A few things come to mind when thinking about the Bayou; spicy Cajun cuisine, and thermometer-bursting hot sauce top our list, but there is a new heat wave coming up on the Southern horizon that is sure to burn its mark on our collective memory bank. Full-blown customs are literally spilling over Louisiana's state line, and luckily, we've been there to help document the glistening outflux.
Our first glimpse of Brandon "BJ" Welcome's '02 GMC Sierra occurred at the Midnight Fantasies' 2010 Lake Front Tour held at the Lake Charles Civic Center. Even while stuck in the corner inside of the indoor arena of the show grounds, its radioactive red shell was beckoning out from across the hall. Although BJ's truck had made its official debut a month prior at the Relaxin' On The Bayou show, it had managed to elude an interested photographer's camera lens, which seemed like a major improbability given its severely photogenic physique.
After grilling BJ about the history behind his ridiculously clean rig, he informed us that he couldn't find a local shop that could deliver the degree of suspension work that he was after, so he ended up looking west to Ekstensive Metalworks in Houston. While there, his then mostly stock truck received the works: A complete air-ride setup complete with Belltech 2-inch drop springs, shocks, Firestone 'bags, and a custom two-link with Panhard bar to top things off. With a foundation like that, there was no way BJ was going to settle for just any set of rollers, so he stepped up to 22-inch color-matched Raceline Speedster billets for a sporty touch of style that's pretty much unbeatable.
Since BJ shipped his truck out of state to have the suspension handled, he figured that keeping his truck in the Lone Star State was his best bet to getting exactly what he wanted. The next stop on the GMC's road trip was Pristine Image, in Humble, Texas, where it was shaved clean of its cab seams, taillights, and pesky door handles. A Sir Michaels roll pan and LED tails were grafted to the Sierra's skin for a stunning, streamlined appearance. BJ knew that he wanted his truck to take on a classic image that would stand tall against time, so he recruited Dave Flint to stir a few elegant coats of BASF Audi red into the mix.
With the right amount of external attitude in place, it only made sense to continue the trend inside the cab. Black leather and suede were wrapped around the low cut, beltless seats, courtesy of Chuey's Custom Upholstery in San Antonio. A curvaceous center console was fabricated by Pro Tech Audio in Lake Charles, who also wired BJ's truck with a 10-inch Polk Audio SR series sub that sits at dead chest level, and Polk 6.5-inch components that have been seeded into each fiberglass door panel. Boston Acoustic amps keep the juices flowing so BJ never has to go a single second without submersing himself in blistering sound waves.
One sound in particular that BJ will certainly have to get used to hearing, however, is the congratulatory praise that will be flowing in from every direction. Since purchasing the truck brand new, BJ patiently counted down each and every monthly payment because he knew that he wouldn't be able to make any real progress until he had extra money in his wallet. Without the support of his sister, Karen, and the talented individuals who came together to lend a hand on the project, BJ might have had to wait a lot longer for his dream truck to come together. In the grand scheme of things, this is just another story about a hauler of amazing pedigree, and an owner who kept his vision in plain, attainable sight.