The trends appearing in the custom truck scene over the last few years have pushed enthusiasts to cut, notch, chop, shave, and mold their rides into rocker-dragging works of art. The scene today has exploded with trucks that lay body, tuck exceptionally large rims and rubber, and feature a plethora of body modifications that are both mild and radical. In taking a close look at the do-or-die spirit that encompasses the hobby of building and showing customized trucks, the staff of Truckin' couldn't be happier. When builders go all the way to build the most radical rides on the planet, more quality cover trucks land on the coveted Truckin' cover, therefore setting the bar higher for other builders and enthusiasts to try and match the work currently out there.
Eric Dunaway from Tacoma, Washington, is an enthusiast who would not let up when creating the '02 Chevy Silverado laid gracefully across these pages. From the start of the project, Eric was committed to laying Blue Hell out over a set of 24-inch wheels and tires and tending to every custom detail inside and out. The truck's previous rendition made the pages of Truckin' back in the Jul. '03 issue under the title "Identity Crisis." Back then, Eric was content rolling low on air with 22s and an Escalade front clip, but he knew that to achieve his goal of seeing the Silverado on the cover of Truckin,' a complete makeover with more body alterations, a brighter base color with graphics, and a host of audio gear and extended custom interior work was in order. After presenting the Truckin' staff with a rendering drawn up by talented automotive artist Jason Rushforth, Eric went to work and began tearing the Silverado down.
As with any custom truck build, the first order of business to nail is the stance. Once a truck has the right stance everything else tends to fall into place and the direction of the project can be shaped. One of Eric's crystal-clear goals for the finished look of Blue Hell was to be able to lay the truck's rocker panels on the ground while stuffing 24-inch rims and tires up into the fenderwells. This is not an easy feat by any means, but when you are determined, anything is possible. Enter the suspension and fabrication pros at IF Customs (IFC) in Sylmar, California. After a bit of shop research and checking out other rides on the show scene the company worked on, Eric figured the crew at IFC could make his body-grinding dreams come true. And for an added bonus, they were not scared to cut the truck up for 24s. Starting up front, a pair of Slam Specialties RS72 airbags was used to regulate ride control and bury the bottom edge of the Escalade front bumper on any ground surface Eric chooses.To hammer the tail end, Dave, Carey, Fonze, Phil, and Matt, all from IFC, step-notched the frame, built a custom rear crossmember, and installed a custom IFC two-link with Slam Specialties' RS72 airbags. Air is flowed to the 'bags through a 1/2-inch line, while removal and supply of air for the 'bags are handled by GC 450 1/2-inch valves. Air storage is managed by three 5-gallon air tanks that are fed by an Oasis HP1000 compressor mounted underneath the bed. An IFC switchbox takes commands from Eric's itchy trigger finger, which enables the fenderwell openings to close in on the 24x10-inch Rozzi Switch rims and Kumho P305/35R24 rubber.