There's plenty to be said for the personal satisfaction that comes from doing things yourself, Especially if it involves hours and hours of labor building the custom truck of your dreams. Just ask Raymond Sanchez of Mendota, California. An avid car and truck enthusiast since childhood, Raymond couldn't wait to get his hands on his parents' '92 Chevy pickup, and now, nearly four years later, the fruits of his customizing labor of love have been realized as he is the proud owner of a 'bagged and body-dropped, show-quality custom.

The basic ingredient for Raymond's custom recipe is a '92 Chevy Extended Cab that came to him with a traditional 4/6 drop and 17-inch rolling stock. With visions of trophies in his head, Raymond and friend Rick Ceja began assembling the parts and idea list for his custom.

The first order of business was to take the truck down to the frame and add a KRZ Customs airbag suspension setup. The system uses 1/2-inch lines throughout, Slam Specialty airbags, Parker valves, and Belltech drop spindles up front dampened by KYB shocks. Out back is a custom four-link setup and C-notch for added axle travel. The system is fed through a VIAIR 550-series compressor that fills a 9-gallon storage tank. While the truck would lay frame, Raymond was looking to lay rocker, so he and some friends got together to give the Chevy a 3-inch body drop. Before final assembly, each component on the suspension was painted or powdercoated for a finished look. Rolling stock on the truck consists of 20x8.5-inch Lexani Krystal wheels wrapped with 245/40R20 Yokohama tires.

Under the hood, the original 5.7L engine remains relatively stock with the exception of some Dynomax high-flow catalytic converters and three-chamber Flowmaster exhaust system. Complementing the exhaust upgrades is a Hypertech Stage II performance chip in the truck's ECM. With the inner fenders removed to accommodate the body drop and airbag suspension, the firewall was smoothed and painted while a host of billet dress-up items were added, including a street-rod-style air cleaner, valve covers, and brake master cylinder cover. Also visible under the hood are the truck's chrome upper control arms.

At first glance, it's obvious Raymond's Chevy has had extensive body mods. The first clue is the '01 Cadillac Escalade front clip on the nose mated to an '01 GMC Sierra bumper and air dam. The entire truck was shaved at Ramirez Custom Auto Body and Paint in Kerman, California, which included the door handles, tailgate handle, bold lines and seams, stake pockets, and wiper cowl. A set of Caddy taillights from a Sedan DeVille was grafted on the back of the truck. Extensive work was also performed in the bed, as the entire bed was smoothed with sheetmetal and layered with closed-cell foam before being shot with Line-X bedliner. Bolt-ons include a SnugTop tonneau and Street Scene mirrors, and a Sir Michaels steel roll pan out back.

Raymond admits to lots of long hours of sanding and prepping before the truck was rolled into the paint booth for a basecoat of PPG Twilight Blue Pearl. Manuel Ramirez is credited with applying the blue, while Finish Line Paint and Graphics of Clovis, California, gets the nod for the truck's tribal-flame paint scheme using PPG Lemon Lime and Ice Pearl.

The inside of the truck received just as much attention as the exterior. With the entire inside gutted, the cab was sprayed with a layer of Line-X bedliner to act as a sound-deadener and insulator. Low-back buckets from a '95 Chevy Monte Carlo were used and are separated by a custom center console. All the inside plastic surfaces were sanded and smoothed prior to painting, including the door panels and glovebox. Hatcher's Upholstery was the source for the truck's blue-and-gray flamed tweed interior, which is carried through on the seats, door panels, headliner, and even in the bed. To set off the tweed, plenty of billet from Trenz was added to the dash.

Since no self-respecting custom would be complete without a rockin' sound system, Raymond assembled a bevy of Sony and JL Audio stereo components, which were sprinkled liberally throughout the cab of the truck. The 1,000-watt system uses a Sony head unit, twin 12-inch JL Audio subs, four 5.5-inch JL Audio speakers in both the dash and doors, two 6x9-inch speakers in the B-pillar, and twin 1,000-watt JL Audio amps that drive the system.

Raymond readily admits the road from stock to show-stopping custom was long and expensive. He also has a huge laundry list of folks that helped along the way. More importantly, he learned valuable customizing skills, such as how to weld and the ins and outs of airbag suspensions, and to appreciate his wife Carolina's patience while making his dream truck a reality.