It isn’t every day that you’re able to look back and reflect on accomplishing a big milestone in your life.
Building a full custom truck of any type is not cheap—we all know that. The job can be done fast, but that doesn’t say very much about the level of quality workmanship the crew performs. That old adage of good work not being cheap and cheap work not being good is a wise builders’ proverb that should be followed closely, because that sentiment always seems to ring true time and again.
Adam Villa of Chandler, Arizona, can attest to this sentiment. In the past, he has assembled numerous customized, show-worthy pickups, and in that time, he has learned how to navigate through the process much more safely than he did during his very first project.
“It has always been a dream of mine to build cool vehicles since I was little,” Adam says. “I was raised poor, but after seeing all the old school mini-trucks from back in the day, I always had a passion to build my own.”
Once Adam got older and in a better position financially, opportunities starting presenting themselves. He began to purchase trucks he wanted and scout local shops to help him achieve his automotive goals.
“One thing I learned was to find people and businesses that you can fully trust,” he says. “Unfortunately, it’s easy to go wrong when you really don’t know any better. I’ve always tried to double check the work done by shops by looking at their previous builds and hearing what others had to say about them—basically doing my research before committing any of my time and money anywhere.”
Throughout the years, Adam developed a method and a list of trusted sources that he still utilizes to this day. When he picked up his 2014 Chevy Silverado, he already had some ideas—and builders—in mind to customize it to better suit his taste.
To start on the build process, Adam reached out to Lowboys Motorsports in nearby Mesa, Arizona, to drop the truck as low as possible. Of course, ‘bags were the way to go, so the Lowboys crew began the work of modifying the factory frame before a lineup of top shelf air-ride components were installed. The frontend was equipped with custom brackets, and the rear of the chassis was notched and outfitted with an Ekstensive 2-link rear setup. Ridetech HQ Series shocks were then brought in for each corner, and an Accuair eLevel system with ECU upgrade was wired up, as were dual Viair 444C compressors and a FLO aluminum tank to supply the system with an ample amount of air.
To further upgrade the Silverado’s much lower chassis, the factory brake system was treated to fresh R1 Concepts cross-drilled rotors that were then neatly framed behind the spokes of a fresh set of wheels. Adam was looking forward to maximizing the size of wheel that could be tucked underneath his truck, and his solution was a set of front 26×9 and rear 28×10 Intro Texan units. Shortening the rearend by 6 ½ inches would be necessary to properly squeeze those wide rear wheels into place, but anything Adam needed to do to make them fit would be well worth the effort.
With the Silverado sitting at a much cooler cruising altitude, the next phase of the build was ready to be implemented. With Adam being a fan of the older style of custom street trucks, he was interested in creating an eye-catching paint scheme with a thematic sense of storytelling in the background.
While there is a deep pool of talented artists in the region that could’ve successfully pulled this off, Adam turned to Arnaldo Castillo at Drastik Changez in Houston to first lay down the blue base before requesting the airbrush expertise of Verrick Falcon at Enhanced Air Custom Paint in Pasadena, Texas, to finish off the job. The image that Verrick came up with depicts a skeleton wearing a jeweled crown and wielding a scepter worthy of a powerful royal figure positioned by a captivating combination of shapes and colors.
While the factory 5.3L was kept mostly stock with the additions of a K&N intake and a rumbling 4-inch Borla exhaust, the most noticeable change to the drivetrain can be found inside of the cab. The Silverado’s column shifter was thrown out the window and replaced with an automatic shifter from a 2016-2018 Camaro that has been planted in the custom center console designed by Anthony Medina at Medina’s Interior Design in Chandler, Arizona.
While Anthony had the truck at his facility, he also wrapped the dash and door panels in tan and black leather and suede, as well as the pair of 1990s Impala front bucket seats and set of matching custom buckets for the rear. Oh, and there is another center console positioned between the rear buckets that adds a comfortable separation of personal space throughout the cab.
“Kartunes of Tempe, Arizona, had worked on my last two truck builds, so I dropped off the Silverado for them to work their magic on next,” Adams says.
The magic they created is an audio/visual masterpiece led by a 10.1-inch high definition Kenwood DMX10375 navigation and multimedia receiver that has been linked up to JL audio speakers and 10-inch sub housed in a custom enclosure for a sound system loud and clear enough to meet Adam’s stringent standards.
