Carlos Padilla * Las Vegas, Nevada
'01 Chevy Blazer Xtreme
Having a truck glorified in a magazine is not only an honor, but also something that takes a lot of work to achieve. With the exception of vehicles built for the SEMA Show, most of the trucks that grace the pages of this magazine were not built in a miraculously short period of time. That's because not everyone has tons of time on his or her hands or loads of cash to drop on a show vehicle. Carlos Padilla, the owner of this '01 Chevy Blazer, is another one of the many people we just described. Carlos first got into custom vehicles by way of his exposure to the car stereo scene, when he added some audio components to his '89 Blazer. Once complete, he had one bangin' system in a not-so-happening truck.

Carlos eventually realized that true custom vehicles are composed of many aspects. Motivated to do something more, he looked into getting a vehicle that had a better overall appeal. Hooked on the feel of a two-door SUV, Carlos chose this Xtreme version of the Blazer because it already came with a stylish ground effects kit. From there, he worked on the truck from the inside out by first installing a beefy mobile entertainment system and reupholstering every interior component. Then, he moved onto adding an air ride suspension to get the truck low over a set over a set of 17s.

At the time, he and his wife were considering a second mortgage on their house, and Carlos planned on using the cash to finish the truck. Once the deal was set, he took his half of the money to Musso Motorsports in Las Vegas, Nevada, where the crew helped him gain full show status with his Blazer. There, Joe and Clint shaved the body, worked it straight, and prepped it for a full custom paintjob. When it came time to pick the paint scheme, Carlos had the idea of going with a violet and black two-tone. For the break in between the colors, Carlos wanted flames to give it snap, so he rolled the Blazer next door in order for Ryan Evan of Kaotic Customs to apply his artistic talents to it. Once Ryan was done masking off and painting the flames, he added his signature "Kaotic" logo cut out of an actual one hundred dollar bill. Then, the break was pinstriped and received dropped shadows before getting set in clear.

Though Carlos had already worked on the interior of the truck, it needed to be updated a bit to match the new look of the exterior. To resolve this, he had the seats reupholstered in black vinyl with purple tweed flames. Then the headliner, dash, and door panels were covered in black vinyl and purple tweed with raised flames. Next, Carlos had Steve Platt of Platinum Audio Designs create one hell of a custom ported enclosure for a 15-inch Resonant Engineering subwoofer.

Despite the fact that it was on air, it still wasn't low enough for Carlos because he was becoming more inspired by the frame-laying trucks he had seen in all the mags. Back at Musso's shop, Adam and Joe got the front suspension down with a pair of drop spindles and a complete set of control arms. For the rear, a custom two-link with a Panhard bar was fabricated, while the frame and cab floor were notched to let the rear axle have enough travel to lay the frame on the ground. Though doing heavy suspension work on an already painted vehicle is tedious, the crew got it done without scratching anything. Now that it's done, this truck is not only an ear pleaser, but a piece of eye candy that everyone can enjoy staring at.