PASSIONFRUIT

The Re­sult of a Burn­ing De­sire

Street Trucks - - CONTENTS - TEXT BY MIKE SELF PHO­TOS BY BRIAN GOUDE

LIV­ING IN A TOWN WITH­OUT MUCH OF A LOW­ERED TRUCK SCENE CAN BE A BIT DIS­HEART­EN­ING. The lo­cal cruise spots are filled with mus­cle cars and im­ports, and the very best you can hope for as far as trucks go is a bunch of high­school­ers in their par­ents’ stock trucks hang­ing out at Taco Bell on a Thurs­day night. Don’t ask why we’re be­ing so spe­cific; just trust us on this one. Abe Silva bought his ’03 Dodge Ram brand-new off the lot to do reg­u­lar ol’ truck things, more specif­i­cally, to tow his show car. Since he didn’t have much of a lo­cal in­flu­ence, it was rel­a­tively easy to avoid the temp­ta­tion to mod­ify his truck—for a while any­way.

The prob­lem started when Abe wanted to check out what a real truck scene was all about. He started go­ing to out-of-state shows to get his fix, and even­tu­ally the thirst was too much to han­dle. After all, you can only go to so many truck shows with­out a truck be­fore you feel like the odd guy out.

It started in­no­cently enough, as it of­ten does, with a set of cus­tom wheels. More shows meant more ideas swim­ming around in Abe’s head, and he knew that he was about to get him­self in big trou­ble. He needed some guid­ance to help him pare those ideas down so that his truck wouldn’t end up look­ing like an af­ter­thought. Luck­ily, there were a cou­ple of lo­cals he could talk to, Daniel Lu­jan of D-lue Kus­toms and Bernie Mac of Duke City Auto Body.

A lot of care­ful de­ci­sions led to a ren­der­ing, and that ren­der­ing be­came the road map to Abe’s build. Daniel was the first to tear into the truck, ad­ding a com­pletely new fab­ri­cated air sus­pen­sion to the truck’s chassis.

Go ahead and take an­other quick look at the pho­tos of this truck while we prep you with this piece of info: Daniel runs D-lue Kus­toms out of his drive­way. No­tice that we didn’t even say “garage”— his frig­gin’ drive­way, man! The work on Abe’s Dodge is amaz­ing at any level, but a truck of this cal­iber be­ing built in some­one’s drive­way is just nuts. This dude is go­ing places.

A foot-high step notch and cus­tom sus­pen­sion gives just enough clear­ance for the truck to swal­low a set of 26-inch Bonetti wheels, and Abe gave the OK for Daniel to splurge on Fox Rac­ing reservoir shocks all around. Fit­ting those large-and-in­charge rollers re­quired that the bed­sides be widened a to­tal of 6 inches, but Daniel made it look flaw­less and the change is hardly no­tice­able un­less

you know what to look for. The one-man crew at D-lue Kus­toms also took care of the ma­jor body mods, which are al­most too nu­mer­ous to men­tion. The most sig­nif­i­cant one is the com­pletely cus­tom bed, which was to­tally shaved, smoothed and, as men­tioned pre­vi­ously, widened.

Once Daniel was done with the metal fab, though, there was still a lot of work to do. He and Abe de­liv­ered the truck to Bernie Mac at Duke City Auto Body to smooth things out and lay down some color. Plenty of NAPA Auto Care re­fin­ish­ing prod­ucts were used, in­clud­ing the paint it­self, which con­sists of tan metal­lic, Snake­skin Green and a special mix of three col­ors for the graph­ics.

With all of this amaz­ing awe­some­ness, we’d be com­pletely fine with a bone-stock in­te­rior, but Abe didn’t want to leave any­thing on the ta­ble when it came to mak­ing his truck stand above the rest. Gotcha Cov­ered Up­hol­stery and Gabe Padilla col­lab­o­rated to cre­ate a one-of-akind in­te­rior treat­ment that com­bines plenty of suede, sidewinder snake, croc­o­dile and vis­ual en­ter­tain­ment— in­clud­ing a mon­i­tor in the steer­ing wheel. We just have to won­der if Abe some­times zones out and watches “Croc­o­dile Hunter” re­runs on his 10 mon­i­tors. Or maybe he drives to rep­tile zoos and makes threat­en­ing hand ges­tures from the park­ing lot.

In any case, Abe’s Ram is an amaz­ing piece of art that ful­fills his dream of own­ing a top-cal­iber show truck, which now al­lows him to par­tic­i­pate at truck shows in­stead of just spectating. Hav­ing the right friends to help out cer­tainly went a long way, and as Abe told us, “A mix­ture of a few beers and a good friend cre­ated a badass truck!”

ABE’S RAM IS AN AMAZ­ING PIECE OF ART THAT FUL­FILLS HIS DREAM OF OWN­ING A TOP-CAL­IBER SHOW TRUCK, WHICH NOW AL­LOWS HIM TO PAR­TIC­I­PATE AT TRUCK SHOWS IN­STEAD OF JUST SPECTATING. ”

LEFT. DANIEL LU­JAN FROM D-LUE KUS­TOMS DID AN AMAZ­ING JOB ON THE CHASSIS OF ABE’S DODGE. WE ES­PE­CIALLY LOVE THE SMALL DE­TAILS, SUCH AS THE PER­FO­RATED METAL AC­CENTS AND THE FLOOR TREAT­MENT.

ABOVE. WE’RE LOVIN’ THE EARTH TONES, WHICH WERE SPRAYED BY DUKE CITY AUTO BODY. THE COLOR-MATCHED WHEEL IN­SERTS TIE EV­ERY­THING TO­GETHER PER­FECTLY.

WE THINK THERE ARE A TO­TAL OF 10 TV MON­I­TORS IN ABE’S RAM, BUT WE DO HAVE TO AD­MIT THAT WE FOR­GOT TO CHECK THE GLOVEBOX AND UN­DER THE SEATS.

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