While not every little thing worked out perfect for the Silverado, such as the powdercoat color not coming out correct and other very minor situations here and there, Adam’s process of bringing the truck to its current state has been painless for the most part. In two years’ time, his Silverado has drastically changed, but there are still things Adam is looking to accomplish with it.
Very rarely are these types of projects 100% complete due to the constant tweaking of things for the better or to try something new, but one thing that will always be certain for Adam and other builders just like him: Following and trusting learned instincts always prove to be invaluable with all future projects to come
2014 Chevy Silverado
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
CHASSIS & SUSPENSION
WHEELS, TIRES & BRAKES
EXTERIOR & PAINT
There’s a reason why everyone loves an old-school Chevy Camaro. You can talk about the history, its status as a muscle car, the technical aspects and so forth; but when you get down to it, a lot of it is the classic body design. It looks simply badass, like an ideal brought to life. And when a true enthusiast loves the car and is willing to put his resources and time into the project, what he gets when it’s complete is no longer a mode of transportation but a work of art, an expression of beauty.
Owner Bret Ervin is one of those dedicated Chevy Camaro fans. He was raised in an automotive family. In fact, he had a couple of uncles who raced stock cars in Monterey, California. One was NASCAR driver Tim Williamson, who was active in the late ’70s. With that type of influence around you how could you not be a car guy? This garage-built car takes an already desirable make and model and turns it into what many of us would want in our dream garage. What better way to kick off our new “Reader Rides” series than with this Sikkwip.
Paint and body by The Hot Rod Shop
Interior by Roman’s Interior
Assembly by Jake Moreno
Text by Drive Staff Photos by Studio5 Photography
Brian Schamber of Lancaster, California, has always been fascinated by how things work. He says it started with toys when he was growing up and progressed into, well, bigger toys, like bicycles, dirt bikes and eventually cars. According to him, “The more I learned, the more I wanted to know.” He (and his ride) sounds like the appropriate subject for this tech-themed, DIY issue.
The story of this ’67 Camaro RS/SS started when Brian’s parents decided to buy the car when he was only 11 years old. The vehicle was certainly not purchased pristine and ready to show. In fact, it had to be completely disassembled and it took multiple trips to get all of the pieces home. With that hurdle cleared, the challenge of turning a pile of parts into a drivable car still remained. But it put him on the path to where (and, in part, who) he is today.
The system is complemented superbly by nice upholstery by Velvet Touch.
Of course, our Camaro owner has had some help along the way. He took his ride to House of Customs in his hometown for the body and paint work. The crew there added the cool Copperhead Metallic color and shaved and smoothed the firewall.
For the audio system he went to Meece Car Audio they did a little more than a simple installation. The owner of the shop, Jeff Meece, made sure Brian got plenty of sound so the latter could still hear his music even with the engine growling. The front has two pairs of JL Audio C5 650 components, but the highlight visually and sonically is the pair of JL Audio 10w6v2 subwoofers powered by JL Audio’s HD750/1 amps. The four-channel HD600/4 handles the tweeters and mids. The signal source is a Kenwood DDX896 double-DIN head unit, mounted at the top of the custom center console. Two Optima Red Top batteries make sure there’s enough juice for the jams. The system is complemented superbly by nice upholstery by Velvet Touch. The front seats are Pro Car Rally; you’ll find a reworked original seat in the back.
Engine builder Billy Cooper was responsible for the final assembly of the 454 motor with B&M 420 Megablower and Edelbrock Performer Heads
The speakers can get loud, but not quite like the engine. Engine builder Billy Cooper was responsible for the final assembly of the 454 motor with B&M 420 Megablower and Edelbrock Performer heads. The rest of the performance mods consist of two Holley 850 double pumpers, Harland Sharp roller rockers and MSD distributor and ignition control. The Camaro also has a BeCool Radiator with dual 13-inch electric fans and built-in trans cooler.
Brian went with Weld Racing Pro Star wheels, 15 x 7-inch for the front and 15 x 9-inch for the rear. These are wrapped in BFG Radials. QA1 coil-overs with 2-inch drop spindles and Hotchkis leaf springs with QA1 shocks (1.5 inches lower) take care of the suspension. SSBC front and rear disc brakes supply the stopping power.
