Trading One Addiction for Another
ADDICTION IS A DISEASE THAT IS INCREASINGLY COMMON IN TODAY’S SOCIETY WITH MILLIONS OF PEOPLE STRUGGLING EACH YEAR TO OVERCOME THEIR OWN PERSONAL DEMONS. While many struggle to find a path back to sobriety, others find ways of channeling the negative energy into something positive.
Enter Philip Paul of Taylor, Texas. Philip is a perfect example of how refocusing addiction into something positive can lead to spectacular results. Backed by strong support from his family, Philip was eventually able to overcome his own trials, get his rhythm back and complete his life-long goal of building a fully custom truck.
Back in 2013, Philip initially picked up this 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 from its previous owner knowing he was in a good starting position to build something great. The Dodge was already somewhat customized and had been featured in the 15th Anniversary issue of “Street Trucks.” Philip had immediate plans to make it a full show truck but in the meantime, he was using it as a daily driver. Around the same time, his life entered into what he refers to as “the dark time” and the Dodge just sat. In fact, the truck sat for more than two years before Philip turned things around. It wasn’t long before his family and fellow club members began to offer Philip the help and support he needed to make positive changes in his life.
“Being in recovery and my 12-step program taught me how to really take care of myself,” he says. “I learned how to really value the positivity that the scene really has on my life.”
And with that, Philip began to focus his energy once again into his truck. The frame dragging stance of Phil’s Dodge comes courtesy of the infamous Ekstensive Metal Works in Houston. The frame is two-linked and step notched and rides on Slam-Specialties RE-8 Air Springs, with Ekstensive half-inch valves being fed via hard lines throughout the entire air ride system. Dual Viair 480C compressors feed a 5-gallon tank mounted in the rear frame. Philip says he has plans to body shop his Dodge in the near future.
While the truck had a lot of previous body work already completed it needed some TLC. Philip is a body man by trade, so before the truck was turned over for paint he re-shaved the door handles and spent many hours repairing prior body damage. Philip’s truck comes with no shortage of shaved items and features Hi Tech LEDs molded into the tailgate along with a full sheet metal bed built by Chaotic Customs.
The graphics on this truck are insane and it should come as no surprise that Dave Shulman’s “Catch 22” was Philip’s greatest custom truck influence. Luckily for Philip, he had an ace in his back pocket with friend and fellow club member Patrick Reid of Madd Concepts in San Leon, Texas. Phil was particularly interested in dual-sided paint, much like Patrick’s iconic Ford Ranger “Patience.” Philip had an idea already on paper and Patrick ran with it, adding his own mad ideas and personal touches. Patrick and Jonathan Barron finished the highly detailed graphics in about a month using PPG Light Quasar Blue as the base color along with over a dozen other colors to complete this eye-catching masterpiece.
WHILE THE TRUCK HAD A LOT OF PREVIOUS BODY WORK ALREADY COMPLETED IT NEEDED SOME TLC. PHILIP IS A BODY MAN BY TRADE, SO BEFORE THE TRUCK WAS TURNED OVER FOR PAINT HE RE-SHAVED THE DOOR HANDLES AND SPENT MANY HOURS REPAIRING PRIOR BODY DAMAGE.”
The original tan interior of Philip’s Dodge no longer fit the truck’s style so everything was gutted and updated. Xavier Vinton at Texas Trendz rewrapped the stock seats with Aussie Black Katzkin leather and Phil replaced the carpet himself. Rags 2 Riches in Round Rock, Texas, stitched the custom headliner and speaker box under the rear seat, which houses two JL Audio 10-inch W3 subwoofers. A Clarion receiver commands the sound and the entire system is powered by a JL Audio JX1000/1D amp. Patrick Reid at Madd Concepts painted the interior doors to match the exterior and the update was complete.
With his truck complete to this point, Philip may no longer drive his Dodge daily but he is still driving it to shows and enjoying the results of the hard work and determination that he needed to guide his life in a positive direction.
“Before, I was wasting my time, energy and money on all the wrongs things,” he explained.
When we asked Philip his biggest takeaway from building this truck he simply stated, “Self commitment is important. Never give up even when the odds are against you. Dreams can come true with hard work and determination.” ST
2003 Dodge Ram 1500 Crew Cab Taylor, Texas
2003 Dodge Hemi 5.7
K&N air filter, hidden wires and accessories, painted air box and fuse box
Flowmaster 3” exhaust
CHASSIS & SUSPENSION
Shop: Ekstensive Metal Works, Houston
Rear step-notch and two-link by Ekstensive
½-inch Ekstensive valves with hardline,
Dual Viair 480c compressors with 5 gallon tank mounted to rear frame
Aluminum fuel cell
WHEELS & TIRES
Front: 22×9 Intro Radicalli w/ Ohtsu ST5000 265/35/R22
Rear: 24×10 Intro Radicalli w/ Ohtsu ST5000 305/35/R24
BODY & PAINT
Shop: Patrick Reid at Madd Concepts in San Leon, Texas
Base Color: PPG Light Quasar Blue
Graphics: Approximately 15+ Shaved handles, gas door, tailgate skin/roll pan, antenna, wiper cowl
Street Scene Mirrors, molded fiberglass hood with scoop
T-Rex upper grille, sheet metal bed by Chaotic Customs
INTERIOR & STEREO
Shop: Texas Trendz, Atascosa, Texas
Stock seats in Aussie Black Katzkin seat covers
Shop: Rags to Riches, Round Rock, Texas
Headliner and speaker box