Being able to finish a truck and have it on the cover of a magazine is a feeling different from any other accomplishment in your lifetime. Sadly, most think this feat is virtually impossible without a rich mom and dad backing the build or a lucky lotto ticket. Let us be the first to tell you that it can be done by just about anyone who is willing to put up with the long nights, hard work, and most importantly-determination.
Thinking that you can never build a truck to magazine status is just starting out on the wrong foot. Galen Armenta of Mission Viejo, California, will be the first to tell you it does not happen overnight. In fact, it happens over many nights. Galen is not a rookie when it comes to building custom vehicles. Starting in high school, he knew one day he would have something that graced the pages of a magazine such as Sport Truck. He and his buddies used to roll deep in his super static-dropped standard-cab Ford Courier to and from high school parties thinking they were the coolest cats in town.
Driving that truck gave Galen the bug that has bitten so many of us, and in this case never let go. The bite would drive Galen's passion for custom trucks so far that over ten years and three custom vehicle builds later, here we are. Now, instead of Galen walking into the local market purchasing magazines with other awesome rides on the cover, people will be purchasing a magazine with his very own build smacking them right in the face.
Galen purchased his brand-new Chevy with every intention of voiding each and every factory warranty offered to him. The void would start by getting the truck to ST Trucks in Riverside, California, where Belltech suspension components would help the truck get a bit closer to planet Earth. The front was dropped utilizing a set of Belltech 3-inch drop coilovers, two-way adjustable shocks, and two-inch drop ball joints. With the front of the truck all taken care of, the rear needed some attention. Belltech also supplied the 3-inch drop leaf springs, two-way adjustable shocks, and to keep everything level, Belltech front and rear antisway bars were installed along with a transmission crossmember for ground clearance. Devious Customs was called upon to keep the axle and frame separated by installing a C-Notch.
A truck can be lowered and spruced up, but not all is fair in lowering and handling without a proper set of rims and tires. To address the issue, a set of 20x9 MB Wheels wrapped in Hankook Ventus ST RH06 265/40R20XL tires were bolted up to fill the Colorado's wheelwells. The rearend was narrowed 4 inches to accommodate the wide wheels and still keep them within the confines of the fenders. What we all need to understand is that bigger wheels mean bigger brakes. You cannot just put oversized rims and tires on your ride and expect to have factory-like braking capabilities. Understanding this situation can save you a few brake jobs in the future. ST Trucks installed an SSBC Force 10 three-piston aluminum caliper disc brake kit up front along with an SSBC Force 10 single-piston disc brake kit in the rear.
The outside of the rig needed to look as good as the truck handled. Up front, a Street Scene SS front bumper was installed along with brushed-aluminum speed grilles and side-view mirrors so Galen could check out what is trying to keep up with his corner-carving Colorado. Goodmark provided a sweet cowl-induction hood, while Leer took care of the bed with its 800-series bed cover. The best-of-the-best, Grant Customs, was called upon to smooth out the gas door and tailgate skin, and build the one-off roll pan.
Once the outside was all smoothed out, it was time to get the shine on. Galen took the truck to Merzees Auto Body in Santa Fe Springs, California. Todd, Jeff, and Galen spent countless hours prepping the truck for a paintjob inspired by Smokey Yunick's Trans Am Racing Series Camaro. Alsa Jet Black was applied to the lower half of the truck, while Moroccan Gold took care of the upper portion. Dividing these two colors, Blood Red Candy was sprayed over Ghost Chrome that was made to look like brushed aluminum for a cool look. As you can see, the finished product came together like bread and butter.
The interior is the final frontier when it comes to a build, and Galen didn't cheat this one. The factory bucket seats are wrapped in charcoal leather along with yellow houndstooth print. The headliner is perforated leather, and to top if off Devious Customs supplied the billet grab handles. Galen is a mini-trucker at heart and no matter what the build is a mini-trucker has to have sounds. Hold your breath folks, because the next paragraph has a lot of numbers and letters that would have most of us baffled.
The audio/video setup in this truck is simply amazing. An Alpine IVA-W205 2-DIN DVD/CD/MP3/WMA/iPod receiver/AV head unit was installed into the dash to command the system. Now, if that was not enough, a Blackbird PMD-B200 portable navigation system prevents Galen from getting lost on the way to the local car shows. Powering the Orion HCCA separates is an Orion HP2800 four-channel High Performance Pure MOSFET amplifier. Here is where the juice kicks in: A series of four D2400 amplifiers powers the two Orion HCCA 10-inch subs. Let's just say the bass will rattle the fillings right out of your mouth. Scosche Industries carries all the power needed for the stereo while a Clifford G5 alarm with remote start protects the inside from would be intruders.
