Karlo Carlos, of Mission, Texas, was looking for a new truck in 2008. He wanted a Silverado SS, but he also wanted it to be a regular cab. Since GM only made the SS trucks in extended-cab models, Karlo decided that he would buy a regular-cab Silverado and turn it into an SS. Now, after two and a half years, Karlo has an SS replica, minus the extra doors and all-wheel-drive.
After buying the truck, Karlo took it to The Drop Shop, also in Mission, Texas. The crew at The Drop Shop started by replacing the stock spindles with DJM 2-inch drop spindles. Out back, the axle was flipped and 3-inch blocks were placed between the leaf springs and the axlehousing. A bridge notch was also cut into the rear frame to accommodate the extra travel of the axlehousing. For more than just a static drop, four Slam Specialties RE-7 ’bags and four Toxic shocks were installed on the corners. Finally, for rolling stock, Karlo wrapped a set of 22x8½-inch Raceline Deceptives in Fullway 265/30R22 rubber up front and 24x10-inch Deceptives with 295/35R22 Fullways in the rear.
To make this regular cab really look like an SS, Karlo asked the guys at Extreme Body Shop, in Palmview, Texas, to install all of the factory SS parts on the exterior of the truck. First, the front end received the bumper and grille shell from an SS, as well as the body kit that was cut down to fit the two-door perfectly. Next, the rear bumper from an SS was installed and the rear wing from an SS Silverado’s tailgate was cut and molded to fit on the tailgate of Karlo’s truck. With all of the pieces installed, the truck was coated in Jetstream Blue Metallic Tintcoat, which is a factory color for the Z06 Corvette. When the paint was dry, SS badges were affixed to the sides and rear. To add a final touch, Karlo had Edgar Solis, of Donna, Texas, apply a pinstriped design to the tailgate and hood.
Since this truck came equipped with the 5.3L, instead of the 6.0L like a true SS, Karlo needed to up the ante and bring more power out of it. To start off, Karlo pulled the original camshaft, pushrods, and valve springs out of the engine and installed a Comp cam, Comp 918 beehive valve springs, and Comp pushrods. The new Comp cam has a duration of 228 degrees and a lift of .588 inches. To help the engine breathe, a K&N intake was installed along with a set of Pacesetter long-tube headers and Borla exhaust. To really get the tires spinning, Karlo installed a two-stage nitrous system with a 100 shot and a 150 shot. The engine puts the power to the wheels through the factory four-speed automatic, which has been upgraded with a Precision Industries Vigilante stall converter. For more show points, Karlo had several plastic pieces in the engine compartment painted to match the truck and he had Edgar Solis lay down some more pinstriping under the hood.
Turning his attention to the interior, Karlo continued the SS theme, by installing a pair of front leather seats from a Silverado SS. Next, he installed gray carpet to accent the black dash. For a custom feel, Karlo replaced the dash bezel with a carbon-fiber duplicate and swapped out the center console for a full-length piece from a 2003 Chevy Tahoe. Hidden under the armrest, Karlo installed the air gauges and the switches for the airbags. Also, hidden in the cab are the switches for the nitrous. Helping to monitor the performance of his souped-up engine, Karlo installed an Autometer A-pillar pod filled with an Autometer wideband Air/Fuel gauge, nitrous pressure gauge, and an Aeroforce Interceptor multi-function gauge. To finish off the interior, a matching billet Raceline steering wheel was installed.
With the chassis, engine, body, and interior taken care of, the last item on the agenda was the sound system. Karlo wanted something as equally impressive as the rest of the truck, so he built a sub box from sheetmetal and welded it into the back of the cab for a pass-through enclosure that ends in the bed. This allowed room for two 13½-inch JL W7 subwoofers to be installed in the regular cab. JL Audio was also used for the components in the doors, as well as the amplifiers behind the seat. A JVC touchscreen head unit sends the signal to a Memphis Audio equalizer then on to the speakers.
In only two years, Karlo now has what he wanted but couldn’t find, a regular-cab Silverado SS. If you see this truck at a show, be sure to talk to Karlo about it, he says that his favorite thing about the truck is the fact that everyone stops and talks to him, although based on the burnout he did for us, we think he enjoys the tire-smoking power the most.