Making a career out of automotive passion is something that individuals have strived to do for many years. After all, if you are a car nut, what could be better than spending the majority of your time wrenching on radical rides? For years, enthusiasts have turned the hobby of building and showing custom rides into businesses which cater to those who may have the passion but lack the mechanical know-how required to make the custom facets of a hot-rod hauler work together for the ultimate look. There are many elements involved in turning a stock pickup into a colorful and slammed work of art.
A large part of any custom truck's appearance is its stance. The way the fender lips tuck over the tire and conceal a small or large portion of some bright and shiny chrome or billet aluminum wheels is attributed to the hard work put into the truck's suspension, enabling it to sit at a ditch-digging level. Jessie Dickerson of North Little Rock, Arkansas, is an automotive artist by trade. As the owner and operator of Air Ride by Jessie in North Little Rock, Jessie uses a truck's undercarriage as his blank canvas on which to execute his professional suspension expertise. Ridding the world of stock-height Bow Ties, Blue Ovals, and Rams is Jessie's main professional concern, as he spends his weekdays welding, grinding, and fabricating to make his customers' switch-hitting dreams come true. With a knack for putting rides in the weeds, it was only natural that Jessie have his own custom hauler to promote his business and show off his work. Getting Jessie back and forth between his home and shop in style is the '95 GMC spread across these pages, dripping with color and sitting at the perfect level with big bold billets at all four corners. It should be obvious from the images here, this is no average shop truck.
The project took shape back in December of 2001, when the search began for a reliable daily driver with a clean body and low miles that could be easily transformed into a show hauler. A '95 GMC standard cab was located, and it was not long before this beauty had a permanent date with the Arkansas asphalt. To drop the 'rails to the ground, Belltech 2-inch drop spindles were first mounted up front, along with Firestone 2600 1/2-inch port airbags. Out back, the rear framerails were kicked up 7-1/2 inches above the rear axle in the form of a bridge notch using 2x4-inch steel tubing, and a custom-made triangulated two-link suspension was fabbed up. Moving the tail end up and down are Firestone 2600 1/2-inch port airbags. The entire adjustable suspension system is plumbed with 1/2-inch Parker air valves, 1/2-inch stainless steel air lines, two 5-gallon air tanks, two nitrogen bottles, and four Thomas 317 compressors. Damping the suspension are Belltech shock absorbers, forward and aft, to complement the ride characteristics of the air bellows. When Jessie can't keep his hands off the switches, a set of 20x8-inch Eagle Style 212 wheels are tucked neatly under the fenders and protected from road hazards by BFG rubber, measuring P245/40ZR20 up front and P245/45ZR20 in the rear
To enhance the driving performance of this slammed stunner, Jessie added some ponies to the factory 5.7L in the form of JBA headers, a MagnaFlow exhaust, and an AIRAID intake system. With the suspension and some mild performance upgrades completed, body modifications and custom paint were next on the list.