Whenever someone mentions CenCal, we immediately envision the build style that the Central California region has become famous for: trucks with big lifts, wide wheels, and low-profile tires. However, not every truck from CenCal is built this way -- in fact, the sunny coastline is also home to many killer lowered truck builds. We spotted this clean 1997 Chevrolet C3500 at the Summer Madness show, in Bakersfield, California, and it’s just another example of an up-and-coming ’bagged build from the Golden State.

Walking up to the Chevy truck for the first time, its laid-out stance immediately caught our eye. Owner Jesse Alarcon of Santa Maria, California, tells us a set of Continental Contitech ’bags and a stock-floor body drop were key to bringing the rockers down to the ground. Belltech drop spindles bring the nose down an additional three inches, and out back a custom two-link with wishbone stabilizes the axle. The rear framerails were also bridge-notched for clearance, and reinforced with a network of tubular steel. The entire system was plumbed with ½-inch lines and valves, which run to a Viair compressor and an air tank at the front of the bed. Tucked under the dualie fenders are a set of six 20-inch Eagle Alloy wheels and Achilles tires.

The stance was handled, but there was still plenty of work to be done before the truck would be show-worthy. First, a 1999 Yukon Denali front clip was bolted up, giving the dualie a sleeker look. The truck’s body panels were then shaved and smoothed, removing the door handles, taillights, and bed stake pockets. Out back, the tailgate was molded into the bedsides, along with a new roll pan. New slim LED lights were added above the roll pan, and then the truck was ready for paint. The entire body was sprayed in a clean matte white finish, and topped off with subtle pinstriping in navy blue and grey.

At this point in the build, the truck’s interior and engine bay are simple but functional -- a reflection of the fact that Jesse likes to drive it as much as possible. The cab retains the factory blue cloth upholstery, carpeting, and panels, but a half-wrapped billet steering wheel brings in a little custom flair. Under the hood, the original 454ci big-block was lightly massaged with a K&N filter and Flowmaster exhaust. Jesse plans to shave the firewall and add an array of billet components for more show points in the future.

Jesse’s Chevy is far from the stereotypical CenCal style of truck build, and that’s one of the reasons we like it so much. It’s a timeless build style with great lines, and it draws plenty of attention without being a slave to current trends. We can’t wait to see what he does with it in the future.


1997 Chevy C3500
Owner and City/State: Jesse Alarcon • Santa Maria, California
Engine
Type: 454ci Vortec V-8
Induction: K&N filter
Exhaust: Custom 3-inch with Flowmaster mufflers
Ignition: Optima YellowTop
Drivetrain
Transmission: 4L80E automatic
Rearend: Stock with 3.73 gears
Chassis
Front suspension: Belltech 3-inch drop spindles, Contitech ’bags, Monroe shocks, ½-inch lines and valves
Rear suspension: Custom two-link with wishbone, bridge notch, Contitech ’bags, Monroe shocks, ½-inch lines and valves
Brakes: Stock
Wheels & Tires
Wheels: 20x7.5 Eagle Alloy Series 056
Tires: 245/35R20 Achilles ATR Sport