When you're driving the quickest production pickup of the era, you don't need to spend a lot of money to make it quicker. Of course, you can if you have an insatiable need for speed, a condition under which a few of the staff at Sport Truck suffer, and we'd wholeheartedly endorse that course of action. But if you're satisfied with the performance of your pickup, as Ryan and Amanda McElfresh of Tom Ball, Texas, seem to be, that frees up the budget to add some personal style touches. In short, the McElfresh's Lightning needed some added flash; a bit of the bling-bling as it were.
Working with Throwed Off Customs in Spring, Texas, the husband-and-wife team chose its styling elements and let the crew go at it. The first thing the couple did was to have the shop's painter lay on some custom tribal licks detailed with graphics within the flames. The True Blue Pearl flames are traced with light-blue pinstriping. After the flames were done, the shop installed billet grilles in the radiator opening and air dam opening to complete the exterior customizing.
To personalize the interior, the crew brought the graphics theme into the cabin by painting the dash. The glovebox door, center section surround, and instrument panel surround are painted in the same True Blue Pearl and graphics as found in the flames. The crew also followed the billet theme by installing a flamed billet rearview mirror and pedals.
The couple limited performance enhancements to the engine to a trick intake system from AEM. "It beats most of the vehicles we're running against at the street drags," says Ryan, "so we just went with a cool-looking intake system to help it breathe a little better." Just a warning to you, Ryan, that's how it always starts. We know from personal experience.