We hear it all the time, "Why don't you guys feature more (insert truck brand here) in the magazine?" The answer is always the same. If you build it, we will feature it. Christian Larios' reason for choosing an '05 Dodge Ram 1500 for customizing was the sheer number of Chevy trucks he saw at Central California truck shows. Although he hails from Salinas, California, a city with a long history of hot rods and customs, Christian kept seeing the same shop logos on the lowest, intricately fabricated suspensions on the trucks from Fresno.
When the time came to drop the Ram, Christian made the 140+ mile drive to Fresno and left the truck in the talented hands of Choppin' Block Kustom Fab. Using 2x4-inch rectangular tubing, Vince Lombardi and Carlos Marron fabricated a back half that locates the narrowed axle using a wishbone 3-link. Slam Specialties RE8 'bags were mounted to the lower links and are fed via 3/8-inch stainless steel braided lines and 1/2-inch Parker valves. Up front, the Choppin' Block crew used McGaughy's spindles and Slam Specialties RE7 'bags combined with a Z'd frame to get the ultimate stance. What would be the perfect wheel choice for a truck that's a little out of the ordinary? How about a set of 27-inch Lexani Johnson wheels? Yep, you heard that right, 27 inches. Nobody makes a 27-inch tire, but the design of the wheel allows for the 27-inch wheel face, while the rim diameter is 22 inches, allowing for plenty of selection. In Christian's case, he chose a set of Nitto NT420s.
With the suspension handled, the truck travelled back across the Pacheco Pass to Gilroy, where Masters Auto Collision shaved the door handles and the tailgate, adding AVS LED taillights and a roll pan along the way. The stock front bumper got a massive upgrade when a Street Scene Generation 1 bumper cover was grafted on and filled with a T-Rex vertical billet grille to match the main grilles. The bed floor, which was fabricated by Pancho Garcia at Choppin' Block, got prepped for paint along with the rest of the bodywork before all of the panels were coated in Viper blue pearl. A thin, sweeping silver graphic follows the hood and fender contours of the Ram, dipping down mid-cab before again matching the contour of the bed and wrapping around the shaved tailgate. Masters Auto Collision also took on the task of smoothing and painting the interior plastics, including the dash and all four door panels, before spraying them in Viper blue pearl and black, respectively. The finishing touch, both inside and out, was the intricate pinstriping by Mike Signs in Salinas. You can find Mike's work outlining the silver graphic, on the tailgate and on all four door panels.
With the interior painted and ready, Savage Customs, in Salinas, installed the audio system starting with a 7-inch Kenwood KVT-647DVD and four additional 7-inch monitors, one in each door. Also in the doors are 6x9 and 6 1/2-inch components from Massive Audio powered by a Massive Audio P800.4 amp. The factory upholstery had to go, it just couldn't cut it with all of the custom paint surrounding it, so a set of black leather Katzkin seats were installed, complete with blue piping. The headliner was also pulled out and re-covered, this time in black suede.
With all of the custom mods handled, Christian has a totally custom ride that's perfectly suited for cruising the streets of Salinas and venturing into the Central Valley for the myriad of car and truck shows hosted there. Christian has been nothing but pleased with the great work put into his truck by Masters Auto Collision, Savage Customs, and Choppin' Block Kustom Fab. He had just one thing to say to everyone involved on his truck build, "Keep up the good work!"