Building a truck that stands at the pinnacle is a daunting task. Being up top can be a lonely place, but the journey getting there can make all those feelings wash away with a Best of Show award. Matt Spence, of San Antonio, understands what it takes to build a topnotch truck, as several of his rides have been featured on our cover. What no one expected was the determination he possessed in getting back to the top once his Cadillac was damaged. Once a custom truck mega star, his laid out Escalade was in pieces after an unfortunate accident. No worries, because the Phoenix rose from the ashes and turned out to be better than ever.

A quick recap of what it took to make an Escalade literally rest on the Texas pavement takes us to Ekstensive Metalworks, in Houston. There, Bill Carlton and his crew used mandrel bent 2x4-inch boxed steel and tubular body and transmission mounts to bring the rockers close to the ground. Helping the hauler get even lower, Firestone 'bags were bolted to each corner along with one of Ekstensive's signature two-link rear setups. Thomas compressors and G.C.valves ensure all Ekstensive's hard work stays going up and down. We dubbed it "the Worlds Lowest Escalade back in '06 and we haven't coma across a lower one yet. That's where the old story ends. The new chapter of this Cadillac begins and here, where things get very interesting.

With the front end damaged, Matt took the opportunity to fill the void with the latest and greatest parts available from Cadillac. This meant an '08 front end would need to be strategically placed onto the '04 Escalade body. Paul Brown, from from South Coast Customs, in The Woodlands, Texas, handled this admirable and time-consuming task as he eliminated the wipers and wiper motor, and grafted the cowl to the fenders to make room for the extra large hood. Speaking of that hood, it was given the forward-tilting treatment and the fenders received old school styled flares. Because of the slammed stance, 31/2 inches of the front bumper were removed and the beautiful factory Cadillac grille was left unmolested. Other mods included molding the rear bumper to the body, shaving the door handles, and shaving the rear wiper motor. Now the parts were on the Escalade but with a new front clip in primer, new paint was necessary.