Shock. A complete jolt to your senses. No, you're not being hit by a taser, but rather the sheer cosmic force of a custom like you've never seen before. Owned by Andrew "Kool-Aid" Cowel, of Smithville, Tennessee, this '00 Silverado was to be a rolling monument to the love and bond Andrew felt for his brother. The truck was delivered to Ekstensive Metalworks, in Houston, where it was simply supposed to be 'bagged to lay body over big wheels. After dropping the truck off, Andrew returned home to Tennessee and the build was in the hands of a man capable of creating a showstopper. Never one to go half way, Ekstensive's owner, Bill Carlton, decided to go the extra mile and build a truck that would not only be a memorial for Andrew's brother, but also create a new category in the custom scene. Showcasing the limitless capabilities of Ekstensive Metalworks, this '00 Silverado proves that where there's a will, there's a way.
Opting to use Andrew's deposit on a long list of custom parts, the crew at Ekstensive started doing what it does best-getting the truck on the ground. Using mandrel-bent, 1/8-inch thick Art Morrison framerails, the frame was shortened 3 inches to get it ready for one sick mod Bill had planned. Ekstensive also built custom crossmembers for the transmission, custom motor mounts, tubular body mounts, and a trick hidden hitch in the rear. For added strength, several crossmembers were welded into place and gussets added throughout. Up front, a 7-inch narrower Mustang II clip with Ekstensive's own tubular upper and lower control arms was welded into place. Firestone 224C airbags fed by 1/2-inch copper air line and G.C. valves were bolted into the cups. Out back, a famous Ekstensive two-link, with Firestone 224C 'bags mounted on the bars, was welded onto the rearend that was narrowed a full 7 inches with Moser axles. Once the fuel cell was mounted between the framerails and the air tanks custom-made, each suspension component, including the frame itself, was sent out for powdercoating by Superior Powder Coating. Each piece that wasn't powdercoated was chromed for a show-ready shine.
Knowing wheel choice is one of the most important decisions anyone can make when building a custom truck, Bill and Andrew agreed on a gorgeous set of Asanti AF143 three-piece 26-inch wheels wrapped in Hankook 305/30R26 tires. Even before laying the truck out, the wheels tucked hard under the modified fenders. After a quick test run, the 'bags were deflated and the body gently rested on the hot Houston asphalt. Now the crew at Ekstensive had an even more difficult task to accomplish-making this Chevy look different from the thousands of other Bow Ties at every show.
Making Andrew's Silverado a real head-turner, Bill began to meld the body to the bed in order to create a unibody fullsize truck. Filling in the gap with reinforced steel and sheetmetal, the truck quickly went from average to supernatural. Taking things one step further, a complete frontend from an '07 Tahoe was forged onto the Chevy cab. Wanting a look no one could duplicate, Bill cut and sectioned a front bumper from a '08 GMC Sierra and molded it to fit the Tahoe clip and modified framehorns. While the welders were still warm, the rear fender from a '07 Tahoe was also grafted onto the seamless Silverado bed. Looking like it rolled off the GM assembly line, Bill and his crew even added the Chevy body line to the front and rear fenders. Continuing the metal fusion, a one-off Grant Kustoms skin combo with lower body line was welded into the bed. Inside the bed, a full sheetmetal skin was grafted into place. Other body mods included: shaving the door handles, third brake light, and fabbing a custom firewall.
Beautiful 26-inch Asanti wheels tuck deep inside the Tahoe fenders.
Under the hood lies a 5.3L dressed to the nines with Street and Performance chrome goodies
After hours and hours of block-sanding to get the body arrow straight, Chris Gilbert, Ekstensive's in-house paint guru, applied the BASF Dodge Viper True Blue paint to the truck. Before assembling the Silverado, Chris also took apart the Tahoe headlights and painted the buckets blue to match. Putting parts back onto the Silverado saw a new E&G billet grille installed, LED taillights put into place, and the sheetmetal bed coated in color-matched Armor Liner. Moving to the interior, another special plan was devised to get people scratching their heads.
John Burgess, owner of Twisted Interiors, in Spring, Texas, has worked with Ekstensive for years and when he heard about the special story behind this truck's build, a wild interior was devised. Building a one-off dash, Twisted Interiors incorporated the original gauge cluster and threw the rest of the factory pieces away. A smooth, yet futuristic dash was created using round A/C vents, a fiberglass pod housing a 7-inch monitor, a center-mounted Alpine head unit, and a single air pressure gauge for the 'bags. Two Rockford Fosgate amps were mounted behind the seat and they in turn power two slim-mount 12-inch Rockford Fosgate amps in a custom center console. Trick door panels were also built from fiberglass and house Rockford components. Two Kinetik power cells keep the juice flowing to the audio. Advanced Auto Trim then stepped in and covered the dash, door panels, and center console in leather and recovered the seats in matching black leather and grey suede. A B.A.D. billet wheel caps off the stock steering column and billet pedals round out the wild cab confines. Nearing completion, Ekstensive got busy making the engine bay a real crowd pleaser.
Popping the Tahoe hood reveals an engine that screams custom. With the block and heads painted, a Street and Performance chrome 6.0L intake and throttle-body were bolted into place and are flanked by painted custom sheetmetal coil covers. A chromed Street and Performance serpentine pulley system was installed, along with a Street and Performance air filter, chromed Doug Thorley headers, and chromed hoses. To get the 5.3L running, all-new fuel and brake hoses were routed in stainless. Stopping power comes from a chromed master cylinder and cooling chores are handled by a Ron Davis aluminum radiator. Now Andrew's Chevy was ready for the world to see.
This Silverado serves notice to the custom truck world that the bar is always being raised and when talented people unite for a good cause, the sky is the limit. Custom from front to back, Andrew's Silverado is more than he or his brother could have ever imagined while draggin' down the streets in Tennessee.