This is the short version of the story behind Curtis Garrigus' truck and how a life-changing event sent its build into the stratosphere. Curtis is a pretty interesting guy with lots of stories to tell, especially when it comes to his truck. When we sat down to pen the feature article on his '01 Chevy Silverado, a truck that he likes to call the "nightmare," the first thing we questioned was the actual cost to build the orange roadster. Sure, building a custom truck is quite expensive, but you have to stop for a second when you hear about one that costs as much as a used Bentley. So, Curtis laid it out for us. He told us all about how he originally bought the truck to tow around a BMW 318TI that he intended on drag racing. But, since the truck came with a V-6, towing the car became quite a chore, so the Beemer was sold and the truck became the focus of an entirely new project buildup. That was around 2001.
Curtis 'bagged the truck at Trevco, bought a one-off set of Boyd Coddington's finest wheels, and afterward shaved and painted the truck a sensible charcoal color. The Interior Shop's Todd Jubert then replaced the factory cloth interior with about four hides of supple leather. When the truck hit the streets again, it also featured an ear-splitting $12,000 audio and video system. According to Curtis, he invested about $38,000 at that point, not counting the price of the truck itself. Not a bad way to cruise Phoenix's Mill Street or the park on a Saturday night, if you ask us, but Curtis wasn't nearly satisfied. He saw plenty of trucks like his at the local cruise spots in the heavily populated custom truck world that is Arizona.
So, one day, he pretty much lost his mind and called his roommate at the time and instructed him to bring home a Sawzall, a pack of fine-tooth blades, some welding wire, and a case of cold beer. Curtis had an idea and it would take some time to see it through, but it was a grand idea, nonetheless. When his roommate arrived home that afternoon, the reciprocating saw was given a 110-volt diet, and after getting sufficiently inebriated, tape lines were laid out on the cab of the truck. The duo only needed the remainder of that evening to gut the interior and lop off the roof of Curtis' ride. The gaping holes between the sheetmetal walls of the cab were partially capped off and the truck put back into primer the following weekend. Curtis cruised it that way every day for months.
About that time, his grandmother passed away, causing Curtis to ask himself the kinds of questions that most of us don't have the answers to. His answer was to sell his house, hit the road, and explore life a bit--and finish his truck, no matter what the cost. So, he purchased another tow vehicle and an enclosed trailer for his roadster, then towed it 14 hours eastward to Denver, Colorado, the home of Motorsport Concepts. It was there that the truck would finally get over the hump and head toward completion. The shop had the truck for about a year, adding new OEM front sheetmetal, custom metalwork in the bed, and other smooth touches to the body. Those touches included a razor-cut windshield, re-angled door openings, a one-off tailgate skin, and a retractable license plate. All told, Curtis dropped nearly $40,000 on his truck to get the body smooth, custom, and coated in three shades of House of Kolor paints.
Remarkably, the truck still needed more coin to get to a state where Curtis could call it finished. The interior was revamped again, the old wheels were replaced with a new set of 22-inch Mizatis, and the audio system received its fair share of attention, as well. The culmination of all of this work and cash was a command performance at the 2004 SEMA Show, where the automotive world got its first glimpse of Curtis completed masterpiece. Since then, he's cruised and shown the truck all over the West Coast.
We tried to put a correct figure on what it would take to duplicate Curtis' ride, and it's admittedly less than he spent. Of course, we'd have this feature story as a blueprint giving us the advantage of only having to do things once. But, does that make Curtis less intelligent than the rest of us for having spent so much on a truck that might never give him the same financial return? Of course not. Whatever his goal was, he pursued it to the end, which is more than most people can say.
Owner/hometown: Curtis Garrigus / Scottsdale, Arizona
Year/make/model: '01 Chevy Silverado
Engine/drivetrain: Vortec V-6 / 4L60-E automatic / Hypertech Power Programmer / Poweraid throttle-body spacer
Wheels/tires: 22x9.5-inch Mizati Face Off / 265ZR22 Hankook Ventus ST
Suspension: (Front) AIM Industries drop spindles / Toxic shocks / Bridgestone air springs / (Rear) 4-inch drop leaf springs / SMC 1/2-inch electric valves / three Viair compressors and gauges / custom under-the-bed bridge-notch
Fabricator: Trevco and Curtis
Body Mods: Roadster conversion / custom-cut windshield / shaved cowl / GMC Denali front sheetmetal / fenders cut to match doors / tops of doors cut off and replaced with bedrail sheetmetal / shaved inner door panels / custom tailgate skin / hide-a-way license plate box / Harley-Davidson pop-up fuel filler
Bodywork: Motorsport Concepts' Barry Krans
Custom Paint: House of Kolor's Tangelo Pearl, Sunrise Pearl, red and gold sprayed by Motorsport Concepts' Jeff Carmin
Interior: Factory dash modified to accept a 13-inch monitor / custom fiberglass center console amp rack and door panels painted to match the truck / one-off billet speaker grilles by Chuck Jubert of The Billet Shop / Billet Accessories Direct billet steering wheel / Trenz billet shifter, heater control covers, pedals, and doorsills
Upholsterer: Todd Jubert of The Interior Shop
Audio/video: All Sony audio system consisting of two 10-inch subwoofers / 6.5-inch component speaker systems / 5.25-inch component speaker systems / 1,400-watt mono-block amplifier / 600-watt four-channel amplifier / two 10-disc CD changers / in-dash CD/DVD video head unit
Club: Pharcyde Customs
Thanks: Tony (aka Roaddawg) for all the help, Alysia Carlin for her time and effort, Pharcyde Customs' crew, including Worm, Ken, Beemer and all the Pham, all the guys from Mile High Motorsports, Jessica Johnson for keeping his head on tight, Nancy Johnson Templin: "I know you are looking down on me with a big smile," and last but not least, my Mother Unit, you helped me complete my dream.