There's something about a challenge that brings out untapped levels of creativity. You know, it's the old joke about getting the job done because you didn't know it was impossible. Whether it's the need to prove ourselves in competition or because someone questions our ability to succeed, the challenge generally motivates us to new heights.
Jason Bell from Anderson, South Carolina, knows about challenges. He bought his '98 GMC 2500 series brand-new from the dealership and owned it about two years before beginning its customization. "What prompted the makeover?," we asked. "Aggravation!" was his terse reply. A lot of Jason's friends already drove custom trucks and implied that there was no way he could outdo them. Always up for a challenge, he decided to prove them wrong.
Lots of people decide to customize trucks, but Jason's only previous experience was working in the family furniture business and running a window tinting job on the side. He took the unique approach of teaching himself the full range of skills needed to complete the customizing process. He began by modifying the truck's profile using a Firestone Air Ride system with 2,600 'bags and Viair 450 compressors that fill the 10-gallon reserve tank mounted to the chassis. The new adjustable suspension worked well, but it didn't bring the truck quite low enough. In order to take advantage of the new 'bags, the next step was the huge 10-inch C-notch in the rear and Chassis Tech 3-inch dropped spindles up front. Here's where things got complicated. To further emphasize the truck's low profile, Jason decided that a 3-inch body drop would be a nice touch. It went quite well, and while the drop was in process, he decided to eliminate both the top and bottom style lines on the body. Since that also went smoothly, he pressed on, electing to suicide both doors while he was at it. He chose an interesting approach by splitting the doors in half width-wise and removing the outer skin. Then Jason reversed the inner door skins, using the right door on the left side and reconnecting the stock factory hinges. Once the two door skins were properly hinged, he welded the outer skins back on and relocated the latches up front - a neat trick!
The hood is just as interesting in that it is a tilt-forward hood with a smooth underside, thanks to a combination of sheetmetal and fiberglass. The windshield wiper cowl was removed from its factory location and molded to the hood. Since the windshield wipers were eliminated, Rain-X has become his close friend. The front end of the Chevy was fitted with a pair of bumpers, cut in half, and molded back together for a massive look. Stock headlights flank a new Trenz billet grille. All four fenders were flared (1 inch in front, 1 inch in the rear) to make room for the 20-inch MKW wheels wrapped in Kumho 255/35/ZR20 tires. Under the custom hood is a 5.7L Vortec V-8 with a Corvette five-speed automatic transmission. Power additions include an air intake, bigger jets, ported and polished heads, a computer chip, a heavy-duty fuel and water pump, headers, and a custom Flowmaster exhaust.