Rusty Thomas is a good ol' boy from Muskogee, Oklahoma, who loves 'bagged trucks. In 2010, Rusty wanted to build a laid-out '88-'98 Chevy C1500. After some searching around, he found the perfect candidate. He also knew the perfect person to build the truck. Without delay, Rusty went out and made the deal happen.
With the pink slip in hand, Rusty took the truck to his buddy, Ike Ray. Ike has a reputation for building some killer Chevys, so Rusty knew this C1500 would be no problem. Rather than try to work with the factory frame, Ike lopped it off from the firewall back and built a new one out of 2x4-inch steel. This new frame ensured that the body would rest firmly on the ground while still being strong enough to be driven daily. Before adding any suspension components, Ike sprayed the frame silver for added show points. He then bolted on a set of Belltech drop spindles and Dominator 2600 airbags. This completed the suspension up front, and out back Ike fabricated a custom two-link and used another pair of Dominator 'bags to pick up the bed. A set of 22-inch U2 55 wheels were then wrapped in Toyo Proxes 4 rubber and bolted in place.
Moving to the body, Ike shaved the door handles, fuel filler door, tailgate handle, and rear bumper. He then covered the entire truck in several coats of Lime Rock Green paint. Rusty had planned to leave the truck solid green, until it was rear-ended on the way to Turkey Drag 2011. After that, Rusty had Cole Stevens of Tulsa, Oklahoma, come in and add a tribal graphic, biohazard symbols, and skulls to the sides and rear of the C1500. After sealing the graphics with clear, a phantom grille was installed up front and the exterior was complete. The interior was next on the chopping block and Rusty had big plans for it.
All of the plastics inside the extended cab went to the paint shop to receive a matching coat of Lime Rock Green paint. While those were being transformed, the seats, door cards, and sub enclosure were taken to Don Aldridge, also in Muskogee, to be covered in tan leather. The seats, dash trim bezel, and steering wheel received alligator print leather to break up the sea of tan. Upon getting all the pieces back, Ike and Rusty went to work reassembling the interior and adding the award-winning audio system. A Pioneer head unit sends the audio signal to two Rockford Fosgate Punch 200 amplifiers. Those feed the boosted signal to four Polk Audio 4x6-inch mids and the two massive 15-inch Rockford Fosgate P2 subs in the back seat.
The truck was finally finished a year and a half after Rusty bought it and he couldn't wait to show it off. After the little incident on the way to Turkey Drag, Rusty had the truck finished again and debuted it at Kicker Bash, in Stillwater, Oklahoma, where he won Best Audio. Rusty wanted to thank all the guys who helped with the truck, Don Aldridge, Cole Stevens, Justin Taylor, Brandon Bowden, Richey's Muffler, and most of all Ike Ray. "There's no way I could have done it without Ike's help," exclaimed Rusty during the photo shoot.
Inside the Build
Year Make Model:
1989 Chevrolet C1500
Owner and City/State:
Rusty Thomas • Muskogee, Oklahoma
Type: 350 ci
Induction: K&N cold-air intake
Exhaust: Magnaflow 3-inch
Built by: Ike Ray • Council Hill, Oklahoma
Rearend: 10-bolt narrowed 4 inches
Front suspension: Belltech drop spindles, Dominator 2600 ’bags
Rear suspension: Custom two-link, Dominator 2600 ’bags
Brakes: Stock with painted calipers
Wheels & Tires
Wheels: 22-inch U2 55
Tires: Toyo Proxes 4 255/35R22
Thanks to an unfortunate accident, these graphics cover the sides and rear of the C1500.
It is easy to see why this truck won Best Audio at the 2012 Kicker Bash.
Rusty loves to cruise around in his show truck with his son Beau riding shotgun.