"This truck build took blood, sweat, and beers", says truck owner Mario Hernandez, of Houston, Texas. He also mentioned "priceless time with my buddies", which explains why he is eager to give the proper credit to those individuals who worked hard on his '96 Dodge Ram. As a proud member of Ground Zero truck club, Mario understands how important family is, and after spending late nights with your club members, sometimes the line between friend and family gets blurred. Four years is a long time to build and rebuild a truck, but it seems perfect for a truck Mario nicknamed "Rampage".
Law Kustomz, in Houston, took care of getting the Ram closer to the ground by adding Belltech 2-inch drop spindles, Firestone airbags, and some custom frame work, including a large C-notch and a two-link out back. Custom wheels are what this truck is all about and for the right hoops, Dima Wheels, also in Houston, was contacted. Taking blank 22-inch Alcoa wheels and custom-cutting them, Dima created a set of 22-inch LK wheels especially for this Dodge. Using five-to-ten lug adapters, the front wheels tuck hard and are mounted inside Hankook 265/35R22 tires supplied by Big Wheels R Us. Out back, the Chrysler 91/4-inch rearend was cut down 91/2 inches per side to accommodate the huge dually Dima wheels. With the absence of a dually bed, the look makes everyone do a double-take. Mario was now ready to take the rest of the Dodge to the next level.
Thankfully, Law Kustomz was also able to handle the body work and custom paint work. Up front, the bumper and grille shell were swapped in favor of Ram Sport hardware and Law Kustomz also shaved the door handles, antenna, mirrors, rear tailgate handle, taillights, and added a roll pan with 10-inch LED lights. To properly fit the large dually wheels, the firewall had to be notched and tubbed. After all the welding and grinding stopped, John and Dean laid down the two-tone graphics and Thomas Aleman and Jose Martinez painted the Dodge black, red, and silver. The paint was supplied by Tasco Auto Colors. A Leer tonneau cover keeps items in the bed protected. Mario loved the way his Dodge looked, but he knew the interior had to be tricked out to win shows.
Taking a short drive to Kustom Auto in Houston, a plan to turn the interior into a show-worthy cabin was devised. First up, a huge fiberglass subwoofer enclosure was built to house four Rockford Fosgate 12-inch subs. An Alpine head unit with monitor controls the Rockford components behind the doors and power for these speakers comes from a Memphis Audio amp. An awesome-looking Dima billet steering wheel was custom-cut to match the dually wheels and really sets the interior off. Law Kustoms smoothed and painted the dash to match. Arjona's Upholstery, in Pasadena, Texas, chopped the front seats and covered them in red leather with black alligator hides. The skins were provided by Jesse Boots. A black leather headliner and black Bentley carpet were also added to make the interior look its best.
Many late nights and many beers later, Mario had himself one lean and mean Dodge Ram. When it came time to show appreciation, besides the shops already mentioned, Mario was quick to thank his wife Sugey and daughter Madie. Mario also told us he is "raising a future truck lover", so be on the lookout this show season for a little cutie riding in style.