It's definitely a time for celebration when we now can look back in hindsight to 1988, just over twenty years ago, when the custom truck scene was introduced to the forward evolving Chevy Silverado. The sharper, boxy lines of the previous generation were rounded out and smoothed, which drove fans of slammed fullsize trucks into a foaming-at-the-mouth frenzy. Over the years, we at Truckin' have witnessed firsthand some of the most impressively customized Silverados in existence and we were pleasantly struck when Nica Tirla and Mike Ungles decided to build a fresh '08 Chevy that represented the progression of the modern American fullsize. Along with some help from Street Scene and the fellas at HOT Motorsports in Santa Ana, California, Nica and Mike produced a clean, 24-inch wheel tucking, sign-of-the-times landmark we just couldn't ignore.
The first step for a build of this magnitude and retrospective sentiment is to devise a grand scheme, which usually boils down to locking in great sponsors and making an important contact or two. Luckily, Nica had a friend in Mike, who just happened to be a proud and dedicated member of the Street Scene family. Since airbags weren't readily available back in the late 80's, creating a head-turning, capable, and easy-to-install custom suspension was a must for the '08 Silverado. The mostly bolt-on Slam Specialties RE7 'bag kit was a perfect fit for the build since it didn't stray far from the do-it-yourself mentality that earlier truck owners prided themselves for having. A set of Ground Force 2-inch drop spindles, Chris Alston Varishock shocks, an awesome bolt-on KP Components cantilever six-link setup, Viar compressors, and AVS fittings were also rounded up and left with Brian Doyen and Joe Conduff at HOT Motorsports to install. Together, the duo parked their toolboxes side by side and ripped into the Chevy, taking apart and hurling any and all unnecessary parts aside at tornado-like speed. Once the last bolt was tightened, the 22x9-inch front and 24x10-inch rear Fesler Built 902 three-piece wheels, which had been dipped in Yokohama 285/35R22 and 295/35R24 rubber respectively, found their way underneath the new AVS wheeltubs.
With Nica's truck laying out nicely and looking rather menacing, the ante was raised by way of a few performance modifications that would have the tires roasting in no time. The already healthy stock V-8 5.3L engine was given a boost-a rather big Procharger blower boost to be specific. To better handle the additional pony power and torque made by the supercharger, an Auburn ECTED electronic limited slip differential with General 4.10 gears was a necessary modification because we've seen this Silverado move with the quickness! For a throaty rumble, a Gibson three-inch exhaust system also came together to round out this Chevy's performance. The HOT Motorsports crew managed to put 525 hp down to the tires, which will certainly surprise more than a few jokers looking to go toe to toe with this speedy single cab.