Back in July 2003, Mike Lee and Robert Williams got together and opened a vehicle customizing shop in Sumter, South Carolina, and after throwing some names around, they came up with a perfect one - Mr. Scrape Customs. Because they specialize in all-out customizing, they felt it would be important to build a ride that showed the level of work the shop could turn out. Robert was already the owner of a '92 GMC fullsize Stepside pickup that was in need of some loving care. It became the shop's guinea pig and was stripped to the frame so it could be transformed into what you see here.
Knowing this truck was going to show potential customers the work that could be done to their own vehicles, Mike and Robert wanted to keep the truck simple yet take it to the extreme at the same time. We know you're probably thinking, how can you keep a simple truck extreme? This truck still needed to be driveable and a full-out show vehicle, so they opted not to body-drop it or shave it like a lot of the trucks that take top honors at shows. That didn't mean, however, that the truck wouldn't be an eye-catcher.
Being that the Mr. Scrape crew set an almost ridiculous deadline of six months 'til they planned to debut the truck, along with the fact that this was a shop truck, most of the work had to be done after-hours, when the paying customers' vehicles were finished for the day. After the truck was stripped, every part was worked on at pretty much the same time, due to all the help Mike and Robert had from shop employees Cory Osteen and Robbie Casselman.
First thing on the to-do list once the truck was torn apart was to get the frame planted firmly on the ground and still allow enough room to clear a massive set of 22-inch wheels. Up front, the stock spindles were swapped out in favor of Belltech drop spindles and mated to a pair of Slam Specialties RS-82 'bags. The inner fenders were also removed and cut out to give plenty of clearance for the wheels.
Out back, the rear frame clip was chopped up and rewelded with a little more axle clearance, thanks to a step notch that was installed before the Air Ride Tech triangulated four-link was added. The gas tank was also relocated while all the cutting and welding was being performed. The axle was narrowed 3 inches to make sure the new rolling stock would fit, and a pair of Slam Specialties RS-82 'bags was used to give the rear the same adjustability as the front of the truck. Plumbing is handled by 3/4-inch air lines and GC valves at all four corners and is fed by an Easy Street engine-driven air compressor.
With the height of the truck where they wanted it, it was time to focus on the interior. The dash was pulled out and smoothed, while the door panels were completely shaved clean and prepped for paint. A custom fiberglass center console was built to run all the way from the dash to the rear cab wall, between the buckets seats taken from a '98 Chevy fullsize. The HVAC controls were then moved to this new centerpiece to free up room in the dash for one of the truck's four TVs. The other three reside in both sunvisors and a flip-out in the center of the dash. With all the plastic pieces addressed, it was time to move on to the rest of the interior. The new bucket seats were wrapped in white leather and blue tweed, and the Mr. Scrape Customs logo was stitched into each headrest. The headliner also received the blue-tweed treatment while getting a custom graphic center section using white, orange, and green vinyl. Bright-blue carpet added a plush look to the floor of the truck. A grip of billet goodies was also ordered to add that extra bling to the interior and match the billet skull steering wheel and rearview mirror.
Once all the interior work was finished, it was time to send this working masterpiece off to Jonathan Rivers at Phaze 3 Kustoms in Effingham, South Carolina, to have all the paintwork laid out. Jonathan was called upon not only to handle the exterior paint, but bring the exterior design into the interior on the smooth dash, door panels, and center console. Before any of the paint was purchased, Jonathan contacted Brandt Fuqua at Graphic Disorder to do a rendering and design a paint scheme. While Jonathan was waiting on the rendering to arrive, a steel cowl-induction hood, SS Sport mirrors, and a smoothie front bumper were added, and the rear end was smoothed out with a roll pan and a shaved tailgate handle. Once Jonathan had the rendering, he was off to the paint shop to buy House of Kolor's Candy Oriental Blue and some Pearl White for the bulk of the truck, and a little Orange and Green for the graphics that were scheduled for the bottom. Once all the paint was sprayed and dried, the graphics were striped with purple, yellow, and blue to make the paint scheme flow perfectly. As if that wasn't enough detail in the paint, skull graphics were airbrushed into the green.
With the paint finished and the bed bolted back on, a notch cover was welded in the bed and it was taken back into the paint booth, but this time to have a thick coat of blue Line-X sprayed in the bed then covered with an above-the-rail Gaylord's tonneau. Some third-generation euro taillights and a five-piece billet phantom grille from a '95 GMC rounded off the exterior mods.
As the debut show date was quickly approaching, the Mr. Scrape crew bolted on some chrome valvecovers, the stock alternator was swapped for a chrome 100-amp unit, and several plastic parts were painted blue. There were also several billet parts, steel braid, and a Cool Flex radiator hose added for a little more shine under the hood on the stock V-8. Even though a quick dress-up was done, the exhaust system went through a full day of surgery with the stock piping being swapped out for new larger tubes and the mufflers scrapped in favor of dual Flowmaster mufflers.
After the short six-month buildup to prepare for the debut show, there was one thing still missing: the set of 22-inch rollers Mike and Robert had planned on using. With only two days left until the show, a big brown truck pulled up to the shop with four overnight boxes from Bonspeed. The boxes carried a set of 22x10-inch Lagunas with blue inserts to match the truck. The wheels were unloaded right into one of the shop trucks and rushed to the local tire shop, where a set of 265/35-22 Pirelli Scorpion tires was squeezed around the big billet chunks, With the wheels finally bolted onto the now-finished truck, there was just enough time to wipe the truck down one time, load it in the trailer, and head off to the show.
Robert and Mike would like to thank both their wives, Kim and Kim, for allowing them to spend many late-night hours working on this truck to make its debut. Thanks also go out to Jonathan Rivers at Phaze 3 Kustoms for also spending the extra hours to finish the paint in time.