Duane Turner
Albuquerque, New Mexico
'95 Chevy Silverado Stepside


Drop-top cruisin' is something everyone should experience in his lifetime, even if it's from the seat of a rented convertible during a family vacation. The sense of unbridled access to your surroundings as you speed down the highway or a backcountry road is inspiring, especially when the view matches that "happy place" inside of your head. Most of us won't ever have the opportunity to cruise a roadster sport truck, and frankly the look is a subjective one. A roadster truck elicits opinions on both sides of the custom fence, but none can argue that it's a style that gets looks and requires more commitment from the owner than any other mod out there. Put simply, whacking the roof off of your truck and not replacing it with something else that protects all of that leather, tweed, vinyl, and audio equipment is nuts-but in a good way.

Duane Turner is a man who's not afraid to take what GM designed and reshape it to his liking. In fact, with input from his younger brother and his friends, Duane gave his Silverado three distinctly different looks before taking the Sawzall to the roof and calling it "good." After dropping $11,000 to buy the truck, it was at first mildly customized with a simple air suspension to remove some distance between it and Mother Earth. A smooth black paintjob followed shortly thereafter and served as the impetus for future mods. Although the black hue and stealthy stance looked quite menacing, the understated nature of Duane's truck wouldn't last long.

He'd come this far so why stop there? Duane hooked up with the crew at Jim's Paint & Autobody for the next round of mods, which would include literally shaving every obtrusive piece of plastic and metal on the truck that got in the way of the futuristically smooth body that Duane envisioned. The firewall was smoothed, the upper body line was filled in, all of the handles were deleted, and anything that protruded from the sheetmetal was unbolted and the holes were welded shut. In the midst of all the external mod mayhem, something more sinister was happening between the cab and bed walls; Duane's friend Chris was busy executing a 3-inch traditional body drop that would leave the body sitting flat on the ground when he was finished. The body shop then added a fresh set of blue flames to the black basecoat, and the truck was once again rolling in style.

Duane wasn't done, not by a long shot. His truck was by all accounts custom and represented his club, Severed Ties, well. He had bigger fish to fry though. The buildup had gone fairly smoothly and it was an intensive process that culminated with the mother of all body mods-removing the roof of the truck permanently. Rainy days be damned, out came the reciprocating saw, some 16-gauge sheetmetal stock, and the MIG welder, and off came the B-pillars and roof skin. The doors, window frame, and rear cab wall were all capped in steel and then bodyworked smooth. The body shop then gave the reborn truck a completely new identity with a molded and forward-tilting front end and a fresh paintjob in House of Kolor Majik Blue Pearl.

Love it or hate it, but you have to acknowledge the impact that a permanent convertible sport truck makes. Admission into this exclusive club requires more commitment than most will bear, but Duane has no problem with the membership requirements. His only gripe: keeping the roofless truck clean when he's not out rollin' hard and soaking up the rays on days when the truck begs to be exercised.

The 411
Engine/drivetrain:

5.7L V-8 / TH350 tranny / polished intake manifold / Edelbrock 600-cfm carb / Billet Specialties air cleaner and valve covers / aluminum radiator / Coolflex radiator hoses / chrome HEI cap / Gibson headers and polished stainless steel exhaust / yellow and purple accents
BY: Owner

Rims:
Front:
20x8.5 KMC Venom
Rear: 22x9 KMC Venom

Tires:
Front:
255/35ZR20 Nitto NT-555
Rear: 255/35ZR22 Nitto NT-555

Suspension:
Front:
Tubular upper and lower control arms / Bell Tech 2-inch drop spindles / 26C Firestone airbags
Rear: Four-link suspension / 26C Firestone airbags
Accessories: Stainless steel hard lines / Viair 380c compressors / 3/8-inch MIC manual air valves / 11-gallon fuel cell / stainless steel braided fuel lines
Chassis: Notched framerails that are painted
BY: Aftershock Customs, Albuquerque, New Mexico / Jim's Paint & Body, Socorro, New Mexico / Smith's Ultimate Lining, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Body Mods:
Entire underbody covered in spray liner / shaved taillights, upper body line, door handles, fuel filler, cab seams, stake pockets, and tailgate / roll pan / frenched antenna and LED taillights / traditional 3-inch body drop / roof chopped off and windshield lowered 4 inches / sectioned rear fenders / molded one-piece grille and tilt frontend / doors and cab capped and smoothed / shaved firewall / smooth wiper cowl / hood extended up to windshield to cover cowl
BY: Jim's Paint & Body / Chris from Arizona (body drop)

Custom Paint:
House of Kolor Majik Blue Pearl, Lemon Yellow, and gold pearl
BY: Damon of Jim's Paint & Body

Interior:
Honda Civic bucket seats are wrapped in cream pearl leather / '59 Impala dashboard molded to cab / handmade door panels and center console / Dakota Digital gauges / rear seats removed to make room for air compressors and air tank
BY: Gotcha Covered Upholstery, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Audio/Video:
None

Club:
Severed Ties

Special Thanks:
"I want to thank everyone that helped me, especially Jim and Damon at Jim's Paint & Body for their hard work. Also, my neighbor Chris, Markus, Danny, Scott, Jason, Jeremy, Dirty D, Ryan, Country Dan, and big thanks to all my brothers
and sisters in Severed Ties."