When buying a brand-new truck, the majority of an enthusiast's extra coin is often swallowed up by the dreaded monthly payment. There is no doubt that brand-new luxury with a warranty costs money and forces most new truck buyers to put their plans for suspension and paint body modifications on hold, until they can recover from sticker shock.

While a new truck buyer's ride is still wearing dealer plates, most manage to muster up enough cash to purchase a few aftermarket items to personalize their ride. One of the most common upgrades made to a brand-new vehicle, whether it be a truck or sport utility, is a billet grille insert.

Billet grilles became all the rage back in the late '80s and early '90s when sport truck entrepreneurs began dropping, shaving, and smoothing the popular '88-'98 Chevy and GMC pickups. At that time, their efforts began showing up in the pages of Truckin'. Since then, a billet grille has become one of the staples of any custom truck project, no matter how large or small.

Prior to the arrival of the billet grille, custom van enthusiasts throughout the '70s and '80s relied on the chrome square tube and round tube grilles to dress up the frontal regions of their party wagons. Once the sport truck craze hit, enthusiasts started searching for a more modern and high-tech look, and the billet grille was born.

One company that has been at the forefront of the billet grille movement and has helped many an enthusiast dress up the front of their truck is Carriage Works Billet Accessories. Carriage Works subscribes to the American pride philosophy and manufactures its products in America, including the company's custom billet grille inserts.

Recently, we had an opportunity to get a close-up look at some Carriage Works products, as two different polished units were installed on a new '03 Chevy truck at S.A. Motorsports in Anaheim Hills, California. For the customer's convenience, Carriage Works offers both a bolt-over factory custom billet grille and a unit requiring removal of the original egg crate plastic grille webbing. We documented both procedures of installation and found the products to be easily installed with stunning results.

The Real McCoy from Carriage Works

In the process of dressing up the nose of this new '03 Chevy Silverado over at S.A. Motorsports in Anaheim Hills, California, we took the opportunity to capture the installation of both the Bolt-Over Factory grille and the cut-out version from Carriage Works. The Bolt-Over factory unit will appeal to the consumer who wants a hassle-free installation.

However, for the enthusiast who doesn't mind getting their hands dirty and wants to eliminate completely the plastic egg crate factory grille, the cut-out version from Carriage Works is the answer. Follow along as we transform this Bow Tie's nose from stock to hot!