 as a sibling to the Chevrolet S10, came as a compact pickup that was both practical and affordable. Known for their reliability and versatility, these trucks became a go-to choice for many. Over the years, the Sonoma has undergone various revisions, with the second generation (1994-2004) being most notable for the fans of performance modifications.

Modded GMC Sonoma custom painted in electric blue color

It was in this era that the Sonoma began to carve out its place in the heart of the American muscle car culture. Its compatibility with larger, more powerful engines, and the abundance of space for customization made it a prime candidate for gearheads looking to create a muscle truck.

LS Engine Swaps

When it comes to engine swaps, few are as universally admired as the LS swap. Known for its compact design, reliable operation, and high-performance output, the LS series engines from General Motors are often the go-to choice for gearheads. Whether it’s for the street or the strip, an LS engine’s power-to-weight ratio and simplicity in terms of modifications make it a perfect match for a compact truck like the Sonoma.

Corvette LS3 V8 engine swap

See Also
Lingenfelter Supercharged 2005 Chevy Corvette C6 With Supervettes ZR6X Body Kit

The Build: 1998 GMC Sonoma with LS3 Corvette Motor

Owned and modified by Justin Hayward, this 1998 GMC Sonoma is not your run-of-the-mill truck. Powered by a 6.2L LS3 Corvette Motor, it boasts a Stage 4 Brian Tooley racing cam and Stainless Works long tube headers. The full custom 3” exhaust done by Brows Exhaust, along with an 8.8 rear end from a Ford Explorer, propels this Sonoma to clock a ¼ mile in 11.1 seconds at 121mph – an impressive feat considering the 95-degree weather.

Chevy S10 / GMC Sonoma Hoosier drag tires and Weld S71 drag rims.
Chevy S10 / GMC Sonoma Hoosier drag tires and Weld S71 drag rims.

The truck is suspended on fully adjustable QA1 suspension, bolstered by Cal Tracs Traction Bars. The street setup consists of 18×4.5 Front Weld s71 RTS wheels and 15×10 on the rear with 275/60/15 Mickey Thompson ET Streets. However, when it’s time to hit the drag strip, the Sonoma switches to 15×4 wheels with Moroso DS2 tires and 15×10 rears with Hoosier 28x10x15 slicks.

But this Sonoma is not just about power and performance. It’s about style as well. It sports a custom blue color, Checkmate stepside flush mount tonneau cover, a step shaver roll pan by Street Scene, a shaved tailgate, and Street Scene mirrors. The GMC Envoy front bumper and 2” cowl hood with trackspec hood vents complete the look of this speed demon.
Chevy S10 / GMC Sonoma with racing seats or sport buckets

Specs & Mods: 1998 GMC Sonoma

Performance

  • 6.2L LS3 corvette Motor
  • Stage 4 Brian Tooley racing cam,
  • Stainless Works long tube headers
  • Full custom 3” exhaust done by Brows exhaust
  • 8.8 Rear end out of a Ford Explorer

¼ Mile 11.1 @ 121mph in 95 degree weather

Suspension

  • Fully adjustable QA1 suspension
  • Cal Tracs Traction Bars

Wheels

  • Street setup:
    18×4.5 Front Weld s71 RTS wheels and 15×10 on the rear with 275/60/15 Mickey Thompson ET Streets
  • Drag setup:
    15×4 with Moroso Ds2 tires and 15×10 rears with Hoosier 28x10x15 slicks

Exterior

  • Custom blue color
  • Checkmate stepside flush mount tonneau cover (very rare)
  • Step shaver roll pan by Street Scene
  • Shaved tailgate
  • Street Scene mirrors
  • GMC Envoy front bumper
  • 2” cowl hood with trackspec hood vents

In conclusion, this 1998 GMC Sonoma / Chevy S10 is more than just a modified compact truck. It’s a tribute to the era of muscle cars and a testament to the ingenuity and passion of gearheads like Justin Hayward. It demonstrates how a seemingly ordinary truck can be transformed into a powerful, high-performing muscle machine that not only turns heads but also shatters expectations.

GMC Sonoma/Chevy S10 with a cowl hood and supercharger

Technical Specifications

Model Name Engine 1/4 Mile Time
1998 GMC Sonoma Chevy LS3 11.1 @ 121mph
View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

©MuscleCarDNA.com 2023
Telephone: (844) 622 0168 or email us [email protected]
All Rights Reserved.