Skatin’ the Streets of New York

Buying someone else’s custom ride is always an interesting situation. More often than not, there are some unexpected surprises, both positive and negative. For Lenny Buccellato of Howard Beach, New York, buying his already customized 2011 Ram 1500 was a dream come true. But, as a true truck enthusiast, there was zero chance that he was going to leave things well enough alone.

The truck was already awesome as it was, but Lenny wanted to add his own personal touches to it so that he would no longer feel like he was driving someone else’s truck. Of course, one thing led to another, and before he knew it it had been completely transformed into the awesomeness you see here! 

As with all projects, however, there were some hiccups along the way. As Lenny shared with us, the truck came with some wiring issues, it wouldn’t pass emissions due to some previous engine mods, and it just needed some general freshening up to take care of outdated and worn parts. With a lot of help from Canish from Hell Bent Race Cars & Customs, these problems soon disappeared, which gave Lenny the confidence to move forward with some engine tuning, which was also done at Hell Bent. 

It takes a lot of work to properly fit a set of 26-inch Intro V-Rods, but the guys at Ekstensive Metal Works made it look like a cakewalk. The modified bed floor and wheel tubs keep the bed nice and functional.

Lenny’s Ram was adorned with a custom PPG paint mix dubbed Aquaberry Dolphin (you can Google for the inspiration behind the name) by Sean Cooley once all of the emblems were shaved clean off. Sean went the extra mile and even color-matched the brake calipers to the truck, setting off the 26-inch Intro V-Rods perfectly. 

The factory suspension was torn out log ago by Ekstensive Metal Works, and replaced with the shop’s own proprietary suspension components. This included new tubular upper and lower control arms, as well as a two-link setup for the rear. Everything rides on Slam Specialties RE-7 airbags, with damping duties going to RideTech shocks all around. To give the rear of the truck enough room to smother the big billet wheels, the folks at Ekstensive also welded in a tall step notch, which required a matching step in the bed, as well as a set of wheel tubs, to keep everything covered up.  

A big part of having an air ride suspension is making sure that it’s easy to use and is as reliable as possible. Lenny didn’t want to have to second-guess his ride height while driving or have to worry about it not working when he needed it, so he upgraded the truck’s existing air management system to a full AccuAir E-Level setup with AccuAir CVT compressor/valve block/tank combo. 

But while the suspension added a lot of comfort (and some attitude) to the Ram, Lenny wanted even more comfort and style where it really counted — inside! To accomplish that, he went to Bobby Moore at Evolutions Creatives for a revamp. Bobby rewrapped the ‘60s Mercury bucket seats with tan vinyl and cloth, and built custom speaker boxes in which he installed 10-inch JL Audio W3 subs. The cab also got a set of JL Audio component speakers and a JL Audio amplifier wired up to a Pioneer head unit, completing the system and the interior.

Bobby Moore reshaped and reupholstered a set of ’60s Mercury bucket seats with tan vinyl and cloth, creating a truly unique foundation for the rad custom interior.

With the Ram now at a stage where he is finally happy with it, Lenny is looking for the next project to tackle, meaning that the truck may end up in someone else’s hands (if it hasn’t already by the time you read this). While we love what Lenny has done with it, we’re also more than curious to see what the next owner has in store for it! 

Hell Bent Race Cars & Customs took care of some engine issues that were present when Lenny bought his Ram, and tuned the 5.7L Hemi, which sports a K&N air intake kit and Flowmaster exhaust, to perfection.