It's a world filled with fire, heavy breathing dragons, and skulls seething from one firey perch to another. This world was not made up on a green screen at a Hollywood studio. It's the imaginary land Mike Lavallee sees when he fills his paint gun. The custom painter and originator of real-fire airbrushing, is well-known as a man who pays close attention to detail and creates life-like figures, both on fire and cooling off from the heat.
When it came time to build a showcase vehicle for his custom paint shop, Killer Paint, and a demo vehicle for Exile Audio, one look around the shop and his daily driver Lightning got the custom nod. The end result is a truck that makes jaws drop and ears pound.
Through his multiple appearances on "Overhaulin'," Mike was able to use his experience to rally the troops in Washington and in Canada. Why the necessity for a multi-country tag-team? It was simple: Mike had 60 days to transform the truck from a stock-white Lightning into a real show-stopper that could illustrate Killer Paint's ability and Exile Audio's sound quality. The clock had officially begun.
Talking via cellular phone, Mike and Exile Audio teamed up with Installation Station and Full Throttle Upholstery, both in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. The three shops would use two trucks, one as the actual to-be-painted F-150, the other as a donor truck that the audio and upholstery shops could use for measurements and fitments. This technique was the only way this admirable task could be pulled off.
Mike and his crew at Killer Paint in Snohomish, Washington, needed time to get the paint just right, so they recruited the help of a neighboring shop. A few ideas were being kicked around at Extreme Metal and Paint in Anacortes, Washington, as to how they could really make the bodywork stand out. Everyone agreed upon suiciding the doors and adding trick Studebaker hinges to the tailgate, which will enable it to swing sideways. Adding even more custom trickery to the mix, the guys at Extreme used linear actuators to raise and lower the tonneau cover and air to open the tailgate so it, too, opens automatically. Other cool mods include the addition of a T-Rex billet grille, a Good Hood, a smooth wiper cowl, smooth bed caps, and a Sir Michaels roll pan. It was now time for Mike and Rob Peffley to work their magic.
Full Throttle Upholstery recovered and reshaped the factory seats.
Opening the suicide doors reveals an interior featuring tan leather, bone vinyl, tan suede
A trick center console was built to house the JVC head unit and HVAC controls.