Most of us start out with a stock vehicle, lower it a little, and add some wheels before the full-on custom bug hits us. For John Castle, from Amory, Mississippi, it was more than a bug that hit him-it was a deer. Actually, he hit the deer and, for most people, that would just be an inconvenience, but not for John. He used this as an excuse to tear into his '97 Chevy Blazer and make it every bit of the custom SUV he had dreamed of.

Knowing he didn't want to rush things and cut corners before he put the Blazer on the road, John took his time, 3 years to be exact. Having to split time between his job with Pepsi Cola and his hobby, creating a sick ride wasn't the easiest thing to do. John's determination to have one phat Blazer carried him through the long hours along with the caffeine rush from the pallets of free Pepsi.

Besides using the money from the insurance company and his mom, John used his own two hands to bring the Blazer to fruition. Aside from being an avid Pepsi guy, John is also an accomplished artist, throwing down all the flames on this truck himself. That's right, people, the killer licks on the truck are owner-applied, right down to the pinstriping. We are not saying John is a one-man building machine; he had the help of some really talented people, such as the crew from Silver Star Customs, who did the suspension and the bodywork, and Gary Sellers who stitched up the interior.

We luckily hooked up with John, right as he finished his ride and lined up a photo shoot. When we say, "Right as he finished it," we mean that, literally. He was snapping in the final pieces of the interior only a couple hours before it was driven out to the location.

THE 411
Owner/hometown: John Castle / Armory, Mississippi

Year/make/model: '97 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer

Engine/drivetrain: 4.3L V-6 / four-speed automatic

Wheels/tires: 18x8 Panther Origin / Kumho 255/40R18

Suspension: (front) 2,600-pound Firestone 'bags / 1/2-inch air lines / SMC valves / (rear) Silver Star Customs Monster notch and four-link / 2,500-pound Firestone 'bags / 1/2-inch air line / SMC valves / one big-ass nitrogen bottle

Fabricator: Silver Star Customs of Horn Lake, Mississippi

Body Mods: Sonoma hood / Envoy bumper and headlights / Trenz grille / shaved handles, emblems, and rear gate / LED taillights / Sir Michaels roll pan / gas-filler door relocated into the wheelwell / Silver Star Customs filled the holes, spread the mud, and blocked it all straight again

Custom Paint: House of Kolor Tangelo Pearl Orange by Randy Campbell / House of Kolor white and purple flames with bubbles by John Castle and Patrick Powell

Interior: Factory seats and panels wrapped in a tweed and orange flame combo / speaker pods shaved off the door panels / tribal flames in the headliner / Nu-Image gauge cluster / Trenz rearview mirror / BAD steering wheel / billet and acrylic vents and pieces

Upholsterer: Gary Sellers of Corinth, Mississippi

Audio/video: Pioneer 5700 DVD/CD head unit / MA Audio midrange and tweeters / three MA Audio 10-inch subs / four Boss 7-inch monitors / installed by Derick and Jeb of Corinth, Mississippi