At the ripe ol' age of 27, Chris Thomas has more than 9 years of car show competition under his belt. Car show competition? Yes, car shows-not trucks. After landing 23 Best of Shows with his '93 Honda Accord, Chris went with his gut instinct and sold the trailer queen in favor of a truck, but not any truck- a Chevy Avalanche. Purpose-built from the factory to provide a car-like driving experience and still have the towing and hauling capabilities of a truck, the Avalanche was the perfect choice for a guy starting out in the truck world. Using his car show expertise, Chris has already put a hurtin' on the fullsize mild truck class. This is how he did it.
Starting with a bone-stock '03 Avalanche, Chris made a trip to Auto Explosion in Gardena, California, where the body was prepped for some color. Color is putting it lightly as Chris wanted something that would stop traffic. Before a single drop of pigment was sprayed, Auto Explosion smoothed and prepped all the plastic cladding, custom-cut a clear Plexiglass hood insert, added a Street Scene SS-style front bumper, and even slipped in Escalade door handles. After going over the body one last time, Auto Explosion added House of Kolor Kandy Lime Gold to the Chevy. With a cut and buff taken care of, the Avalanche was sparkling in the SoCal sunshine. Tom McWeeney then stepped in and added some hot-rod pinstripes here and there. Final touches included candy painting the taillights and adding an upper and lower billet grille. Understanding the custom world, Chris didn't relish the new paint-job for too long, rather he quickly enlisted the help of his brother Ju and a local interior shop to take his Avalanche to the next level.
Keeping things in the family, Chris' brother Ju built a fiberglass enclosure in the midgate area to house three Crossfire 12-inch Db3 subs. Using mirrors to create the illusion of nine subs, the box is both trick and functional. Powering the subs is a 1,000-watt Crossfire amp and the front and rear door components also receive juice from a Crossfire amp. Keeping the tunes in check, an Eclipse head unit and DVD player provide video entertainment as well, via two 8-inch headrest monitors. Dropping off the Chevy to Chuy's Auto Interior in Carson, California, Chris ordered a revamp of the seats, headliner, and door panels. Tan and green-apple suede were used to cover the seats in a two-tone fashion and green suede also found its way to the headliner and door panel inserts. Auto Explosion painted the entire dash and a custom center console was built. Housing the chromed Nitrous Express bottle, the console serves as an armrest and a command center for the go-fast juice. The overall look is clean and functional, something all judges seem to agree deserves bonus points.