As the Texas sunset gleamed off David Rodriguez's silver-flamed truck, it was difficult to tell, looking at the crowd gathered around the vehicle, who was the sole owner of the showpiece. With his girlfriend, parents, sisters, and a plethora of family members milling around, one principle frequently repeated in the truck-building scene showed through David's work: family matters.

We were flattered to learn that David's interest in the truck scene started with our own little magazine. Aside from the fascination that came in seeing the vehicles featured each month, David's family and friends have been the fuel behind his enthusiasm. At the tender age of 15, David's parents presented him with this '93 Chevy Silverado in its stock form and eagerly waited to see what would happen.

For more than three years, David and his friends have helped this truck mature. To begin the changeover, David took the Silverado to Xtreem Rydes in Huffman, Texas, where Robert Swindle and Joey Smith added 2,600-pound Firestone airbags to the front and rear, with a 150-psi 7-gallon tank providing air for the moves. The crew also adjusted the front with DJM 2-inch drop spindles and KYB shocks. The rear was taken care of with a custom two-link and cleaned up with a painted custom step notch and crossmember. As a tire technician at Dan's Tire Shop in Humble, Texas, David saved some change on the 22-inch Stryker 5s wrapped in 265/35R22 Scorpion P Zeros that hit the ground.

With the suspension's altitude at the perfect level, the Chevy was ready for an exterior revamp. David handled the first phase himself, swapping the factory grille for a '98-style grille shell with an eight-bar, adding a split billet front bumper with foglights, and installing Projector headlights and crystal-eye mirrors. The truck was then taken to Houston, where Bobby Rhea shaved the door handles, the tailgate handle, the antenna, the cab lines, and the stake pockets. For the final bodywork, he added a frenched license plate to the tailgate and molded the roll pan. Bobby then set to work on the paint, covering the truck in House of Kolor Candy Organic Green. With a solid basecoat, Pat Maxwell from Maxwell Designs in Spring, Texas, finished the look with House of Kolor iridescent-flaked Orion Silver tribal flames.

The interior work was handed to Barrett's Upholstery and began with four '98-style bucket seats covered in Keystone green-and-gray vinyl. The dash face was then smoothed and painted to match the exterior, a fiberglass 3-D-flamed center console was put into place, and a custom flamed headliner topped things off. To brighten things up, Dave basically bought out Bullet Customs, with items that included an NRL tribal billet steering wheel, a shifter, pedals, door seals - you get the idea.

Throughout this buildup, David learned that there are no shortcuts, so the stereo was only given what it deserved. Adrian Vasquez at Icon Car and Audio installed 12-inch JL Audio W3s and a 1,000-watt Rockford Fosgate amp, which are manned by a Clarion head unit with a CD/DVD player. Not to be forgotten, a 7-inch Zenith T-view flip-down monitor emerges from the headliner, while a 5-inch Zenith replaces the factory radio.

Looking at this truck, it's hard to imagine that an 18-year-old, who just finished high school, managed to save the money to complete this project on his own terms. Although the price for such a ride was problematic at times, David said that having the pride and knowledge to build a truck himself was worth the trouble. Special thanks go to David's girlfriend, David's dad, and the rest of the family, and to Robert Swindle and Joey Smith at Xtreem Rydes, Louie at Bullet Customs, Pat Maxwell, Barrett's Upholstery, Dan's Tire Shop, Jake Pierce, Texas House of Dubs, and the rest of the Xtreem Rydes crew.