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.

Speed and suspension are both winning attributes for any show circuit truck but to earn yourself a feature shoot, let alone land a cover shoot for the best damn truck magazine on the planet, appearance is everything. Street Scene, fine proprietor of quality custom accessories, stepped up huge for this Chevy in the way of the front and rear SS style bumpers, Cal-Vu mirrors, side skirt kit, and multiple black chrome Speed Grille inserts. In Pro Car Wear LED taillights and third brake light make for brighter day and night time illumination, as does the BF Xenon HID lighting kit that has been neatly tucked inside of the slightly smoked headlight housings. A Leer tonneau cover seals the bed for better aerodynamics and smoother looks. The factory GM Victory Red is already a great color for a performance minded truck, so Nica and Mike decided to keep it-with some minor modifications of course. The truck was taken to Fix Auto in Anaheim, California, where Dave Smith and Robert Alfredo sanded and re-cleared the OEM color but not before they put down a pair of DuPont Hot Hues Gunmetal racing stripes. The aggressive styling and paint scheme should give any unsuspecting lurkers a warning of what's to come once the key is turned.

The same styling cues of the Chevy's exterior have been incorporated into the cockpit, which makes for a lush, sporty compartment to punch the gas and hit the switches from. To class up the Silverado's interior, Tony Hernandez from HOT Motorsports navigated the mouse to myautoextras.com, where an order was placed for a black zebra wood grain dash kit-pretty exotic, huh? A U.S. Speedo stainless gauge kit has also found its way inside of the cab and behind the newly transformed dash. Tony also wrapped the seats in Katzkin black-leather covers with suede inserts and red stitching. With the dash and seating arrangements taken care of, the guys at HOT Motorsports constructed a custom center console, which houses the Dakota Digital auto ride system, Kicker 10-inch Solo X subwoofer and two Kicker 61/2-inch component speakers. For additional sound, another set of Kicker 61/2-inch components and 4x6-inch midrange speakers were hooked up to two Kicker 650.1 amps and an Alpine head unit.

With all the bases covered, the '08 Silverado came together quite nicely. The idea of paying homage to the Silverado of twenty years ago is a great way to place the custom truck tradition's past, present, and future into direct juxtaposition. Off-the-shelf components have made it easy and affordable for the average truck owner to build the custom rig of their dreams. Nica, Mike, and the HOT Motorsports crew have used this truck build as an opportunity to make a statement that a cover truck can be built largely on bolt-ons and loads of creativity - the latter being as important as the parts themselves. So here we sit, almost a decade into the new millennium and we have much to look forward to as far as the evolution of the modern-day pickup goes. Like the old saying goes: To have a bright future, you must first understand the past. That is exactly how this build was approached and you'd better believe that the sentiment will surely inspire fellow truck owners to push the limits with their own haulers.

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