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Kandy-Coated Perfection

WHEN BOBBY LONG DROPPED OFF HIS ’92 CHEVY C1500 AT AUTO EXTREMES IN COVINGTON, GEORGIA, FOR A FRESH PAINT JOB IN JANUARY 2015, HE HAD NO IDEA WHAT HE WAS IN FOR. Well, he did know that he was going to get an awesome paint job, but the rest is sort of a blur.

“Once they started doing the bodywork, it was a snowball effect,” Bobby says. “One thing led to another and before I knew it, the cab was off the frame and everything escalated from there!”

What followed was two solid years of customizing by the crew at Auto Extremes, until Bobby ended up with the amazing ride you see here. Among the major mods are the stock floor body drop, which required building new framerails from the firewall back, and the air ride suspension, which includes Michigan Metal Works fl at plate control arms and one of the company’s notchless tie rod kits to maximize steering clearance. Air Lift’s Dominator D2600 airbags were mounted behind each 20-inch Raceline Explosion 5 billet wheel.

The rear setup consists of an Ekstensive two-link, with a custom Panhard bar built in-house at Auto Extremes. Air management is handled by an AccuAir E-Level with UV4 manifold, making altitude adjustments a snap. And although you can’t see it, all of the suspension parts have been powdercoated to match the exterior. Oh yeah, the exterior—let’s get to that.

Bobby wanted to keep things simple yet killer, which is always a perfect recipe when it comes to building trucks. The body mods were kept to a minimum, but the ones that were done really set the truck apart from other GMT400’s. The slickest among them are the one-off Grant Kustoms roll pan and matching Grant Kustoms front bumper. To get the front bumper exactly where Bobby wanted it, it was even extended 3 inches by Auto Extremes to eliminate the need for the factory plastic valance!

WE OFTEN WISH THAT THE LS ENGINE HAD COME OUT JUST A FEW YEARS SOONER SO THAT THE GMT400 TRUCKS WOULD HAVE COME WITH THEM FROM THE FACTORY, BUT THEY STILL WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN AS CLEAN AS BOBBY’S 5.3L, WHICH HAS BEEN DRESSED TO THE NINES BETWEEN THE CUSTOM WHEEL TUBS.

The Auto Extremes guys also worked in some other mods, such as a shaved gas filler door, shaved tailgate handle and smoothed out door handles, not to mention the metalwork in the engine compartment and bed. But the most eye-catching addition is the House of Kolor Kandy Apple Red over an Orion Silver base, which is the quintessential candy paint combo, in our humble opinion. The amazing paintwork just glows at all angles and looks a mile deep! Our hats go off to Tyler Hughey at The Paint Shop at Auto Extremes for pulling it off flawlessly.

THE TRICK GRANT KUSTOMS ROLL PAN AND SHAVED TAILGATE REALLY SMOOTHED OUT THE REAR OF THE CHEVY, AND A MATCHING GRANT KUSTOMS FRONT BUMPER WAS MODIFIED TO SIT FLAT ON THE GROUND WHEN THE TRUCK IS AIRED OUT.

And being the one-stop-shop that Auto Extremes is, Bobby figured that it’d be the perfect place to swap in that 5.3L LS that he had been fiending for. The engine remains mechanically stock (after all, it was already a huge upgrade over the tired 4.3L TBI engine), but the block does now wear a set of Hedman mid-length headers, a cone air filter and a bunch of custom dress-up work that really improved the LS’ looks!

After a lot of going back and forth on what he wanted done to the interior, Bobby called upon his buddy Vince Robinson to smooth out and paint the dash gloss black (with pinstriping by Gooch Freehand Pinstriping), while James Auto Upholstery handled the soft goods on the bench seat, door panels and headliner with yards of black vinyl, black suede and Torch Red stitching. Brightwork consists of a Raceline Blast half-wrap steering wheel and a polished, ball-milled billet rearview mirror. The sound system is simple yet potent, with an Alpine CDA-105 head unit mated to Polk Audio/MOMO 4×6 speakers.

BOBBY’S ’92 PROUDLY WEARS THE NC (NEGATIVE CAMBER) LOGO ON ITS RACELINE STEERING WHEEL, THE GLOVEBOX DOOR AND ON THE REAR GLASS.

The truck was finished in January 2017 and made its debut at the Lone Star Throwdown that year, with Bobby and his Chevy being welcomed into the Negative Camber family that weekend right before receiving a Top 100 award. Just two short months later, however, Bobby got a devastating phone call from a neighbor.

“Lightning had struck a very large white pine tree behind the garage that the truck was in, and the tree fell on top of it,” he says. “The garage was a total loss, and the damage to the truck was about $16,000 worth.”

Not one to give up on his dream, Bobby got his truck back on the waiting list at Auto Extremes and had everything repaired and put back together just in time for LST 2018, where it won an award for Best Paint. Talk about determination! Since then, it has rounded up a lot more awards, which still hasn’t gotten old to Bobby.

“It’s still so unreal—it’s just an old pickup truck,” he says. “I’m looking forward to being able to enjoy the truck for many years to come!”

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