Carving a Custom Truck for the Very First Time
There are many “firsts” that pop up in life that don’t end up getting the attention and care they truly deserve. When it comes to customized vehicles, the majority of us can admit to making multiple questionable decisions with our first rides, whether it was hacking up some kind of DIY project that we had no business DIYing in the first place to just rushing through things and choosing quantity over quality.
Whatever the case may be, we’re all deserving of a little forgiveness with those first customized vehicles of ours. It’s a gradual learning process for most, but on the other hand, there are folks like Jose Corral of Alamo, Texas, who make a vow to build an absolute work of art their first time out. Yes, the Silverado you are seeing belongs to a custom-truck-owning rookie, but his approach to building it up shows the signs of a veteran who values patience, top shelf craftsmanship and an elevated level of taste. Reaching the finish line with his inaugural custom truck build wasn’t quick, cheap or easy on the nerves, but he invested a lot of trust in the process and never once seriously contemplated giving up.
Jose knew from the beginning how he wanted his truck to look. Being from Texas and hanging around the custom show scene with friends in the R2R Truckings club, he developed an admiration for decked-out lowered trucks. To get the looked he liked for his own Silverado, he first reached out to Matt at Altered Conceptz, who was willing and able to bring the truck’s ride height down with the right alterations and combination of high-end air ride components.
The truck was soon sitting at the height Jose desired, and had the reliability to drive it everywhere he wanted to go. But before he could cruise anywhere, there was still a lot of work get done first. To get the right set of wheels to bolt onto the freshly ‘bagged chassis, Jose then called on his pal Alex Martinez, a.k.a. “The Billet Plug” to hook the truck up right. What he came up with was a set of 26×9 and 28×10 Intro Spyder wheels with an impressive rear 8-inch lip. Usually a custom set of billets with those kinds of numbers requires a rather lengthy waiting period, but thankfully Jose didn’t have to hold his breath for too long.
With the suspension work out of the way, Jose turned his attention to the performance side of the build. What he wanted was higher HP and torque output, obviously, but something that would also be ideal for daily driving. Luckily, he found Uriel Paz who was ready to take on the challenge. An ’06 LQ9 block was utilized to serve as the nucleus of the engine project. A lot of go-fast products were assembled, with a ProCharger D1 supercharger being at the top of the list, in order to reach the gains Jose had in mind. With all that increase in power, Houston Engine and Balancing was recruited to then dial it all in for optimum performance.
Jose’s Silverado was coming along nicely, and was already beginning to take the shape of a rather advanced street machine. It had the well-built air ride suspension, a killer engine setup, but Jose had even bigger plans to take his first build to the next level with each upcoming step.
Looks are everything with show trucks, and knowing this, Jose didn’t expect to take any shortcuts or skimp out on quality craftsmanship. A lot of planning and execution went into the truck’s exterior. Custom bodywork and parts transplants from various vehicles would soon come together to make for a truly unique design. One of Jose’s favorite modifications is the Tundra back window conversion, and for good reason—the large glass really opens up the confining feeling a single cab truck can sometimes have.
To finish off all the work that went into the Silverado’s surface modifications, Jose asked Adolfo Carbajal of Xtreme Paint to do what he does best. First, a custom blend was mixed to give him the perfect burnt orange color they had in mind. The color stands out when out on the streets, of course, but also commands the attention it deserves when it’s among other high-caliber show vehicles as well. To add a cherry on top of the exquisite paint, Adolfo then added ghost flame details to the entire sides of the truck for an added dimension of flavor. If you never thought orange was one of your favorite colors, this Silverado just might be the reason to change your mind.
As Jose could see his Silverado looking closer to the way he had envisioned, he began putting the final plans in motion to finish it off strong. The inner cab space was next to be tackled, and to help with this, Heath Moore Interiors joined the ever-growing list of talent to contribute to this impressive project. Aside from the expertly crafted and reupholstered seats, every single interior panel, the dash and center console, were entirely made from scratch or heavily modified to get the desired appearance. The sculpted door panels have been outfitted with a unique shotgun style armrest that pulls back to open the doors. Heath Moore has gained notoriety for its signature interior design work, and with one glance, it’s clear to see why Jose trusted them with his Silverado’s cabin.
In the end, the Silverado took the better part of five years to complete, and it took quite a bit of cash to pay for it all. When you don’t cut corners and realize that good work doesn’t come cheap, builds can take that long, and all there is for you to do is be patient with the process. Jose admits that he was almost driven mad a couple times during the build, but he rode it out and, in turn, doesn’t have to worry about wasting any additional time or money to repair or redo anything. The truck has been built right the first time, and with this being his first full custom truck, he’s ready to hit the road and enjoy what he’s been waiting so long for.
2008 Chevy Silverado
- Shop: Uriel Paz @ Paz Performance Solution, Baytown, TX
- 2006 LQ9 V-8 block
- Balanced by Houston Engine & Balancing
- Comp-Star connecting rods
- Wiseco Pistons
- GFX rings
- Comp Cam
- AFR cylinder heads
- Holley High Ram intake
- Custom 3-inch exhaust system
- LQ9 ignition
- ProCharger D1 supercharger
- 2008 4L60E transmission by Juan’s Transmission, Pasadena, TX
- HD clutch
- Transgo shift kit
- Yank 3600 torque converter
- Custom driveshaft by Houston Drivetrain
- Factory GM 10-bolt with Eaton locker
- Aluminum fuel cell
- Matt @ Altered Conceptz, Baytown, TX
- Customized chassis
- Air ride system managed by Accuair components
- Fox shocks
Wheels, Tires & Brakes
- 26×9 and 28×10 Intro ‘Spyder’ wheels
- Pirelli tires
- Wilwood brake upgrades
Body & Paint
- Shop: Adolfo Carbajal @ Xtreme Paint, Palmview, TX
- PPG custom burnt Orange blend paint
- Ghost flames graphics
- Original front and rear bumpers frenched in
- T-Rex grille
- Custom beadroll wheel tubs, firewall and bed
- Tundra back window conversion
- 2018 mirrors
- Custom cowl hood
- 2009 Cadillac taillights
- Shaved handles
Interior & Stereo
- Shop: Heath Moore Interiors, Prescott, TX
- Custom seats w/ partial wrap-around design
- Custom panels, console and dash
- Terracotta Ultra Leather upholstery
- Android 8-inch gauge package
- Intro ‘Spyder’ steering wheel w/ custom HMI custom center
- Daytona carpet
- Sound system powered by Android device
- JL Audio W7 10-inch subwoofer