One Clean,Innovative Chevy
How can anyone ever truly describe the skill that’s necessary and the time needed to rework a custom truck into a show-stopper with a bevy of unique details and flawless finishing work? Sometimes it’s better to let the facts and pictures speak for themselves. Turning a late-model truck into a hot rod with detail work that would make any white-gloved judge proud is no easy task. Kevin Schiele is the shop foreman of Kindig-It in Utah. In recent years, the shop has become one of the most sought-after and innovative custom shops, churning out all sorts of customs from street rods to classics and muscle cars, as well as a few trucks, all the while working on high-end, award-winning cars.Meanwhile, Kevin’s own truck has been sitting in a corner, receiving attention only when customers’ vehicles aren’t demanding his time.
The truck began its life at Air Lift Company, where Jim Bigford had ‘bagged it and used it as a company advertising tool before Kevin scooped it up. Kevin had built himself a few custom dually trucks throughout the years, and he wanted one of the ½-ton variety. He drove the truck as-is for a while before deciding to tear it down completely and rebuild it into a clean and custom truck to further showcase the shop’s talents.
One of the most unique aspects of the build is the bed that has been raised, smoothed and outfitted with a form-fit wood floor. The back end has been molded smooth and angled in to mimic custom sedans.
Kevin wanted to fully rebuild the suspension starting with an under slung back-half frame made of 2×3-inch square tubing. A 4-link setup handles the movement of a rear end that was narrowed 3 inches on each side in order to fit a set of Wilwood big brakes and 26×10-inch MHT Dub wheels wrapped in 295/35 Pirelli tires. Up front, an Ekstensive Metalworks kit was used with Slam Specialties RE7 airbags to allow for full turning of the massive wheels and 16-inch six-piston Wilwood brakes. The entire air system was hard-lined and is controlled by a Ride Tech air system that is supplied by an engine-driven compressor from Air Lift. For clearance, an ABS Power Brake setup was used with stainless hard lines, and the brake pedal was moved over 2 inches, as well. Finally, the driveshaft was shortened and the carrier bearing was moved up 3 inches to correct the pinion angle.
Under the hood, the motor was kept fairly stock save for a custom 3-inch thermal-coated exhaust system and custom-made air intake. A custom fan shroud that ties into wheel covers was worked up at the shop before being slicked out and painted black.
The exterior received the majority of the crew’s talents and time. The front end was updated to a 2003-style front end and outfitted with a Be Cool billet insert. The front bumper was smoothed and tucked in and a custom valance with air inlet was handcrafted. The bed is a true masterpiece that started with a Grant Kustoms roll pan as a base with a molded in 55-inch AVS LED light. Then the bed was shortened 4 inches on the top rails and the back end was leaned forward. That was the easy part; the true craftsmanship is apparent in how everything was tied together, so a pretty radical mod has a truly subtle appearance. On the inside of the bed the floor was raised and the corners were rounded and slicked smooth. A custom wood bed floor was added with inlayed stainless strips for a classic look. Once the truck was blocked razor straight, Manuel Bellazetin laid down a clean coat of PPG Black before Steve Vandemon was brought in to add some clean red and white pinstriped lines.
At first glance the interior seems fairly mild, but every panel and part has been pulled, smoothed and painted satin black. The door panels have been smoothed and wrapped with billet window switches and Kicker speakers have been installed. JS Customs laid down black Mercedes weave carpet and covered the seats in black leather and suede Katzkin covers. Some billet goodies by way of a Colorado Custom steering wheel and Severed Ties billet mirror and knobs were added before it was time to start on the audio system. Powered by a Kinetik 1800 cell, the Kicker system, installed by California Audio, features a custom center console housing 10-inch subwoofers and a floating Ridetech controller.
Kevin’s truck is a true masterpiece of metal,and no area has been left untouched. He would like to thank those who helped with the build throughout the years, including Sherri, Alan at California Audio, Jeff at Wilwood, Rafael at Pirelli Tires, Tony at Ridetech, and those at the shop including Carlos Delgado, Manuel Bellazetin, Dave and the rest of the crew.
1999 GMC Sierra
West Valley City, UT
Text by Jason Mulligan
Photos by Jason Mulligan and Jonathon Glover