When asked how long they've been involved in the custom vehicle scene, some truck owners will reply a few years, and others will reply a decade or two. When we asked 26-year-old Travis Bielert of Houston, he responded, “Forever.” His obsessive dedication to this lifestyle has been reflected in his past vehicle choices, which include a 'bagged '92 GMC, a 'bagged '08 Chevy Crew Cab, a classic '67 Mustang, and two custom Harleys. However, he was never quite satisfied with those projects and wanted to take it to the next level with his newest build. Travis began with the common '88-'98 GM platform, selecting a 1997 GMC Sierra extended cab as his blank canvas. Then, he modified the truck in three stages: first 'bagging it, then body-dropping it on 24s, and finally completing the gorgeous two-tone paint, refined interior, and mind-blowing stereo.

After his previous experiences building 'bagged trucks, Travis knew how a new stance could transform a bland truck into a clean custom. Travis did all the suspension work himself, stripping the GMC's factory front suspension and replacing it with a new set of DJM 2-inch drop spindles, Slam Specialties 'bags, and KYB shocks. The rear of the truck was modified as well, using another set of Slam Specialties 'bags, this time with DJM shocks. In addition, a C-notch was added to the framerails for proper clearance, and a two-link setup with diagonal bar was used to stabilize the rearend. Also, the frame was fully boxed for additional strength. Initially, Travis was satisfied with this new stance, rolling on a set of 20-inch wheels for a while. However, he soon realized it was time to go even bigger and lower.

With the suspension fully redone, Travis determined the best way to go lower was with a body drop. After stripping out the interior, the cab and bed floor were cut out, raised, and rewelded, producing a 2¼-inch drop and a laid-out stance. To match this new drop, Travis swapped out his old 20s for a new set of 24x10 KMC SS wheels wrapped in high-performance Pirelli tires. To clear the large rolling stock, the firewall was notched and new inner fenders created. Finally, the ride was perfect, but the truck still had a long way to go, and the biggest step in its metamorphosis was right around the corner.