Before The Dakota in its semi-stock form. Looks pretty good here with a mild drop and some accessories, but we're going to take it up a notch with some custom paint and quality bolt-ons.

There's an old adage that goes, "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade." Here in the custom truck world we can modify that old motto by saying "when you get rear-ended, don't go back to stock-go custom!" This is exactly what we did on a work-in-progress '01 Dodge Dakota when it got involved in a little fender bender.

After Custom paint from Eightball Rods & Choppers and Steve Vandemom had the Dakota looking show-ready. New body parts from Cervinis, Option Racing, Street Scene, and Sir Michaels really set iftapart from the stock crowd.

Sure, we could have just had the bumper replaced and the bodywork repaired, but that would have been too easy and frankly, not as cool. We teamed up with the guys over at Eightball Rods & Choppers in Placentia, California, to make a little lemonade with our newly acquired bushel of lemons. If you're looking for a good shop to build something amazing this is the place. Stephan and his crew turn out awesome hot rods and custom choppers. They no doubt have the skills to do a simple fix like our Dakota. The sugar for our lemonade came by way of custom paint supplied by House of Kolor. All of the catalyst, paint, and reducers were mixed according to the manufacturers suggestions as well as to the temperature and humidity levels on the day we painted. We chose to do a simple two-tone job overlaying black on top of the stock Dodge silver. A nice break of some HOK Kosmic Krome Copper Effect down the waistline made for a unique transition between the silver and the black. Toss in Steve Vandemon, along with his custom paint skills, and we had the perfect glass of lemonade.

Adding quality bolt-ons

Anything else that was bolted or screwed to the truck was removed as well. There were a few dings and some damage to the body from the collision so all of these were taken care of with body filler, sanded smooth and primed.

Since we wanted the finished truck to look as good as possible, the stock silver was color sanded and completely cleaned up. The areas where dents and dings were filled got a fresh coat of stock Dakota Bright Silver paint. We also had the windshield popped out in favor of a new one as the original was badly pitted. Removing this also makes for a better paint job in the end.

Laying out the lines

Kustom Kolor

Stripe it!

Steve Vandemon
Orange County
House Of Kolor
Option Racing
207 S. Sixth Avenue
La Puente
CA  91746
8 Ball Rods & Choppers
1055 Ortega Way #D
CA  92807
Sir Michaels
1550 Mahalo Place
Rancho Dominguez
CA  90220
Cervini's Auto Designs
3656 N. Mill Road
NJ  08360
Street Scene Equipment
365 McCormick Avenue
Costa Mesa
CA  92626
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