Slayer

Shorter, Wider, & Red­der!

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

This ’08 Chevy Sil­ver­ado is shorter, wider & red­der!

When you’re given a good foun­da­tion, it’s im­pos­si­ble to fail. Fran­cisco Rios of Fort Worth, Texas, had a fa­ther who owned and op­er­ated a body shop where he re­paired and painted ve­hi­cles. On oc­ca­sion, he would pur­chase the ve­hi­cle and re­pair and flip it to earn ex­tra money. When Fran­cisco turned the le­gal driv­ing age of 16, his fa­ther, Joaquin, pur­chased a cheap, wrecked Honda and got it run­ning for Fran­cisco. As a high school kid with a new car, it didn’t take long for Fran­cisco to want to cus­tom­ize it. As he out­grew the Honda, he kept the theme of fast im­ports for his next few ve­hi­cles.

Once Fran­cisco was out of high school, he be­gan pur­su­ing his fa­ther’s trade by tak­ing an auto body course in col­lege. The course re­quired him to bring tools on a daily ba­sis, and he was quickly re­al­iz­ing an im­port wasn’t vi­able for his needs. One of his fa­ther’s cus­tomers had a solid stock C1500 truck, and Fran­cisco was able to work out a price to buy it from him. Quick to show off his auto body skills, Fran­cisco shaved the truck, low­ered it, and added wheels. Once Fran­cisco got a taste of trucks, he knew this was the cul­ture to which he be­longed.

When it came time to pur­chase his first real rig to trans­form, he went to a Chevy dealer and found a solid white stock ’08 Chevro­let Sil­ver­ado. Fran­cisco worked quickly, up­dat­ing the Chevy to a ’13 2500 HD front end be­cause it was just a sim­ple hood, grille, and bumper up­grade. Af­ter a cou­ple of months, Fran­cisco de­cided he wanted to go a lit­tle fur­ther with the body­work and added a ’15 front end that re­quired a lot of metal fab­ri­ca­tion to in­stall. The rear end fol­lowed suit with the ’15 up­grade, and a spoiler was added for a more aero­dy­namic look.

Fran­cisco’s next step was find­ing the per­fect wheels to fit his new cus­tom Chevy. He found a shop that or­dered him a set of 26-inch In­tro wheels. Once they ar­rived at the shop, it was ob­vi­ous the wheels weren’t go­ing to fit on the static-dropped Chevy. “They told me I needed to ’bag the truck to get it to fit,” Fran­cisco tells Truckin. “At that time, I chose a dif­fer­ent av­enue.” The only way to get the wheels to fit the rear of the truck would be to flare the fend­ers to ac­com­mo­date the wide rims.

Some of the shop’s em­ploy­ees, in­clud­ing Fito, Julio, and his fa­ther, fab­ri­cated a wide body on the sin­gle-cab Chevy. Once the rad­i­cal body mod­i­fi­ca­tion was com­pleted, he needed a fresh paintjob to match. Fran­cisco used his paint­ing ex­per­tise and coated the Chevy in rich Fer­rari Red to give the truck more char­ac­ter and make it stand out much more than with the white paint. His next step was mak­ing the in­te­rior pop by en­list­ing Juan at Juan’s Up­hol­stery to han­dle the black leather along with red painted in­te­rior pieces and door pan­els.

Fran­cisco de­buted his new truck, still static-dropped, at a big show and took home a First Place award. Once it was time to load the truck on the trailer, he re­al­ized us­ing 30 dif­fer­ent 2x4 pieces of wood just to get it loaded was not some­thing he wanted to keep do­ing. Straight from the show, he brought the Chevy to Fam­ily Kus­toms, where Tony and Pakas brought the once-static Chevy to the ground with their own cus­tom sus­pen­sion and Ac­cuair E-Level air man­age­ment.

Fran­cisco is the head painter and man­ager at Rio’s Body Shop, and with his fa­ther Joaquin’s tute­lage, the path was cleared for him to ex­cel in his field. A spe­cial thanks goes to his lov­ing and sup­port­ive wife, Lind­sey, and their son Frankie. Fran­cisco wishes to thank his fam­ily, es­pe­cially his fa­ther, Joaquin, for all his sup­port and putting up with his truck ob­ses­sion. His friends have af­fec­tion­ately named the Sil­ver­ado “Slayer” be­cause it has beaten every truck it’s been up against since its com­ple­tion.

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