Building a custom hauler takes time, forethought, patience, and lots of money. A full custom can take years and mean an indeterminable amount of downtime. Deciding on how far to take the project is the first step in the process. The trick is to figure out the right combination that gives the desired result. Bob Ruane of Skysville, Maryland, has found the right combination for a daily driver. Not too low, not too loud, but definitely a head-turner.

Bob started with a fresh ’98 Chevy Extended Cab that only had 7,000 miles to its name. The truck was given the lowdown perspective with Belltech 2-inch drop spindles up front and a custom ladder bar with C-notch out back. Altitude is controlled via Chassis Tech’s Hot Air suspension setup. Bob’s custom features a 3/8-inch pressure line to the airbags driven by 10-gallon tanks linked to a 150-psi compressor. KYB shocks take care of any vibrations the airbags cannot. The 1500 series hauler sports a 3.73:1 tow package in the rear that makes its ground connection with 18-inch Budnik Famosa wheels wrapped in Michelin rubber. Body mods were kept to a minimum. A Sir Michaels weld-in roll pan conceals the tow hitch, which hides under the custom flip-up license plate. The rear was further cleaned up by a Godfathers tonneau and a handle flip kit. For a fresh supply of air to the engine Bob put in Godfathers steel cowl induction hood and Phantom billet grille. A short trip to Randy Kurtz’ Automotive Restyling landed the pickup its new custom flames. The stock black was overlaid in House of Kolor’s purple, violet, and magenta flames with blue outlines or pinstriping.

The final stage was a bit of go-fast for the engine. The custom hauler’s ponies were freed up using a 2 ½-inch exhaust and a Vortech muffler setup. The 350 maintains its stock internals but uses a Hypertech power programmer to get the most power out to the wheels. All air coming through the cowl-vented hood is funneled through a K&N filter followed by Air Force One’s intake tube. With almost 300 horses at the rear wheels, Bob’s custom hauler will almost certainly beat the stock competition black and blue.