If the paint scheme on Daniel Cole's '99 Chevy 3500 dualie were a Rorschach inkblot test, then I would fear for my mental health. It's not that the truck's wild patterns would draw the horizon line of my sanity so much as they might push me over the edge of it. When I first spotted the truck at Slamfest in Tampa, Florida, last year, I walked away from it. But, then I came back...and left...walked back again...took out the camera and finally took the plunge. Happily, my psychiatrist says I'm recovering just fine.

Chaos is part of the draw of this dualie, as is the unabashed "oh...what the hell" quality that's a far cry from the hot rod- or tribal-inspired styles we usually come across. Daniel's been painting and airbrushing for about seven years as a hobbyist and handles that on a part-time basis at Warehouse Kustoms in Tallahassee, Florida. His goal was to build a truck "that would grab people's attention." Hey, Daniel, mission accomplished. People couldn't ignore it if they tried. And for good reason, too. After he bought the truck for $16,500, an insane amount of work was done on this thing. About $70,000 and nine months later, the project was completed.

Daniel sent me a memo of what was involved with painting the truck bed. The letter was originally intended for an insurance agency and includes an explicit request that the company not release the details contained in it to anyone else. I'm sure that the underwriter fulfilled his wishes. As for us-sorry, Daniel, the public's got a right to know. OK, maybe not, but I will leak that he indicated 12 steps to the process. I will generalize them in order to protect the innocent (and my ass): sanding, priming, airbrushing, masking, striping, waiting, spending, spending, spending...you get the picture? No. All right, let's get more specific.

After about three coats of primer went on, the bed acquired two coats of white, three coats of Surf Green, followed by flames and circles. The cheetah print on the driver side began with a white base, followed by lines of House of Kolor Kandy Yellow, Kandy Root Beer, Kandy Orange, Kandy Red, Kandy Purple, and black spots. Back to the metal side, where rivets were sprayed onto black and silver spots to give the rivets a recessed look. Details like creases and cracks were added to give the metal a fatigued look on the bent portions of the body.

Flowing and jagged linear graphics came next. There are more than 60 of them, many overlapping, so this was one of the most difficult and time-consuming parts of the paintjob. A few layers of clear were added after this point.

The most tedious part of the project came next with striping the purple and green elements, and then the graphics. Freehand airbrush work included skulls, signs, logos, and artist tags. Two more coats of clear came next. Buffing, detailing, and the final glaze included five different 3M compounds, wet sanding, and elbow grease. All in all, the bed was masked and taped about six different times, and required three different kinds of sandpaper.