Question: What does Larry Sower's '03 Chevrolet 1/2-ton and France have in common? The answer is they're both yellow. But that's where the similarities end. In July 2002, Sowers purchased his brand-new Chevrolet from the local Chevrolet dealer in Arlington, Texas, and with just 97 miles on the odometer, drove it straight over to Clark Brothers Paint and Body, also located in Arlington.
"For the past 22 years, I've worked at the Arlington GM assembly plant, where we produce the Cadillac Escalade," says Larry. "Since I couldn't afford to buy a real one, I decided to build a 'poor man's Escalade' instead, and since both Scott (who also works with Larry at the Arlington GM facility) and Eric Clark have so much experience building these trucks, who would be better to do it?"
Since Larry's 1/2-ton is basically brand-spanking-new and oh-so-squeaky-clean, very little had to be done to its 3.73:1-geared towing package suspension other than the customary lowering job, using a Ground Force 2- and 4-inch lowering kit. Wheels and tires on the truck consist of 20x8.5-inch Weld Racing EVO Espada billet aluminum wrapped with P275/45xR20 Goodyear Eagle GTII radial rubber.
The same thing could pretty much be said for the Chevy's powertrain. The 5.3L GM corporate small-block is stock internally, but features a Hypertech Power Programmer and genuine dual exhausts. On the outside, the 5.3L is covered with an Escalade engine cover painted in matching GM Wheatland Yellow.
Externally, Team Clark installed the '03 Cadillac Escalade exterior front sheetmetal, complete with a properly (2-inch) narrowed Escalade front bumper. Other modifications include the installation of a Sir Michaels tailgate handle relocater kit, along with shaving the handle on the tailgate. Other upgrades include an '03 Escalade rear bumper and '03 Cadillac Escalade door handles. Also part of the makeover is a Gaylord X-2000 one-piece fiberglass hard tonneau cover.
Inside, the makeover continued with Cadillac Escalade instrumentation and Cadillac Escalade I.D. inserts on the two-tone GM Katzkin graphite- and yellow-leather upholstery modified by Jeff at Arlington's Mid Cities Interiors.
Since completion last January 2003, Sowers has picked up three Best of Shows locally and a First Place in the Postwar Truck & Van category at the 2003 Ft. Worth Rod & Custom Show. Nice truck - nice truck indeed!