It's very interesting to find a terrible situation spun into something good. Michael Childress received his 1994 Chevy C1500 at the age of 16 from his father. Good fortune was not smiling on him and within a short time somebody decided to rip off the Bow Tie ride. The gray skies parted, sun shone, and the truck was recovered but instead of admitting defeat and buying something else, Michael decided to trudge on and turn negative to positive. What transpired was the creation of his first custom truck.

Leading off the list of changes is a drastically altered ride height. A pair of Belltech 2-inch drop spindles and an Ektensive Metalworks two-link combine with Firestone airbags to start. The center of the truck's chassis was replaced with 2x3-inch box tubing, creating a body dropless chassis effectively laying the whole kit and caboodle on the tarmac. Viair 450s with two 5-gallon tanks feed air through MIC 1/4-inch manual valves. Miami Forte 22-inch wheels and 265/35ZR22 Hankook tires effectively finish the rolling affair.

Not exactly throwing horsepower around, Michael's 4.3L V-6 sure is clean. With the fully powdercoated chassis, it was an easy decision to paint-match the engine and its components for ease of project completion. Stock everything mates to 2-1/2-inch exhaust piping ran rearward under the fresh chassis. A red-top Optima battery hidden under the bed is about it for the engine's customizing. The real attention is drawn to the fully smoothed and shaved firewall when the hood is popped.

Between Michael himself and Intense Customs in Lewisville, Texas, they managed to shave everything on the Chevy's exterior. From the door handles to the cab seams, and the hood grooves back to the tailgate itself, there is not much to find interrupting the flow of metal. A special session was saved for the inner bed, as it was raised, paneled, and profiled stylishly. A GMC Cat Eye grille and smoothie bumper clean up the front with Cadillac taillights and a smooth roll pan taking residence rearward. Everything was drenched in PPG Sunset Orange without any two-tones, stripes, or flames to detract from it.

Speaking of metal, the dash inside this ride is 100 percent steel. In keeping with the minimalist theme, there is only one Auto Meter gauge in the truck, but it is surrounded in a billet insert that is completely original yet blends perfectly with the Billet Specialties steering wheel. Stock door panels and the rear wall plastic pieces were painted to match along with the entire dash, A- and B-pillars, and headliner. Saturn seats were handled and stitched by Childress Fabrics. Covered in tan and burnt orange leather, they add a touch of luxury to the all-metal dash. Listening to the truck drag its underbelly is as close to a stereo as Mike gets.

With his first truck out of the way we can only hope that Michael doesn't need the same kind of motivation to create the next masterpiece. Barely completed in time to be at Texas Heatwave in 2005, the truck has been making the southern shows and gathering attention everywhere it shows up. Michael has his father to thank for the truck, and the punk who stole it for making his mind up to bring it to fruition. With its hammered stance and clean lines, it proves that a little can go a long way.