Mike and Melissa Pruitt of Bremond, Texas, love trucks-Dodge trucks, that is. They also love their kids, Michael Jr. and Makayla. Most truck dudes spend money on their trucks until they get married. Now, don't get us wrong; we are all for getting married, if you can find someone to put up with you and your bad habits, which we like to refer to as "hobbies." But, reality dictates that you can't spend four grand on a set of wheels and still buy back-to-school clothes for eight kids.
However, Mike doesn't have that problem. You see, he owns a shop called Central Garage in Bremond, where he did almost all the work on the truck. After buying the '03 Dodge Ram 1500, Mike drove it around in semi-stock condition, with only aftermarket wheels and that was about it. Then, the sport truck customizing bug bit him and bit him hard. Within the daily chores of running the business and taking care of the family at night, the makeover began.
Mike started on the suspension first by getting rid of the stock spindles, springs, and shocks. Trying to completely build a custom truck in time for one of the biggest truck shows in the country is hard work, so Mike took the Dodge to Ekstensive Metalworks in Houston to help finish the front end work. Then, it was off to Super Sport Customs in Bryan, Texas, for the rest of the build. There, Shannon Traweek and Jason Williams first narrowed the rearend 1-1/4 inches, so that everything tucked neatly inside the fenders when the truck laid frame. Next came the custom-built two-link drop kit, using Firestone 'bags and 1/2-inch air lines.
To get everything to fit under the body, some major modifications needed to happen. The transmission and engine crossmembers had to be relocated forward, which raised the engine and tranny up so that they would not suffer any damage when Mike hit the switches. To continue the safety theme, Mike also installed a fuel cell and plumbed it with extended hard lines to complete the custom look.
Lee's Paint and Body was responsible for the beautiful House of Kolor Silver and Tangelo Pearl paintjob. The door handles were shaved, and the antenna and fuel-filler door went under the knife as well. Painter Gary Sorenson buffed the body to perfection to provide the canvas for talented artist Von Otto of Waco, Texas. Von Otto created the tribal flames that adorn the sides of the truck and the Looney Tunes mural on the Slim Top tonneau cover. Why Looney Tunes? It's called sharing-sharing the project with the kids. And to think, the only sharing our parents ever did was when it came to the chores, but that's another story.
The engine was kept basically stock, except for the functional Ram Air cold-air intake and a Super Chips programmable chip. Wanting to ride in comfort, Mike chose Katzkin black leather to cover the stock seats, and since the factory door panels and carpet were new and in perfect shape, they were left untouched.
For creature comforts, Mike and Melissa needed a quality audio/video system, so they installed a Pioneer Premier head unit, JL Audio and MB Quart speakers, filtered through JL Audio amps, and for the kids, a PlayStation 2.
The end result is the beautiful custom-built Dodge you see here in the pages of Sport Truck. Mike couldn't resist reminiscing about his teenage years and asked us, "You want me to do a burnout?" "Hell yes!" we cried, "light 'em up." With confidence and control, Mike proceeded to melt the 22s off the rim. It was awesome. So, let this be a lesson to you, fellas. When and if you get married, make sure your new bride likes oil, grease, smoke, loud noises, and sitting in the sun all day at truck shows.
THE 411Owner/hometown: Michael and Melissa Pruitt / Bremond, Texas
Year/make/model: '03 Dodge Ram 1500
Engine/drivetrain: 5.7L Hemi / automatic
Wheels/tires: 22x9.5-inch Foose Speedster / Nitto 265/35R22
Suspension: Custom-built two-link / Firestone 'bags with 1/2-inch hard lines / narrowed rearend / transmission and engine relocated 2 inches
Fabricator: Ekstensive Metalworks / Super Sport Customs
Body Mods: Shaved door handles, antenna, and fuel-filler door / functional Ram Air hood
Paint: House of Kolor Silver and TangeloInterior: Black leather / Katzkin seats
Upholstery: Michael and Melissa Pruitt
Audio/video: Pioneer Premier head unit / JL Audio tweeters and midrange / MB Quart 6-1/2s / 7-inch Directed monitors