"Spend the money the first...
"Spend the money the first time and do it right, so you don't have to do it over again... and again!" -Bryan Stern
There are millions of ways to get started building custom trucks. Some people are born into it, sitting on the fender while dad works on his prized possession. Some may find out about the world of custom trucks at other times in their lives. Maybe one of your friends had a cool truck. Maybe there was a club in town that had some impressive rides at the local cruise night. For 8-year-old Bryan Stern, it was a local show spot that hooked him into the custom scene for life. It was there that he began to admire and appreciate the things people did to their rides to stand out from the next. Fast forward to present, and we find that Bryan can't get enough. He is still playing with trucks, and his 8-to-5 is working for Intro Wheels. He's also the owner of this clean '03 Chevy Silverado standard cab.
Bryan's philosophy of truck building is to start from the outside and work in. So, the suspension was first on the list, where it was dealt with by the boys over at GO-EZ Customs. Up front, the stock control arms were modified and combined with a set of Slam Specialties airbags to get the front end down to Mother Earth, while still allowing it enough lift to clear the massive wheels he was going to throw at it. The rear end got a step-notch and a KP Components six-link that's paired with a second set of Slam Specialties airbags, and a Watts link keeps everything centered under the truck. For wheels, Bryan took a stroll through the Intro warehouse and picked out a combination set of 22- and 24-inch Intro Ram 6 wheels and wrapped them in Nitto rubber.
Under the hood, things were kept pretty simple. The 5.3L V-8 received a one-off K&N air intake with nitrous port that feeds into a Magna Charger Radix supercharger with 6-1/2 pounds of boost. Of course, the exhaust was rerouted, and a JBA Performance Exhaust system was added to accommodate the extra power and new frame-laying stance. An Auburn locking posi was installed to get this newfound power to the ground.
The ultra-smooth exterior and cool paint are a result of the combined efforts of Bryan Stern and Steve Vandemon. First, Ricky from Anaheim Prestige performed all of the metalwork. An SS front end from GM was added up front, and the door and tailgate handles were shaved, along with the third brake light. A steel roll pan was molded in before the truck was taken over to Absolute Custom Paint in Placentia, California, for Steve to do what he does best: paint. Steve got to work, laying down BMW's shade of Carbon Black Metallic, and came back with a custom mix of House of Kolor for the graphics that run down the sides and on the hood.
All of that custom paintwork continued inside the cab, complementing the handy stitchwork and stereo wizardry. The crew from South Coast Speed & Sound built the cool center console, which, along with the entire dash and door panels, was sent over to Vandemon for some more of that Carbon Black Metallic paint. South Coast also put together the audio system, which consists of a Clarion head unit that's wired to a pair of Orion amplifiers then filters down to Orion mids and highs, and a 10-inch sub. In addition, the center console houses the 10.4-inch monitor and Orion amps. Revo and company from Stitchcraft in Westminster, California, covered the seats and headliner in gray vinyl with blue suede inserts. Added touches to the interior include a Nu-Image aluminum gauge cover with five Dakota digital gauges that monitor fuel pressure, boost, time, suspension air pressure, and tire pressure.
After spending the better part of three and a half years modifying his truck, Bryan spent a lot of time showing it off whenever he could. And since these photos were shot, Bryan sold the truck about a week later, so he could concentrate on his next project, which you'll probably be reading about on these pages soon.