Jesse Chapa
San Antonio, Texas
'03 Dodge Ram 1500


For many of us, our show truck is the truck we drive to work each day, especially for the younger truck builders who are just getting started in the sport. Our project is often the daily driver, and it's a fact that building your driver simply takes longer to do. For Jesse Chapa of San Antonio, Texas, that is the case for his Dodge regular cab, which he rolled out of the new car dealership in 2003.

Even for a driver, it did not take long before the changes started taking place. Jesse did some custom work on the Dodge front suspension by relocating the control arms and spring towers 8 inches higher using DJM suspension components so that the front wheels remain "straight" when the big Dodge is layin' frame. A pair of Slam Specialties airbags was also installed up front, with the air supply coming from the compressors mounted under the bed at the rear of the truck.

To get the rear suspension setup to work with the front modifications, the frame was notched 8.5 inches to give the factory rearend plenty of room to roam while getting the wheels tucked under the factory sheetmetal. This setup includes another set of Slam Specialties airbags, as well as a four-link suspension and new mounts for the factory shocks. With the suspension modifications to tuck the tires and wheels finished, it was time to get those new 22s. A set of four 22x10 Centerline wheels are wrapped in Toyo Tires that measure 265/40R22, and provide plenty of road contact.

Of course no draggin' Dodge can have a stock body, so a new Chassis Tech 2.5-inch cowl-induction hood was installed along with a new billet grille for a performance look up front. Shaving the door handles and installing new side mirrors smoothed the long body lines of the Dodge, while a molded Sir Michaels roll pan gives the bed of the truck a finished look. With the body smooth, No Coast Customs of Carson City, Nevada, started with a PPG Silver Orion color for the basecoat of the Dodge and then applied the House of Kolors Candy Tangerine paint across the top half of the truck. To create a detailed look, a Stardust Blue stripe surrounds the truck for color separation, and a Cobalt Blue pinstripe is the finishing touch to the paintwork.

The interior of the Dodge also received upgrades, such as an audio system installed by Exotic Car Audio of Carson City, Nevada. Starting with an Alpine head unit, there are three Alpine amps mounted behind the seats that provide 1,005 watts of total power to the Alpine Type X speakers mounted in the regular cab Dodge. There is a pair of Alpine 10s mounted in the custom-built center console, along with a pair of Alpine 6s to form the basis of the system. Another pair of 6-inch Alpine speakers can be found in the doors, and another pair of 4.5-inch speakers is mounted in the dash. ABC Upholstery of San Antonio, Texas, used gray leather material that has black leather inserts to match what is left of the factory interior design and rebuilt the chopped bucket seats.

The power for the Draggin' Dodge comes from a 4.7L V-8 with factory numbers that show 240 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque off the assembly line. With the addition of a K&N air filter to improve airflow, as well as a Flowmaster 2.5-inch exhaust to help get rid of the spent gases, and a JET Stage I performance module, the owner estimates 350 hp under the massive Dodge hood.

Building your only source of transportation into something cool takes time, especially if you want the work done right. It can be a long wait, but every day this low rolling Dodge provides some cool transportation for owner Jesse Chapa, as he continues to build his draggin' Dodge.