Some people grow up in automotive families, where running from the driveway to the garage to fetch a needed tool for dad is a weekend event. Others grow up in families that aren't geared that way, yet something about customizing a truck sparks an interest within them at a young age. Although Morgan Williamson of Whittier, California, didn't grow up in a gearhead family, he was still interested in taking a bone-stock truck and turning it into something more.
When Morgan got the chance, he started taking auto shop classes and eventually landed a job at one of the biggest aftermarket warehouses, Trader's, located in Santa Fe Springs, California. Like a kid in a candy store, Morgan watched part after part walk out of the showroom and get installed. Finally giving into the torture, Morgan decided to curb his '57 Chevy project that he'd been working on and purchase an '03 Chevy Silverado. That would officially be one of the last times Morgan's girlfriend would see him.
With a grin that reached from ear to ear, Morgan rolled into work driving his brand-new project. Although she was fresh off the factory line, she still looked like a fixer-upper. With the help of Trader's master technician, Richard Pineda, the two began updating the stock suspension.
The stock springs were replaced with a set of Belltech 1-inch drop springs, and the rear was lowered with a Belltech 2-inch drop shackle. Four Belltech Nitro Active shocks were posted at each corner, and Belltech antisway bars were installed in the front and rear for stability. The stock rollers were kicked aside and replaced with 24-inch Foose Speedster wheels encased in BFG 305/35R24 rubber.
To enhance the 5.3L engine, a set of Bassani ceramic-coated headers was bolted into place and followed by a Bassani stainless exhaust system. Up top, a Volant intake, Diablo programmer, and Granatelli mass airflow sensor were installed and then topped with a billet engine cover by Walter Prosper Designs.
By this time, Morgan had two loves in his life: his girlfriend Jessica and her new nemesis, the Chevy Silverado. None of us mean to neglect the people in our lives, but sometimes our vision gets pigeon-holed when we work on projects. Luckily, we end up with a significant other who puts up with us, even though we're morons.
The truck was low, had a lot more go, and had yet to be set on fire by Jessica, so it was driven to the folks at Merzees Paint & Body in Santa Fe Springs, where they planned on setting it ablaze. Jeff Mersey and his crew shaved the tailgate handle, added a Sir Michaels roll pan, and shaved the door handles. The front bumper was replaced with a factory Chevy SS bumper, then Jeff began laying out the flames on the truck.
Many hours were spent layering the various flames. The lower set of flames was sprayed using House of Kolor's Orion Silver with Charcoal Smoke wisping through it. The upper set of flames was sprayed with Candy Apple Red with mini Fireball flake, and the silver flames were sprayed with Ice Pearl. Kent Garcia airbrushed the drop shadows, then striped the licks with blue and purple. The entire truck was then buried under several coats of clear.
Advanced Specialties in La Habra, California, pulled out the interior and cut off the stock covers. Scott recovered the seats using gray leather with perforated suede, then he stitched in red-suede flames. The door panels received the suede flame job as well as the entire headliner.
Once the new hides had been stitched into place, the truck was taken back to Trader's, where the crew added a few additional accents to the interior and exterior. The instrument cluster was updated using Nu Image components, and the dash was covered with a BEI red carbon-fiber dash kit. The steering column was topped with a Billet Accessories Direct steering wheel. Outside, a Precision billet grille and a Gaylords hard tonneau cover were installed.
While dragging poor Jessica through several shows, Morgan noticed the amount of fiberglass sub boxes installed into show trucks. In order to keep up with the current trends, he would have to go big, so he took his truck to AS Kustomz, also in La Habra.
Phil began constructing a free-form box that would replace the rear seats and flow into the center console. Housed in the structure are eight 12-inch Alphasonik subs and 6,000 watts provided by Alphasonik amps. A Microsoft Xbox replaces the passenger airbag, and the system is controlled by an Eclipse head unit. To ensure constant power, six Optima batteries were installed on a custom rack within the bed of the truck.
To finish off the truck, Morgan had Eric of Xtreme Tint in Whittier, California, go crazy on the windows. Eric matched the flame design and laid down five layers of Solar Guard film. The combination of red, blue, and metallic-silver layers were then covered with a sixth layer of clear film to ensure that the multi-layered design stayed intact.
Finally, the truck was completed, and Morgan remembered that although his truck was part of his life, his girlfriend was a bigger part. It's an easy mistake to make, we've all done it at one point or another, but now he has two beautiful girls to drool over. Hopefully for Christmas, Jessica will buy him a great big bib.