It's a dream of every custom-truck enthusiast to be able to say their hands took part in most of the build. Being a true hands-on owner adds to the truck's integrity. Brandon Bowden, a 27-year-old custom-truck fanatic and member of Negative Camber, from Muskogee, Oklahoma, can proudly say he spent many hours, along with experts, to complete his very cool, red '88 Chevy Silverado.
This frame-off creation began by removing the cab, fenders, hood, and bed, which exposed the factory frame. The framerails were cut at the firewall. From there back, 2x3-inch rectangular tubing was added, along with an 8-inch step notch in the rear. Next, the entire frame was welded, ground, sand-blasted, mudded, smoothed, and painted gunmetal gray. The front suspension consists of a pair of DJM 2-inch drop spindles and Slam Specialties 7-inch airbags with Monroe shocks. The custom air tank and Air-Zenith compressor was mounted under the raised bed floor, behind the cab. Brandon ran the air lines inside the framerails. He also designed and fabricated the cantilevered two-link rear suspension that gets down by a pair of Slam Specialties 8-inch airbags and Monroe shocks. After that, the cab floor was body-dropped 3 inches, allowing the truck to lay out on the rockers. Brandon's truck rolls and tucks a set of Bonspeed polished aluminum Huntington 22x8-1/2-inch wheels, which were wrapped with Nitto Tire 255/30R22 rubber.
Under the hood, Randy Brown from Muskogee, Oklahoma, freshly machined and rebuilt the small-block 350ci V-8. The 2-1/2-inch-diameter exhaust runs through a pair of Turbo mufflers. A GM 700-R4 automatic transmission equates the horsepower accordingly.
A simple and clean engine compartment with a smoothed firewall houses a rebuilt '88 small-
The body panel emblems, stake pockets, tailgate handle, roll pan, fuel door, and upper cab seams were all filled and shaved smooth by Brad Stevens. He also stretched the front and rear wheel openings 3 inches, then raised the Stepside bed panels 3-1/2 inches to allow the Bonspeed 22s to tuck when laid out. The bed floor was raised 9 inches with smoothed inner panels. Next, a custom pair of front inner fenders were shaped, then molded into the fenders. When all the body mods were completed, Travis Lane and David Lawson of Muskogee, Oklahoma, did all of the tedious body preparation before David applied multiple coats of Omni 107 Red. It was then color-sanded and coated in U-Tech clear.
Don Aldridge at Classic Motors Upholstery in Muskogee, Oklahoma, was responsible for the clean interior. The factory dash was smoothed and painted to match the body color. The custom billet aluminum defroster cover on top of the dash was carved by BAD in Tulsa. Don built up and reshaped the stock bench seat before covering it with tan Alante leather. Tan Alante leather was also used to cover the door panels and headliner, while tan Mercedes-Benz carpet was laid down. The painted, stock tilt steering column was capped with an APC 14-inch half-wrapped tan leather steering wheel. All new weatherstripping was applied around each of the new glass pieces, then inlaid into the cab. Brandon installed an Audiovox flip-out head unit, which was wired up to a set of Kicker 4x6 speakers that are located in the factory locations.
Brandon knows New Red would not have been possible without the help from his friends and family. He would like to thank his wife Shannon, who allowed him the time to devote to this project, and son Gunner, who gave him inspiration. Also, thanks to Brad Stevens, David Lawson, Jeremy Rhoden, Don Aldridge, Travis Lane, and all the guys at DBS Rod Shop who allowed Brandon's dream to become a reality.
By involving yourself more during a creative journey, it will allow you to appreciate it much more when it is completed.