Paul St. John
'02 Chevy Silverado
When you're Paul St. John, owning a fiery hot truck isn't a gift, it's a blessing. After surviving a fall from a building, it's easy to understand why Paul would go through a mid-life crisis of sorts while in his 30s. The father of two already loved custom trucks, he just needed one of his own. In 2002, he purchased this Silverado and over time transformed it into a fireball on wheels, looking as if it were coming from outer space. And that's exactly how Paul wanted it to look.
Before you move forward, you usually take a few steps back and Paul did just that. At first, bolt-on parts were enough for him, but no one owns a custom truck for any length of time without wanting airbags, custom paint, or even a stereo. Paul was no exception to that rule. However, if you don't do your homework, you can end up with subpar installs or shady work and Paul felt the pain personally. The first shop Paul took his truck to for a 'bag install did the job, but Paul ended up with several issues down the road. One day on his way to a job interview, he heard awful noises coming from the front suspension. While he managed to make it into the parking lot, he quickly discovered a broken ball joint, a busted airbag, and a brake line that was completely destroyed.
This just wasn't cutting it for Paul. This wasn't what he had hoped for with his custom truck. After doing a little research, he hooked up with Joe at Outlaw Motorsports in Ft. Worth, Texas. Joe cleaned up the mangled suspension and added a few upgrades from McGaughy's, Viair, and AVS. Joe also cleaned up the plumbing with 1/2-inch aluminum air line. With everything said and done, Paul had the reliable air ride that he originally hoped for. Things were heading in the right direction, but Paul wanted more from his Silverado. That's when he met Izzy Espinoza at Picasso's in Ft. Worth.
While Paul already had a few bolt-ons and a few color-matched parts and pieces, he knew that he needed more. In order to play the game the right way, he needed custom paint and bodywork. Izzy was just the man to handle things for Paul. Doing the work in stages, Izzy began to smooth the truck out by shaving the taillights and stake pockets and flipping the tailgate handle. Other exterior items found on Paul's Chevy are a Sir Michaels steel rollpan, a cowl-induction hood, Checker Pro bed cover, and Sir Michaels billet lights. Paul and Izzy later met up to discuss a paint scheme, which Paul had already been thinking about. With the help of Ruben Gutierrez and Scott Vettern, Izzy worked hard to achieve the rod-inspired flamed look that Paul wanted. While the original idea did have to be tweaked slightly, both Paul and Izzy were pleased with the final product.
Paul's Silverado really began to look great, so he began taking it to shows to enjoy all the work and effort that had been put into it. After consulting a few people on what it takes to get a truck into a magazine, Paul began to realize that he needed more interior work before anyone would consider his truck for publication. Around this time, he met John from Bad Boy Interiors. John and Junior knew exactly what Paul needed to carry him to the next level. It came in the form of ostrich, suede, and a host of audio and video equipment within the cab of Paul's Silverado. What used to be a plain interior now consists of a combination of gray ostrich and blue suede with 3D flames, and is accented by many miscellaneous parts and pieces. To top it off, a clean and simple audio/video system featuring products from Alpine, Lanzar, and Rockford Fosgate is now found within the cab of Paul's Chevy, including a rear-view camera and a PS2. Paul even took the advice of his son and lined the headliner with a total of 48 LED lights to add a little interior flair.
Before it could be called complete, Paul and Izzy went back under the hood and cleaned up the factory 4.8L Vortec engine with the help of a Spectre cold-air ntake. They also installed an Optima YellowTop battery and painted and pinstriped many factory parts and pieces. The painted fuse box was later signed by none other than rapper Flo-Rida at a local radio station car show.
While Paul doesn't necessarily call his truck finished, he is enjoying it. Paul loves his kids, and one of the best parts of owning a custom truck for Paul is dropping them off at school or dances and watching the other kids go crazy when he hits the four train horns hidden behind the SS bumper cover. Paul even uses his Silverado as a prop during Halloween, dressing up as Carver the Clown and scaring many of the neighborhood kids for fun.
Don't expect this to be the last that you see from Paul or his Silverado. He tells us that he has bigger plans. For now, he's just enjoying the progress that he's made so far. We're just happy that Paul is alive and well to have brought us such a cool truck to admire. Paul would like to dedicate this to the memory of Jerry Clouse, a fellow trucker who's life was tragically cut short.