The FX Pearl

Build for oth­ers, then build a ’17 Dodge Ram Mega Cab 2500 for your­self

Truckin - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - BY PHIL GOR­DON PHO­TOG­RA­PHY: PHIL GOR­DON

When you pos­sess a skill as a young boy, it’s hard to de­tach your­self from your tal­ent. For Troy Buck of Avon­dale, Ari­zona, his spe­cial skill was draw­ing. “I would spend most week­ends draw­ing,” Troy tells Truckin. “I didn’t know where it would lead to later in life, but I knew I had po­ten­tial.” Troy had a dif­fer­ent call­ing, how­ever, be­cause as fate would have it, most of his fam­ily was in­volved in law en­force­ment, and that would be the path he would take. At 21, Troy joined the El Mi­rage, Ari­zona, po­lice depart­ment and did his very best to serve his city proudly.

True to his draw­ing days, Troy would con­tinue draw­ing through­out his ten­ure on the force and even­tu­ally picked up a paint gun. “I air­brushed a few small things,” Troy adds. “I think it was a hel­met and a mini-re­frig­er­a­tor for some of the of­fi­cers.” As his rep­u­ta­tion for cre­ative paint work cir­cled the law en­force­ment sta­tions, more peo­ple would com­mis­sion his tal­ent. Mark Bar­bee, a fire­fighter from Peo­ria, brought his truck to Troy and asked for a paintjob. Troy quickly re­sponded that he had never painted a ve­hi­cle and Mark an­swered back with “learn!” and threw him the keys.

Al­though it took some trial and er­ror, Troy’s first paintjob on Mark’s truck got him some at­ten­tion af­ter be­ing fea­tured in a few truck mag­a­zines. Troy started do­ing side jobs, which paid much bet­ter than di­rect­ing traf­fic. Af­ter a year of paint­ing in his garage, Troy opened his own paint shop and left the force to ded­i­cate his time to his pas­sion. With busi­ness boom­ing dur­ing the next three years, he opened a new shop in Avon­dale three times the size of his first shop.

For the fol­low­ing five years, Troy de­signed and cre­ated qual­ity trucks that have been promi­nently fea­tured at the SEMA show in Las Ve­gas. In De­cem­ber 2016, he de­cided he needed a new daily driver. He pur­chased a brand-new ’17 Dodge Ram Mega Cab 2500 from the deal­er­ship, and the goal was to keep it clean and stock. That thought lasted all the way un­til March 2017, when Troy started think­ing it would be in­ter­est­ing if for once he built his own truck and brought it to SEMA. He con­tacted ven­dors he reg­u­larly did busi­ness with and pitched them the idea. Be­cause of their fa­mil­iar­ity with his work and his rep­u­ta­tion, they gladly jumped on board.

Troy wanted to set his truck above all the rest right out of the gate. Be­ing mas­ter­ful at draw­ing and paint­ing, he took out a Sharpie and be­gan out­lin­ing pat­terns and draw­ing murals with the marker. “This was go­ing to be per­ma­nent, so I wanted to make sure I was go­ing to like it,” Troy ex­plains. He drove around for a full two weeks with the Sharpie mark­ings, but it’s that un­con­ven­tional way of lay­ing out his plans that’s been so suc­cess­ful. He mixed and matched spe­cific col­ors, get­ting a pearl that even he stepped back and mar­veled at. Then he laid down some im­pres­sive air­brush work, with paint­ing themes through­out.

The next step was chang­ing the stock sus­pen­sion, and this is where the good men and women of Kel­der­man came in to help. Troy sent them the first few pic­tures of the build, and they were

more than happy to send him a full 6-inch lift kit com­plete with air-ride sus­pen­sion. From the cat­a­log pro­vided, Troy picked out front and rear bumpers and in­stalled them him­self. His friends from Vi­sion X asked to be part of the build by adding their light­ing sys­tem to the bumpers. A set of 22-inch A.W.O.L.s wrapped in Gla­di­a­tor Xcomp tires rounded out the com­plete build from stock to wild in a short seven months.

Troy wishes to thank his beautiful wife, Me­lanie, and their two kids, Austin and Hai­ley, for al­ways be­ing there for him and lend­ing their pa­tience and un­der­stand­ing. A spe­cial thanks goes to his 17-mem­ber hard­work­ing staff at FX Auto Body and Jeff Miller. Troy was able to ful­fill his dream of bring­ing his own truck to SEMA for the first time, proudly dis­play­ing it in the Kel­der­man booth.

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