Anthony "Big Ant" Delawder * Huber Heights, Ohio
'98 Dodge Ram
Anthony "Big Ant" Delawder is relatively new to the truck scene, but he is no stranger to custom vehicles. He built a Mitsubishi Eclipse that was dropped over Konig wheels with Air Ride Technologies Air Struts and had a slick bright orange paintjob. Ant said, "The car was cool, but I got tired of catching crap from my club brothers." Anthony is a member of Aftermath, which was formed in '01. In that short amount of time, the club has formed chapters in eight states across the country and two chapters in other countries. There have been at least seven Aftermath trucks on the cover of Sport Truck since I have worked here, so you can see why the brethren were giving him crap.
The decision was made to sell the Eclipse and build a truck of equal coolness. Instead of starting with a Chevy, Big Ant decided to take the road less traveled and try his hand at a Dodge. After a little searching, he found this '98 Ram just waiting to be transformed into a custom machine. Driving his newly acquired truck home, visions of a rocker-dragging stance and big wheels filled his head, and before the exhaust could cool the build began. The first step was to reconfigure the frame for a stock-floor body drop. Anthony and a few friends got busy replacing portions of the frame beneath the cab, Z'ing the front clip, notching the rear, and boxing the rails. All of that cutting and welding to the frame made a low truck but that wasn't enough. Ant wanted his truck's sheetmetal to kiss the pavement, so the front received a set of DJM upper arms combined with a modified set of stock lowers and a set of Firestone 'bags. Even with all of those parts installed, the truck still didn't lay in the front. Anthony found the lower arms were binding up on the frame so he notched the area around the pivot point, which allowed the arms to articulate and let the truck lay out. Out back, the monster notch in the framerails made room for the rearend housing, but the springs just wouldn't cut it so a hand-fabbed four-link was constructed from 1-1/4-inch DOM tubing and supported with a set of Slam Specialties 'bags. All of the bags were hooked to a set of Parker valves with 1/2-inch line, and two 5-gallon air tanks provide the storage. No custom truck would be complete without killer rolling stock, and Ant's truck is no different. He picked up a set of black KMC Rockstars and wrapped them in 35-series Wanli rubber.
The Ram was completely slammed, but the body was still stock, and stock doesn't fly in his club. Ant and his crew stripped the truck down to bare metal and started deleting handles and sealing the bedfloor back up. A rollpan was welded to the bed to replace the bumper, and a Street Scene piece smoothes out the front. With the metal work out of the way, it was time to get the body straight enough for paint. Again, Anthony called on the help of his friends and club brothers to body-work the truck. After countless hours of spreading mud and block-sanding it smooth, it was ready for Jason Turner to lay down the Viper Red and metallic gray two-tone scheme. Once the paint was dry, the design was striped in blue and buried in clear.
Last on the to-do list was the interior, and luckily this is a standard cab so the job wasn't going to be that bad. Ant recovered the stock seats in a gray and red suede combo and added the same red suede on the door panels. To complement the seats, some of the interior plastics were given a coat of Viper Red and some billet pieces were added. The main focus in the interior is a custom fiberglass console, which holds three 10-inch JL Audio subs.
With the truck complete, Big Ant was eager to show it off to his club. Once they laid eyes on the Dodge, all the smack talk ended. Now Anthony belongs to the elite group of Aftermath members who have magazine features, and he can start dishing out some smack talking of his own. We asked if the truck was done and Anthony said, "No way, I have already switched to a set of 22-inch ADR rims and some other stuff is in the works."