Life can be a big pain in the rear at times. Jason Thomas has faced his fair share of challenges, specifically those he endured during the buildup of his '00 GMC Sierra. Although the goal of being original in design and concept would prove rewarding, the tough times that came through the process could've pushed Jason to slap a red-and-white For Sale sign on the windshield.

By all definitions, Jason is a veteran of the truck scene and says he's been impressed by the integrity of the industry as it has grown with the innovations in modern design. His interest began with building bikes as a kid and naturally progressed to trucks when he started driving. Jason and his wife Jennifer bought this GMC, their third show truck, off the dealer's lot in September 2000. The primary modifications began with Jason's friend JD Johnson lowering the front stance via DJM's drop pocket control arms and spindles with Toxic shocks. DJM hangers and shackles were installed out back. The first set of 20-inch KMC Venoms has been upgraded to 22-inch Panther Juices wrapped in Pirelli's P-Zero 295/30R22 rubber.

Time has a way of slipping by, and after a year or so, Jason tore into the Sierra with gusto. After leaving the truck in the trusted hands of Wisdom Paint and Body in Jason's hometown of Mesquite, Texas, the crew shaved and relocated the tailgate handle; shaved the bed caps; and removed, in Jennifer's words, the "Dumbo" mirrors. After the chrome moldings were also removed, a Sir Michaels roll pan was molded in the rear. The final exterior details included a billet grille insert, Street Scene sport mirrors, and Denali front headlights and corner lenses.

Unfortunately, three months of painting grief then followed. Wisdom's Teddy Tanguma began the process by laying an Indigo Blue basecoat. After 20 hours of taping, Jeremy Sider laid Frost Blue Pearl ghost flames over the base, with Patriot Red Pearl tips that changed from red to white in the sunlight and extended across the rear doors, the tailgate, and the bedcover. With this amount of time invested, the guys went in 48 hours later to check the setting, only to discover the solvent had popped due to a faulty batch of clearcoat from the manufacturer. Starting back at square one, the truck was sanded down to the metal and repainted. Four weeks after the second round was finished, the GMC was showered by a rock hauler dump truck and the flames were once again destroyed. At this point, Jason was beside himself and had all but given up on the exterior. With Jennifer and JD's encouragement, however, the third and final set of flames was completed.

After the paint ordeal, Jason and JD moved inside with a sigh of relief. This interior design can be summed up in two short words: blue and flame. Jason pulled out the dash, sanded it for12 hours until it was perfectly smooth, and then painted it in matching Indigo Blue. An Escalade instrument panel was installed, with the steering wheel's wood-grain painted blue. Jason ordered Katzkin leather seats, swapping the two-tone black and gray inserts for black-ostrich inserts. A flamed Trenz Billet kit accents the interior, with miscellaneous pieces wrapped in molded-flame ostrich or painted to match the blue theme. Ostrich leather also covers the molded flame foam pads on the doors and center console. JD installed an 800-watt Fosgate amplifier, which feeds the 12-inch JL Audio subwoofer housed in a preformed enclosure. A 1-farad chrome capacitor supplies extra power to the amp, while a Movievision 7-1/2-inch flatscreen monitor acts as the eye for a TV/VCR combo sitting in the overhead console.

The darkest day of this buildup was still to come. Last year, Jason received a call that JD had been killed in an auto accident. JD was responsible for the little details of the project, such as the window tint, the stereo system, and many of the modifications to come, and with his hand in so many things, it has been difficult to continue the project without him.

Jason never expected the project to become this big, but likens it to a disease. He said, "I wouldn't be doing this if it weren't for Jennifer; it's no fun to do it by myself." Jason thanks all his many sponsors for the encouragement, Jennifer for her support, and dedicates this project to JD Johnson. Oh, and after all the hassle of laying and maintaining this paintjob, Jason's done with dark-colored trucks.