You've probably had some serious thrash sessions over the years to get a truck ready for a show, a race, or a long trip. Pulling all-nighters are not that big of a deal, right? They are a rite of passage that any serious truck owner must endure on the way to custom greatness. We thought we'd pulled off some incredible feats of custom before, that is until we met Tahua Pena and found out that he took a bone-stock '07 Chevy Silverado and completely transformed it in just five nights.
The truck you are looking at literally went from stock to full-blown custom in less than five days. Tahua and a crew of five guys that work at his body shop, Dinuba Collision, shut the doors at the end of each work day and then went ballistic on his Chevy just so they could debut it at our Havoc show in Fresno with one of the first '08 Caddy clip conversions. It's an improbable amount of work to get done in five days, let alone just five nights. Although the drivetrain and audio systems are stock, the miraculous story behind a truck he calls Pancho Tequilas was enough for us to put it onto the cover.
The madness got started on Monday, the same week we were invading Fresno, California, for another installment of Havoc. While we were at home watching Family Guy on the boob tube, Tahua, Raul Pena, Noah Rios, and Speedy were hard at work in the shop. By Tuesday morning, the framerails of Tahua's Chevy were planted on the floor of the spray booth thanks to a complete airbag suspension. The factory springs were gone and the truck tucked tire over a set of 22s and the guys switched gears, ignoring the 'bagged fullsize so that they could concentrate on fixing customer vehicles.
Tuesday night rolled around, and once again the guys turned their attention to the Chevy, this time cutting up the body with the help of employees Israel and Tony. The taillights were shaved and replaced with Hi Tech LED Products 16-inch-long LED lights. The door handle holes were filled and contoured to fit '07 Pontiac Grand Prix units. The rain gutters and third brake light were also filled in. Given that the show was just three days away, you might think that the guys might stop here and just get to sprayin' the new paint. Tahua wasn't ready to quit though. He picked up a complete OEM '08 Cadillac Escalade front clip and sliced, diced, and tweaked it until it looked like it belonged on the truck. The guys also covered the holes left in the bed from the step notch and massive wheels with fresh sheetmetal.
By Wednesday the all-night party started to take its toll on the crew, but they pushed through the daily grind of ordinary collision repair that the shop specializes in. Nightfall came and the interior revamp was tackled next. The stock headliner was covered in fiberglass, sanded smooth, and painted to match the dash and factory door panels. The seats were reupholstered in suede by another local friend, Mr. Gary of Ace Upholstery.
Thursday night was do-or-die time. If the truck was going to make it to the show in time to take its place on the showfield, it would have to be disassembled, painted, reassembled and polished in less than 24 hours. The factory paint was scuffed in preparation for sealer. If you look closely at the photos you'll notice that the guys didn't cut corners on the paintjob. There isn't a trace of factory paint in the door jambs of this truck. The areas that had been bodyworked were sanded smooth.