When we asked Victor Castillo of Kingsville, Texas, what he learned from building his '03 Dodge Ram, without missing a beat he responded, "Building a Dodge truck is not easy!" It takes a lot of effort to turn a stock Ram into a cool street custom, and Victor wanted to make his truck unique. Unfortunately, there isn't exactly an abundance of aftermarket parts made for the Dodge line of trucks. But Victor didn't back down. He was convinced he could overcome this obstacle.
Victor started by rolling his truck into the bay of K-Otic Ridez, located in his hometown of Kingsville. He wasn't looking for a frame-laying suspension setup-he wanted something functional, yet something aggressive and attention-getting. He decided his best option was to go with lowering product from McGaughy's. With a set of 2-inch lowering spindles and 2-inch drop springs for the front and a flip kit for the back, the Ram sits 4 inches closer to earth. Victor also had it figured out that he could add a set of 22-inch wheels and not have any clearance issues.
With the Ram's suspension in the bag, Victor's next step was to clean up the exterior of the vehicle with some simple body modifications. First, he changed out the factory hood for the flavor of a cowl-induction one from Keystone. Out back, a Sir Michaels roll pan took the place of the factory bumper. The tailgate handle was shaved off and moved to the inside. A tonneau cover was used to smooth out the lines on the bed, and the rear taillights have been replaced with euro-style units.
Victor had put together a clean daily driver, but he wanted his Ram to stand out in a crowd of fullsize pickups. He took the truck to Kingsville's Shop of Color where he sat down with owners Valentin and Verrick Falcon and chose a combination of House of Kolor Green Kandy over Orion Silver in a two-tone paint scheme. Flames outlined with HOK Orange were incorporated into the two-tone and follow the beltline of the Ram.
Although the paint scheme looked great, it was still missing that eye-catching appeal Victor wanted. He expressed his thoughts to Valentin and Verrick and opted for Verrick to bust out his airbrush and lay down some graphics. They decided on an Incredible Hulk mural on the tonneau cover with industrial-looking graphics covering the rockers of the Ram done with comic-book flair. Once Victor laid his eyes on the finished product, he knew this would separate his Dodge from the rest of the pack.
Next came sprucing up the interior with Kandy Green exterior paint on the dash and some additional airbrushed graphics to the doorjambs. The factory stereo system was upgraded with a Rockford Fosgate head unit that sends signal to a pair of Memphis Audio amplifiers. From there, boosted power is routed to a host of Memphis Audio component speakers and a duo of MClass subs. When Victor wants to watch a movie or partake in some PlayStation 2 action, he's got it covered. Two 7-inch video screens and a center video screen measuring 10 inches from a flip-down unit are used in the truck. No one can complain about not being able to see the TV.
Now that the truck is finished, Victor doesn't use it much as a daily driver anymore but instead prefers to take it to as many shows as possible. His Incredible Hulk-themed paintjob helps Victor rake in the trophies and illustrates perfectly this Dodge's metamorphosis. It just goes to show that the easy way isn't always best way.
Victor Castillo / Kingsville, Texas
'03 Dodge Ram 1500
4.7L Magnum V-8 / five-speed 545RFE automatic transmission / Flowmaster exhaust
BY: Three Star Muffler
Front & Rear: 22x9.5 Giovanna Lido
Front & Rear: 265/35R22 Kumho Ecsta STX
Front: McGaughy's 2-inch drop spindles / coil springs
Rear: McGaughy's flip kit
Chassis: C-notch / calipers and rotors painted candy green
BY: K-Otic Ridez, Kingsville, Texas
Shaved tailgate handle / clear front marker and taillights / tonneau cover / molded roll pan / cowl-induction hood
BY: K-Otic Ridez and Shop of Color, Kingsville, Texas
House of Kolor Organic Green Kandy, Orion Silver, and Orange
BY: Valentin and Verrick Falcon, Shop of Color
Stock seating / two-tone painted dash with HOK Organic Green Kandy, Orion Silver, and Orange / switch plates on door panels painted in HOK Organic Green Kandy
BY: Valentin Falcon
Rockford Fosgate RFX8310 source unit / Memphis Audio 16-MCA2004 four-channel amplifier / four sets of Memphis Audio 15-MSYNC6 6.5-inch components / one Memphis Audio 16-MCD1000 one-channel amplifier / two Memphis Audio 15-MS104D 10-inch subwoofers / Memphis Audio wiring / two Provision PRTV701H 7-inch headrest monitors and one 10-inch flip-down monitor / Sony PlayStation 2
BY: Audio Trek, Kingsville, Texas
Victor's Glass Co., Shop of Color, Audio Trek