From the purchase to laying down the paint, Galen was involved tooth and nail. With a wrench in one hand and a camera in the other, he somehow managed to down an energy drink or two or three to get the job done. He made sure that in the end the truck would drive as well as it looked. What we have here is the perfect example of what can happen if you take what you want and apply yourself through years of planning, commitment, and finally many long nights of hard, dedicated work. Never underestimate your ability to finish a project. Galen would like to thank everyone who had a part in the buildup of his truck.
3.7L LLR I-5 / five-speed automatic transmission / K&N polished FIPK / rearend narrowed 4 inches to fit the wheels / SSBC Force 10 three-piston aluminum-caliper disc brake kit in front / SSBC Force 10 single-piston aluminum-caliper disc-brake kit in rear
BY: Diff Works, Corona, California / ST Trucks, Riverside, California
Front: 20x9 MB Wheels KL-77 with a Ford offset and drilled to the Chevy Colorado bolt pattern by MC Motorsports
Rear: Two-inch wheel spacers from MC Motorsports / 20x9 MB Wheels KL-77
Front & Rear: Hankook Ventus ST RH06 265/40R20XL
Front: Belltech 3-inch drop coilovers / Belltech two-way adjustable shocks / Belltech 2-inch drop ball joints / Belltech antisway bar
Rear: Belltech 3-inch drop leaf springs / two-way adjustable shocks / Belltech antisway bar
Accessories: Devious Customs C-notch
Chassis: Belltech transmission crossmember
BY: ST Trucks, Riverside, California
Street Scene SS front bumper, Speed Grilles and Sport side-view mirrors / Goodmark cowl-induction hood / shaved door handles / Leer 800 Series tonneau cover / Grant Customs tailgate skin and one-off roll pan and gas door
BY: Owner / Grant Customs, Oroville, California
Alsa Paint Jet Black, Moroccan Gold, Blood Red Candy, Ghost Chrome
BY: Owner / Todd Faulkner / Huntington Beach, California / Merzees Auto Body, Santa Fe Springs, California
Stock Colorado bucket seats wrapped in charcoal leather and yellow houndstooth / perforated leather headliner / Devious Customs billet grab handles
BY: Owner / Roadwire, a Division of Classic Soft Trim, Commerce, California / 714 Motorsports, Westminster, California
Alpine IVA-W205 2-DIN DVD/CD/MP3/WMA/iPod receiver/AV head unit / Blackbird PMD-B200 portable navigation system / four sets of Orion 6.5-inch two-way component speakers / Orion HP2800 two-channel High Performance Pure MOSFET amplifier / two Orion HCCA-10.4 10-inch 4-ohm subwoofers / four Orion HCCA-D2400 high-current competition class d amplifiers / Scosche EFX wiring and terminals by Scosche Industries / Clifford G5 alarm with remote start / custom-made sub enclosure and amp rack / three Kinetik Audio 2400 Power Cells and one 1200 Power Cell
BY: Owner / James O'Neill of Devious Customs, Riverside, California
Forbidden Fantasy (FFF)
Belltech Suspensions, SSBC Brakes, Discount Tire Direct, Hankook Tires, Street Scene Equipment, Goodmark, Alsa Paint Corp., Roadwire by Classic Soft Trim, Leer, DEI, Orion, Clifford, Kinetik Power Cells, K&N, Scosche Industries, Autoloc, Hushmat, MC Motorsports, and Alpine. To all of my friends who were involved in the building of this truck: Thank you. If I missed anyone, I apologize; I really tried to remember everyone who helped. To Calin Head for helping in the design of the truck, Semon and Tony at ST Trucks, Steve and crew at Diff Works, Todd Faulkner for the countless hours getting ready for SEMA, Erik Harbour for taking time out of his SEMA build to lend a hand. I'd like to also thank Steve at MC Motorsports, Alan at 714 Motorsports, Jeff Mersey, Sam at Alsa Paint, Marcel Venable for letting me use his paint booth to learn how to paint two days before SEMA, James O'Neil at Devious Customs, and Jeff Davy, owner of Devious, for letting me invade his shop. And thanks to Scosche Industries for coming through at the last minute with the wiring, and Mike Cotten and Mike Lee and friends for helping me detail the truck at SEMA.