As children we gawked at show trucks and vowed that someday we would have one too. Time, money, work, and family have a way of skewing the reality of that dream. The taste is sweet for those that overcome the clutches of the jaws of life and resurrect the dream into reality. The story we're about to tell you is what happens when the chains that bind are broken.
Starting in the show-truck scene with absolutely nothing but dreams, Robert Dipietrantonio (Don't bother trying that one) got his start by helping a stranger that became a friend. With a cast-off Goodmark hood and Chevy grille with Street Scene Speed Grille inserts, Robert and his friend Rick got the snowball headed for the double black diamond run. Bringing the nose 2-1/2 inches closer to the ground are Eibach springs. Out back a relocation kit offers up 4 inches of height disappearance. Twenty-three-inch Kaotic Z6 wheels matched to Toyo Proxes 285/35ZR23 sticky rubber donuts fill the wells all the way around.
We like some horsepower for pure entertainment reasons, and Robert didn't disappoint. If you are brave enough to race him, we'll just jot down a list of what you are up against. A stock 4.8L V-8 long-block is accentuated with a Magnuson huffer. Tossing an extra 6-1/2 pounds of boost into the cylinders, the blower was installed at South Coast Speed and Sound. Adding to that are a Pro Cold air intake, Gibson headers and after-cat exhaust, and a ported and polished throttle body. A shot in the arm of NOS lurks for good measure, and with a good stomp of the pedal, this truck will completely leave just about any other truck in its dust. Dan Gunter of Hardin GMC installed a Trans Go shift kit to crutch the four-speed slush box during spirited excursions, and 3.73 gears with a posi step-in to finish off what we think is perfect entertainment.
Not that his 2001 Chevy was boring to begin with, but Robert felt the need to make this truck more his truck. Besides the aforementioned Goodmark cowl hood and grille shell with Speed Grille inserts, external dramatization stems from Escalade chrome door handles, Street Scene mirrors, a Faded Kolors Bow Tie grille insert, a Sir Michael's weld-on roll pan, and a shaved tailgate featuring a Sir Michael's handle flip kit. Topping the Line-X-coated bed is a Gaylord fiberglass lid. Robert is an employee at Fix Auto in Anaheim, California, so paint is his forte. Any and all bodywork was slathered in the factory indigo blue before smooth flame licks were done (negative and positive) in indigo blue and silver by Kent Garsia. Show points are aplenty with the Banshee Studios-applied wild skull on the tonneau.
Behind the wheel is where truck owners spend most of their time, so skimping in that arena is a no-no. Katzkin seat covers dress up the Bow Tie's seats in factory matching charcoal leather and gray suede inserts. Up above, the headliner got additional yardage of suede. Orange Upholstery in Orange, California, did the glue and fitment work. Plastics were smoothed and painted in corresponding indigo blue. Humorous as it is, the flame motif was carried inside, but as Robert tells us, the Nu Image flamed gauges were the very first modification, and the rest of the persona stems from there. Nu Image flame pedals were added at a later date. Making the music louder than the supercharger and exhaust wasn't necessary, but desired anyway. Kenwood was sourced for a head unit to control the Kenwood amplifiers. Under the rear bench seat sits a custom enclosure with 10-inch Kenwood subwoofers. Factory locations inside the cab were filled with Kenwood separates. To add life to the interior, Robert had a 10-1/2-inch TV screen hung from the ceiling for rear seat viewing. Hiding the interior from prying eyes, Ron at We Do Windows coated all the cab's glass with dark tint.
With so much stuff tucked under one vehicle you can imagine that there are kudos to hand out. Topping the list is Robert's wife, Lana, and his son, Dominic. We're sure they're enjoying the fruits of his labor. Next up, Rusty Rauls, Todd Burdette, and Alfredo Jiminez of Fix Auto, Robert's own place of employment. Street Concepts' Shawn Williams, friend Rick Andrade, and Dan Gunter of Hardin GMC get credit also. Finally, we get to South Coast Speed & Sound's Abo Gulkourov and Phil Rush, Lance Laventy at Faded Kolors, and last but not least, Ron at We Do Windows. It's a good-sized list, but sometimes that's what it takes to get a truck to the "completed" stage. Paint, power, and pride. This truck sets the standards for a daily driver that can pull accolades at a show, too.