The Chevy SSR is just one of those trucks that looks great fresh off of the lot given its retro, hot-rod inspired styling. Even with its factory-given hard-top convertible capability and its vibrant Slingshot Yellow paintjob, Tony Savage's '03 SSR just didn't have the right amount of flash or substance to truly leave him content. Tony planned on giving his brand-new truck a full custom makeover, and while in the process, he hoped to work in a good deed at the same time. To the rest of the truck enthusiast world 'SSR' stands for Super Sport Roadster, but Tony cleverly reworked the well-known acronym in hopes to raise awareness for children's cancer treatment. Support St. Jude Research now serves as this truck's official moniker, and with a worthy cause to fight for, Tony has been doing his best to spread the word by hitting as many shows and events as possible.
When we first caught up with Tony and his SSR at the Slamily Reunion show in Fort Smith, Arkansas, we were instantly impressed with its color scheme and complementing, staggered rolling attire. The truck looked even better once Tony hopped in and hit the switches of his complete Airbagit.com air-ride system. The 20x8-inch front and 22x9.5 rear KMC 820SS wheels wrapped in respective 245/35R20 and 285/35R22 Nitto 555 tires kept inching deeper into the fender wells for a resulting slick stance. Yusuf Boyd and his crew at Immortal Kustomz in Olive Branch, Mississippi, handled the installation of Airbagit's components, which completely transformed the already handsome SSR into a debonair and sophisticated street machine.
To further add to the SSR's devilish good looks, a four-piece Motorsports Performance Design, Inc. body styling kit, which included a front spoiler, left and right side skirts, and a rear wing, was prepped, painted, and slapped onto the Chevy's facade. Since the factory yellow paint was already somewhat attention grabbing, Tony decided to keep some of it while incorporating DuPont Silver Steel Metallic to the lower half of the truck for an interesting color contrast. To step things up a notch, Tony had painter Jaycee Poulsen of Kutin Edge Kustomz, in Byhalia, Mississippi, thrown down a colorful array of flames that were custom blended to shift between seven different colors. Once the truck was delivered to Tony, there were still some finishing touches that he wanted to add to the paint before it was considered a done deal. Jeff Johnson, a former Truckin' cover and Top 10 truck owner and proprietor of Jeff's Body Shop, in England, Arkansas, was recruited to work in some additional flames to the hood's center section and front fenders. Jeff also wrapped up the finish work and applied the final shine.
With the exterior of the SSR now touting a 'how do you like me now?' attitude, it was time for the boys at Immortal Kustomz to get to work inside the cab. Steel colored suede was used to accent the seats, door panels, and even the inside of the bed. Greer Simonton and Jay Trawick from Memphis Audio heard about Tony's cancer awareness-promoting project and quickly jumped onboard by supplying an awesome assortment of audio goods. Richard and Big El of Stereo One, in Cordova, Tennessee, headed up the wiring duties as they strategically constructed a subwoofer enclosure to house the two 12-inch Memphis M-class subs and 400-watt Memphis Belle monoblock amp in the bed. The door panels were filled with 6 1/2-inch components to ensure that the SSR will be clearly heard as well as it will be seen.
Over the trying two-year build period, Tony was thrown all types of curveballs and variables while trying to get things finalized. The paint process actually took 16 months to complete, which in and of itself, would be enough reason to drive any truck owner absolutely crazy with anticipation. Now that everything is all said and done, Tony would like to thank all of those who helped with the project, especially his wife Beverly who displayed an amazing amount of patience and understanding. Most importantly, Tony would like to again call attention to the importance of the efforts made by the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, in Memphis, Tennessee. Without them, children from all over the country who are suffering from cancer would not be receiving the medical attention they need and deserve. Please visit StJude.org to learn how you can help make a difference.