The highlight visually and sonically is the pair of JL Audio 10w6v2 subwoofers.
Somehow we have the feeling the work’s not done. Given his love for customizing his toys, we wouldn’t be surprised if Brian were to disassemble and transform his ’67 Camaro again. With all of the aggressive sounds from the motor and audio system he might need a quieter car to save his ears!
Text by Ben Oh • Photos by Jimmy Crook and Gus Rivera
Taking a truck from modified daily driver to something show worthy can be a hard transition for vehicle owners. Committing to take that build as a whole to the next level is usually never the issue—it’s more like remembering to take it at bit easier on the truck to maintain that pristine condition every show vehicle aims to be.
Will Meadors of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, however, decided that was precisely what he wanted to do: spend more time than ever driving this truck once it was completed. After owning the truck since 2010, Will attended SEMA in 2016 and made the choice that he needed to step it up. From there, the rest is history.
You can catch this beautiful truck at shows in Oklahoma and all across the Midwest.
First thing on the laundry list of upgrades Will wanted to make was suspension. On his suspension and frame setup at that time, he wasn’t able to run deep dish wheels, and that was a must. Let us be clear: It was not a want; it was a need. Knowing the amount of work it would take to completely change his as-is setup, Will decided to make the jump from a decked out extended cab to a single cab. Why cut the cord on all that work? Because body-drop, that’s why. With that, he sold off the old cab and built a new chassis, using all the previously worked up body panels, dash, etc. Now that is commitment. He enlisted a handful of friends and got to work. Between the parts lists from Stone Fab, Air Lift and Belltech it is easy to guess how well this truck lays out after the framework was complete.
Every fresh suspension setup needs a fresh pair of wheels. Wanting the deep dish that started all of this, Will chose a staggered set of 22-inch Intros Twisted Vista 2. Packing a full 22×12-inch wheel in the back, that aggressive set of shoes gave an entirely new look to laying out the 90s GMC.
To better turn those massive new wheels, next in line for the Short Stack was motor work. Why not put down more power than ever when debuting a new look, right? To accomplish that, almost the entire Comp Cams motor catalog was used from camshaft to springs and lifters, then topped off with Billet Specialties valve covers. Throw in the matching air cleaner to those valve covers, then tuck it all neatly between the perfect-fitting Slosh Tubz fender tubs and firewall panels. The engine bay was ready to shut down shows just as quick as the exterior.
Last but not least came the paint and interior work to complete the one-of-a-kind single cab. Will enlisted Albert Stem from Stemco Body Works to knock out the paint work on the freshly installed single cab to match the previous extended-cab paint work, which Will had done himself. Like a true pro, Stem absolutely nailed it. Seeing the paint and bodywork on this truck in person, it looks seamless as if it were all done at once. In addition to that, Brandon McCoy of Gooch Pinstriping laid out the incredible ghost lace on the roof as well as the insane graphics on the Slosh Tubz in the engine bay, setting off the purple and black theme with a pop all its own.
Finishing up its extreme makeover Sierra edition, the GMC went to Cody at Code Zero Customs for interior. The combo of the custom black leather bucket seats with purple stitching mixed with the iPad mini and JL Audio setup make any drive you take in the Short Stack a comfortable time.
With more details left to discuss than we have space for, we recommend you find this beauty in person! You can catch this beautiful truck at shows in Oklahoma and all across the Midwest.
Will wants to give a huge thank you to a few people who helped his dream become a reality on this build: “First and foremost, thank you to my wife Jamie, of course; Mike Losh of Slosh Tubz; also Seth Curry, Cody Landis of Code Zero Customs; the King Covers crew, Mike Hall, Eric Banks, Albert Stem; and Brandon ‘Gooch’ McCoy. Finally, thank you to anyone else who ever played a part in this truck taking shape.”
[divider] TRUCK Specs [/divider]
Will Meadors (Billy Bob)
1992 GMC Sierra
Hometown: Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Build Time: 4 to 5 years
Estimated Cost: $25k
Reason for building: Love old body style trucks, had one in high school
Name of truck: Short Stack