RJ Silva knows that a lot of people simply don't understand why people bother cutting up a perfectly good truck just to turn it into something entirely different. And he wants to help. He wants people to know that it's OK to strip a factory paint job only to lay on more paint. Or take off wheels to put on new ones. The prospect of making custom modifications can make such people quite nervous. The process, to them, is mysterious. But RJ's role is to dispel that mystery, to pull back the black curtain of primer and reveal the beauty that will emerge from the painter's booth or the welder's torch by showing potential customers a sneak peek of the glory yet to come.

One such customer wanted to make some changes to his 1998 Chevrolet Tahoe. But he wanted to see the end result first. So RJ obliged him with this rendering. The vehicle has a 2003 Chevy front end and is body-dropped on 22s, disc brakes, and drums. It has graphics, clear wraparound rear LEDs, billet grille, and is completely shaved. A Mini Cooper-style sunroof and tinted glass let the sunshine in. A new steering wheel, four subs and an amp, chrome air tank with compressors, and more...so much more. About 90% of the interior was designed from scratch.

RJ designs part-time and has only been doing it on his computer since 2004. He must be a fast learner because he's already worked on some projects for KRZ Customs (red truck), Sport Truck Mag's Nissan Titan, Goodmark's Tahoe giveaway, Musso Motorsports's Impala that appeared at SEMA 2004, and many more.

With all these projects, you might even say that he's on fire now, which segues into the concept you see on this spread. It's a Nissan Titan bathed in red, rinsed with flame, and singed with representations of the firefighters it is intended to honor. Mods include a new billet grille, wheels custom-forged after a firefighter logo, and everything shaved, tinted, tonneaued, and body-dropped to the doors. Can you ID what's muraled on the truck?

This concept is not a generalized tribute to firefighters so much as it is inspired by an incident at a truck show (Blooddrag) where a truck that was dragging combusted and burned to the ground...which leads to that ancient observation: The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited. Keep the flame, RJ!

You can reach RJ SILVA at:
(702) 287-6987