Building a custom truck is a lot like assembling an elaborate puzzle. All the pieces must fit just right in order to produce a top-quality, detailed-to-the-nines ride that is going to drop jaws and spin heads. Pulling off such a project requires assembling a stack of quality custom parts and having the knowledge and skill to cut, notch, shave, grind, and smooth the truck out of stock life and into the custom truck limelight.

As a Feature Editor for Truckin', I live and breathe customized trucks. When I am not behind the keyboard or the camera lens, I'm planted behind the wheel of my latest custom truck project. Red Rocker is the result of my hiatus from custom truck ownership and successfully blends elements of my past two show trucks together with a twist to create the smoothed, flame-licked, and hot rod-styled Chevy C10 beauty blazing across these pages. This fiery Bow Tie brick project got its heartbeat two years ago following the '03 SEMA Show, where Hill's Hot Rods owner Jason Hill and I began discussing putting together a heavily modified square-body project. After returning home from SEMA, a flame was ignited under the project.

Going off of the look I had constructed in my head and after nailing down the stance, wheels, and paint, I contacted Ed White of Fast Eddy's Hot Rod Art in Katy, Texas, to create a rendering to give Red Rocker some visual identity. With the finished vision established, Jason Hill, Nathan Hunter, Randall Tharp, Ron Knowles, and Corey Jilek got busy at Hill's Hot Rods turning the flamed and 'bagged C10 concept into a slammed and stunning reality.

Knowing off the bat this truck was destined for more than just a basic facelift, out came the air tools and off came the bed, front clip, and doors. With a path cleared to the suspension and the frame, the build team began prepping the chassis for the adjustable suspension setup by step-notching the rear 'rails, relocating the front crossmember up 2 inches to allow the front control arms to sit flat and welding in the parallel four-link brackets. To get the truck to sit down over the 20x8.5-inch front and 22x10-inch rear Bonspeed Delta billet wheels and Nitto NT 555 Extreme P255/35ZR20 front and P285/35ZR22 rear low-profile tires, Superior 2-inch drop spindles from Classic Performance Products were teamed with an Air Ride Technologies CoolRide front airbag kit that included Firestone 224C 'bags and custom-valved shocks.

Out back, an Air Ride Technologies polished, stainless parallel four-link; polished, stainless Panhard bar; and a set of Firestone F-9000 tapered sleeve air springs work in harmony to hammer the rear. Fit with a custom-fabricated step notch, Red Rocker has no problem tucking a healthy portion of the rear 22-inch Bonspeed rollers. Planning for this blazing box-style to see a fair share of road time, a bad-to-the-bone set of performance binders was mounted up from Baer Brake Systems in the form of a performance Baer Claw system. The front 20s are halted by Baer two-piston calipers and 13-1/8-inch rotors, while the rear 22s are brought to a standstill by Baer one-piston calipers and 13-inch rotors. After the majority of the chassis fabrication was complete, air suspension plumbing was installed, including Air Ride Technologies Big Red 1/2-inch electric valves, 1/2-inch air line, a Big Red Ride Pro Compressor System featuring two Viair 400 compressors, two six-gallon reserve air tanks, and a Ride Pro E digital controller. After the low, cool, and smooth custom suspension attitude was established, the stock exterior landscape was brought to a custom boil with a plethora of wild body alterations.