The custom truck culture has changed significantly in the last few years. It used to be that if you had a clean Chevy fullsize with 17-inch wheels and a 4/6 drop, you were styling. In this day and age, if you are not at least 'bagged on 18s, you'd better pull it back in the garage and start hacking. The individuals who opt for the radical route of truck customizing are often the ones who get most recognized for their efforts. Walking the show grounds today, we are seeing an increasing number of body-dropped trucks hitting the pavement. Thomas Parrish Jr. of Jacksonville, Florida, is on the cutting edge of the custom scene with his '95 Chevrolet C1500 Extended Cab Stepside. Thomas' goal was to have the lowest truck at Indy Truck Bash 2000, and he succeeded in achieving that goal with the flamed beauty you see before you. Building this hammered custom creation began with addressing the chassis and suspension alterations.

In order to bring the chassis down to a more respectable and acceptable level, Thomas installed Belltech spindles up front along with Firestone airbags. Out back, Firestone Airbags, a TCI parallel four-link, and AIM shocks make up the suspension alterations. Enhancing the stance are 18x8-inch Boyd Coddington billet wheels covered in Nitto 245/45ZR18 rubber. Upon completing the chassis and suspension upgrades, Thomas let his truck down off the jack, hit the switches, and watched while it quickly laid the framerails square on his garage floor.

Keeping the cutting-edge theme in mind, Thomas went back to the drawing board with the idea of performing a rather large body drop on the truck. Unlike most enthusiasts, Thomas didn't just think and talk about performing this modification, but he put his truck back on jackstands and proceeded to body drop his ride to the tune of 4 inches. To get the truck to sit even lower than expected, Thomas cut 2 inches off the bottom of the body, removing the rocker panels completely so the truck would lay the bottom of the doors perfectly flat on the blazing Florida asphalt.

Underneath the meticulously modified front sheetmetal lies a virtually stock 350ci V-8 equipped with only a 3-inch Flowmaster exhaust system for clean sound. Engine detailing is handled by a flamed billet aluminum air cleaner and matching painted engine compartment components. A mild interior makeover adds to the custom blend featuring '94 Saturn bucket seats, a custom-made center console covered in gray tweed, and a Pioneer CD head unit. A polished three-spoke LeCarra steering wheel and custom gray carpeting lend additional character to the cockpit.

Thomas set his sights on cutting-edge perfection when he set out to build this amazing hauler. From the looks of things, he has far exceeded his custom goals. The truck's completed appearance defines the courage it takes to turn your back on the norm and create something completely different. Although we feel the truck is fairly complete up to this point, Thomas has several future plans in the works, so keep an eye out for his truck next show season.

Slick and Smooth

Radical body modifications are also part of the necessary custom ingredients required to create a cutting-edge custom, and Thomas' truck definitely features its fair share of metal tricks. Starting at the nose, the front bumper was narrowed to the tune of 3 inches and moved 1-1/2 inches back toward the body. A custom roll pan, minus the typical license plate box, was molded seamlessly to the rear end while the tailgate handle was shaved and moved to the inside of the tailgate. Additional custom bed treatments include '39 Ford taillights, which were creatively frenched sideways into the upper tailgate region. Other notable body modifications include shaved stake pockets, door handles, side mirrors, taillights, water squirters, a smoothed cowl panel, a shaved third brake light, and a frenched front license plate. The crowning metal modification masterpiece lies in the reversed forward-tilting hood. Helping Thomas keep an eye on traffic is a set of polished billet Arlen Ness Harley mirrors, which was grafted into the door frames. All of the metal and structural modifications were performed by the hands of Thomas, and we must say the results are most impressive. The paint scheme on Thomas' low-slung cruiser is as cutting edge as it gets. Custom-mixed DuPont Chromabase Bright Green and Purple have been joined together with intense flames to create a look that burns the eyeballs.