CAPTCHA Image
Reload Image

CAPTCHA Image
Reload Image

STEREOTYPES FOR TEXAS ABOUND, BUT ONE THING THAT YOU CAN SAY FOR SURE IS THAT THERE ARE SOME AMAZING TRUCK BUILDERS IN THE LONE STAR STATE. That also means that the competition is higher than in most places, so everyone has to step up their game. In the case of Michael Wager from Benchley, Texas, he came to play. It all started in a stereotypically Texas way: with a gun.

JUST ONE STEP REMOVED FROM OWNING THE SQUARE-BODY, MICHAEL MADE A DEAL: HE WOULD TRADE HIS AR-15 RIFLE FOR THE TRUCK. ONLY IN TEXAS, RIGHT?

But before we talk about weapons, let’s go back to when Michael was 15 years old, almost 20 years ago. He already had a few years of gazing at truck mags under his belt, and so when it came time to get his first project, he knew that he wanted something with four wheels, two-wheel drive, and a bed. When his father purchased an as Michael’s first vehicle, he knew exactly what he would do to it. Game on.

That was a long time ago, and that particular ’87 has come and gone (although it won some trophies along the way). Michael focused on other things, like his career and starting a family, but he also kept building show-quality rides. As he got older, he learned more and more about how to do things himself, in particular paint and bodywork, and he honed his skills on his own projects. He’d see a vehicle up for sale and almost instantly he could envision what it would look like customized. Once he purchased the ride, it was like following the ingredients in a cookbook, and each one was better than the last.

IF IT ISN’T LEATHER, IT’S BILLET OR IT’S PAINTED. THAT’S ALWAYS A WINNING COMBO.

But that original ’87 still lingered in the back of his head, and he wanted another. As it turns out, his cousin’s brother-in-law had an ’87 that was in pretty poor shape. If it wasn’t rusted, it was primed with rattle-can black, and those were the high points. As bad as the truck was, that cousin’s brother-in-law wasn’t about to give it up because it was a family heirloom. But as always happens with these things, eventually sentimentality goes by the wayside when something more interesting comes up, and when it did, Michael’s cousin purchased the ’87 outright. Now just one step removed from owning the square-body, Michael made a deal: He would trade his AR-15 rifle for the truck. Only in Texas, right?

The rest of the story is fairly straightforward: Michael did his thing to the ’87, bringing the tattered truck back to life. To do that, one of his best friends stepped in to help out, Pete Lynch. The two have known each other since high school, and have schemed on building the perfect full custom radical truck. With the opportunity in front of them, that’s exactly what they did.

THE 5.3 LS ENGINE WAS PULLED OUT OF A WRECKED 2002 SILVERADO AND CLEANED UP WITH A FEW COLORMATCHED ACCESSORIES.

The end result is an amazing truck that’s well thought out and also well executed, a combination that’s not always present in some show trucks. The frame is perfect, combining a 3-inch front frame Z, Ekstensive 2-link kit and Accuair air management, then finished off with colormatching paint. The exterior is shaved, but not too much, as the door handles and bumpers are still onboard. The paint is a clean GM color that’s not only a nod to the past, but also has a nice metallic sheen that classes up the joint. And the taupe interior—all leather, naturally—matches the custom spray-in bedliner, which is the icing on the cake. At the end of the day, Pete and Michael’s mission of building a radical full custom is complete, and man, is it impressive.

MAKE NO BONES ABOUT IT: MICHAEL’S TRUCK IS PRETTY SPECTACULAR, AND IT CAPS OFF A SOLID RUN OF QUALITY BUILDS OVER THE PAST DECADE PLUS.

Make no bones about it: Michael’s truck is pretty spectacular, and it caps off a solid run of quality builds over the past decade plus. Whatever he builds next, if it’s even half as good as this truck, it’s going to be a head-turner for sure.

TRUCK SPECS

OWNER

Michael Wager
1987 Chevrolet C-10
Benchley, Texas

ENGINE

  • Performed by owner
  • 2002 Chevrolet Silverado 5.3l V-8 purchased from Doggett Auto Parts in Bryan, TX
  • Polished three-row aluminum radiator with electric cooling fans
  • Custom LS swap engine mounts
  • Color-matched LS1 intake manifold
  • Polished aluminum air intake
  • Color-matched BBK throttle body
  • LS swap stainless steel headers
  • 3-inch with Flowmaster mufflers
  • LS1 Corvette coil covers
  • Painless Performance wiring
  • Image Rods pulleys
  • 4l60E automatic transmission
  • Image Rods custom driveshaft

SUSPENSION

  • Performed by Pete Lynch and owner
  • Accuair E-Level air management system
  • Rear frame stepnotch
  • Ekstensive 2-link with pan hard bar
  • Belltech shocks
  • 3-inch front frame Z
  • Michigan Metal Works control arms
  • Belltech drop spindles
  • Airbags
  • Rear axle narrowed 4 inches (2 inches per side) with Moser axle shafts

WHEELS & TIRES

  • 22×8 and 22×10 Intro Rally wheels with polished hoops and grooved faces then clearcoated
  • 255/30R22 and 295/25R22 Pirelli tires

BODY & PAINT

  • Performed by Pete Lynch and owner
  • 2.5-inch cowl induction hood
  • Chrome Suburban rear bumper and stock front bumper
  • Custom inner fenders front and rear
  • Custom sheet metal bed floor with custom tubs
  • Shaved firewall, drip rails and rear cab seam
  • Color-matched frame
  • Spray-on bedliner
  • Painted with DuPont and House of Kolor paint in GM code 21 Light Blue Metallic

INTERIOR

  • Performed by Interior by Brannon Court at Court AutoPlex in Bryan, TX, stereo by Lance Long at Image Rods in Bryan, TX
  • New OEM carpet
  • Dakota Digital gauges
  • Intro Rally billet steering wheel
  • Color-matched dashboard
  • Billet trim panels
  • Leather-wrapped bench seat
  • Pioneer media player head unit and speakers
  • Image Dynamic subwoofers
  • Rockford Fosgate Punch amplifiers
  • Optima Red Top battery mounted in the rear frame
  • Dynamat sound deadener throughout

SPECIAL THANKS FROM THE OWNER: “My wife Zaneta; my four kids, Brooklyn, Zane, Halle and Mika; my friend Pete Lynch; my parents; God; my company, Wager Glass Works—without this company I would not be able to build these custom trucks, and all of my friends that come to give me a hand every now and then.”

FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM