It's a somewhat rare occurrence these days when the tech sheet that we provide to truck owners to tell us about themselves and their trucks reads funnier than the owner's Myspace.com profile. But, such is the case with Jeff Davy, owner of Devious Customs in Ontario, California. His tech sheet was full of witty answers to questions like "How many previous customs have you built?" His reply was, "Which day?" Another response that got a laugh here at the office was his answer to the question: "Were there any interesting things that happened during the build?" Jeff wrote that his daughter was conceived in the back seat of this dualie and delivered in the front seat. He's a character all right-easy going when it comes to life but serious as a heart attack when it comes to building custom trucks.
And so it goes for a family man with one of the fastest-growing custom shops in Southern California. Starting with practically nothing, his shop has grown to turn out a ton of trophy-taking rides over the years, and it seems that even with four kids and a wife all vying for his time, Jeff still manages to put something cool together for himself. Call it boundless energy, if you will, but this guy has built quite a few killer trucks, and most of them have been Chevy Crew Cab dualies. His latest, a '99 Chevy C3500, is perhaps his best, even if it's not finished.
The first thing you have to know about this truck is that it doesn't have a diesel engine, even though Jeff wishes it did. Now that wouldn't be a big deal to most, except that Jeff regularly hauls a 24-foot enclosed car trailer to truck shows as part of his booth display, and he does it with a 454 big-block engine. That's not so out of the ordinary either, but this truck also does the hauling while rolling on a set of enormous 24-inch Alcoa aluminum wheels and crackhead skinny 275/35R24 Toyo Proxes tires. You read that correctly. This truck sits flat on the ground, tucking massive amounts of 24-inch rollers, and Jeff still puts thousands of miles on the truck towing a trailer. It wasn't easy making the switch from 16-inch eight-lug wheels to 24-inch 10-luggers, either.
The swap required a rear axle and front hubs from a 3/4-ton dualie and a set of wheel adapters from Ekstensive Metalworks just to bolt on the rims. After adding an air suspension, replacing the center section of the framerails with 2x4-inch by 0.250-inch wall rectangular tubing, and performing a 4-inch body drop to the bed, Jeff still had to find a way to make the wheels fit. The solution at the rear of the shortbed sport truck was to section the fenders, adding 4 inches of height and 2 inches of width, using fiberglass cloth and resin. Up front, Jeff crafted a new set of control arms that are 3 inches wider than the stock parts and pivot on spherical bearings with high misalignment spacers rather than traditional ball joints. The new arms enabled the front suspension to cycle through enough travel to uncover the front wheels for U-turns. The rear axle received a four-link, and a fuel cell replaced the stock gas tank that likely would have been dragged on the ground when the air was released from the 'bags. According to Jeff, the truck is reliable and rides plush.
The body received its fair share of upgrades, as well. While preparing to shave the door handles of a customer's Hummer H2, Jeff thought the H2's handles might look nice on his dualie. So, out came the die grinder and off came the sheetmetal surrounding the handles. Then, Jeff grafted the H2 handles and sheetmetal into his Chevy. The rear of the rare shortbed dualie also scored a full tailgate skin from Grant Customs. And if you didn't already notice his truck rollin' toward you, Jeff added a custom chrome bumper, billet grille inserts, and just enough airbrush work on the hood to warn you that 1-ton of mayhem is headed your way.
This is one of the better constructed heavy haulers we've seen, as of late. Will Jeff find the time to finish it, or does he have other plans for the dualie? We'll just have to wait and see what his devious mind comes up with.