What do you do when you want a $60,000-plus fullsize Escalade and you just don't have that kind of cash lying around in your sock drawer, that is, if you have a sock drawer? In the case of Jay Crews of Orange Park, Florida, you build the next best thing.
That next best thing is an '00 Chevy Silverado that Jay, in his words, bought from a redneck in Georgia, and the truck was covered in tons of Georgia clay. Jay's new purchase used to do duty as a tow vehicle, but as a custom painter, Jay wanted to create a show rig. However, things don't always happen as planned. It seems that the truck was involved in a three-way accident involving an Astro minivan and a semi. The Chevy was totaled, and Jay was left with two options: take the insurance money and buy a Happy Meal, or rebuild the truck. Jay opted for the latter and proceeded to build one sick ride.
In six weeks, Jay began the frame-off restoration, with the help of fellow car dude Jamie Futch. The frame was smoothed and painted with Viper Silver paint. Upper control arm mounts got the 2-inch raise treatment. A custom-made two-link track-bar setup keeps the rearend from slip-sliding away on those long hauls to the truck shows. Slam Specialty's RS-72 and RS-82 'bags were the choice to lift and lower the Caddy conversion. Now, Jay's rig can lay frame quicker than you can say Barney's Bondage Caf and Orthodontic Care Facility and DayCare.
The body was the most dramatic part of the build, with the addition of a Caddy front clip, shaved emblems, door handles, a smoothed tailgate, and filled-in stake pockets. Finish it off with a rear roll pan from FBI and you're ready for paint. After a complete body massage, the truck was sprayed with Valspar Dark Persimmon Metallic. "John the Painter" from Jacksonville, Florida, laid out the pinstripe that adorns the tailgate and the roll pan.
The interior got the same treatment with a smoothed and painted dash, kick panels, doorsills, and A-pillars. The factory seats were then covered in a custom black suede with ostrich skin inserts. Matching door panels complete the interior style. For finishing touches to the overall appearance, Jay added Boyd Coddington 22-inch Turbine wheels, wrapped by Pirelli 295/30R22 tires, which give this Florida rig a mean roll when cruising the boulevards.
When asked what the biggest problem in building the truck over a six-week period was, Jay replied, "His now ex-wife," who wasn't too keen on the 24-7 blitzkrieg build. We also asked Jay if he had a name for his truck. He said, " Yes, it's called Escamade, 'cause I didn't buy it, I made it." Spoken like a true Sport Truck fan.
Owner/location: Jay Crews / Orange Park, Florida
Year/make/model: '00 Chevy Silverado
Engine/drivetrain: 5.3L / 4L60-E automatic with a 3.73 rearend
Wheels/tires: 22x10-inch Boyd Coddington Turbines / Pirelli 295/30R22
Fabricator: Jay Crews
Paint: Valspar Dark Persimmon Metallic
Upholsterer: Jay Crews
Audio/visual: Work in progress
Suspension: Two-link track bar rearend / reworked upper and lower A-arms / Slam Specialty's RS-72 and RS 82 slam 'bags / a compressor rated at 3/4 hp, pumping through 1/2-inch air lines
Body Mods: Shaved emblems and door handles / smoothed tailgate / filled stake pockets / a custom Caddy front clip
Interior: Stock seats covered in black suede with ostrich skin inserts / paint-matched door panels / smoothed and painted dash, doorsills, and A-pillars