Bouncing Back from a Total Loss

 There are certain groups of people out there who don’t let any type of unfortunate event disrupt their involvement in what they’re truly passionate about. Custom auto enthusiasts can most definitely place themselves in this respectable category. Accidents happen in the form of traffic accidents or FUBAR-type mishaps in the garage, and when there’s absolutely no hope of salvaging a particular project that dips too far down into the dumps, there’s usually only one realistic option left to consider—to find another project to work on. 

Fender benders are common, and while as annoying and inconvenient they may be, the damage sustained by them are generally not enough to knock vehicles out of commission for much longer than a month or so. On the other end of this spectrum is the more severe category of “totaled” vehicles. Now this is where situations get dicey. From dealing with the insurance policy fine print, declaring a value on one-off bodywork and expensive accessories, and estimating all the time involved to attain that show worthy car or truck, that split-second action of the accident can cause a ripple effect that can be dragged out far longer.

NICHOLAS PLANS ON SPENDING LOTS OF TIME IN THE DRIVER SEAT AND ENJOYING ALL THE WORK THAT HE’S PUT INTO BUILDING THE TRUCK THAT HAS HELPED HIM GET OVER LOSING HIS LAST ONE.

Once the dust finally settles and that insurance payout arrives, the time to start searching for a fresh project will present itself. This is where the tough decision lies—does one go out a buy a truck comparable to the one that was just lost? Or does one keep their mind open and let the right project find them? Nicholas Jacobo found himself in this predicament shortly after he was rear-ended while driving his fully built mini-truck.

A SPEEDWAY BOOMERANG STYLE BILLET STEERING WHEEL TAKES CENTER STAGE ON THE DASH.

“After my show truck was totaled, I started shopping for a full-size pickup instead of another mini,” he says. “Considering how bad the accident was, my wife and I both agreed that a larger truck would be the way to go.”

After finding the right deal on a ’07 Silverado, Nicholas made the purchase and started cutting into it two weeks later. As a previous owner of a ‘bagged and bodied OBS Silverado and a full-custom Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Hardbody, he was familiar how quickly things can escalate when owning a stock truck.

THE SILVERADO HAS BEEN STRATEGICALLY ALTERED TO ALLOW THE IMPRESSIVE 28-INCH VERSANTE WHEELS TO FIT PERFECTLY.

“My inspiration for this project from the start was to build a driver—a big wheel, ‘bodied driver,” Nicholas says proudly. “I love the cat eye Silverado trucks and ran with that. I also just had to go the extra step and build the truck around the biggest wheels I could fit so it didn’t get lost in the sea of full-size truck builds.”

THE 2500 HD FACTORY GRILLE GAVE THE SILVERADO THE EXACT FRONTEND LOOK NICHOLAS WAS AFTER.

To start things off, Nicholas, along with good friend Billy Lane, parked the Silverado in his home garage and broke down the existing factory suspension system in exchange for something much more excitingly aggressive. Together, the two assembled a dream team of air-ride components that would allow the Chevy to sit low to the ground while delivering real world drivable performance.

EVERYONE LOVES THE COLORS AND THE LOOK OF THE TRUCK, ESPECIALLY SINCE I CHOSE TO GO WITH SOMETHING OTHER THAN BILLET WHEELS.

“I went with an air suspension setup that featured what I thought were some of the best parts on the market,” he says. “We wired up an Accuair e-Level system, Air Lift ‘bags and QA1 shocks, but it’s the 3.5-inch bodydrop that helped us get the truck down to where I really wanted it.”

Once the new suspension setup was reassembled, the truck was then taken to friend Brad Hogan’s shop, Bomber Interiors, where a new sheetmetal bed floor and inner panels were designed and constructed to give the cut up bed a much more polished appearance. From there, Nicholas was interested in getting the Silverado’s surface a clean shave to streamline the truck’s naturally handsome good looks. For this process, Nicholas turned to Scott Refice at Intense Works to work his magic touch.

“Scott was able to smooth out the exterior, and also did a flush gas cap install in the bed rail,” Nicholas says. “When the time came for paint, my wife, Misty, chose the color combinations. These two did not let me down.”

When we caught up with Nicholas for our photo shoot, he had mentioned that he did also have an engine swap envisioned for near future. While this story was being written, he informed us that the transplant had already taken place.

“The truck currently has a built LS3 engine in place,” Nicholas says. “Johnny Brian of Pro Tech Cleveland LS-X Programming and Technologies hooked me up with the engine and goodies to go along with it. I made a trip to their headquarters in Tennessee, and he walked me through the entire build of the engine. Verret Motorsports in Lake Charles then helped with a fabricated intake manifold with fuel rails, a stall converter and injectors—not to mention a full stainless exhaust with Black Widow Widowmaker Muffler.”

Aside from that healthy update, Nicholas plans on spending lots of time in the driver seat and enjoying all the work that he’s put into building the truck that has helped him get over losing his last one.

LEATHERSEATS.COM SEAT COVERS MADE FOR A QUICK TRANSFORMATION OF THE FACTORY CHEVY SEATS.

“I build these trucks because I am passionate about the scene,” Nicholas says. “Any opportunity to build a custom truck should be taken advantage of, and the response to this one has been amazing and overwhelming. Everyone loves the colors and the look of the truck, especially since I chose to go with something other than billet wheels. I get compliments every time I take it out, and I appreciate every chance I get to take it out for a spin.”

TRUCK SPECS

 Owner 

Luke Embry, Rockfield, Kentucky
Nicholas Jacobo
’07 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Marrero, Louisiana 

Engine 

  • 2007 GM 4.3L V-6
  • MagnaFlow mufflers
  • 2 1/2-inch exhaust system

Body & Paint 

  • Shop: Paint by Scott Refice at Intense Works and Brad Hogan at Bomber Interiors
  • PPG Ultra Line Kaikoura Stone Metallic, Mojave Copper, Brilliant Black paint
  • Factory 2500HD Silverado grille
  • Shaved gas door, third brake light, tailgate handle
  • Flush mount gas cap relocated to bed rail
  • Tailgate handle mounted inside tailgate
  • Custom bead rolled bed floor and panels

Chassis & Suspension 

  • Shop: Nicholas Jacobo and Billy Lane
  • Ekstensive frame notch
  • QA1 front and rear shocks
  • 3 ¼-inch body drop

Wheels & Tires 

  • 28×9.5 Versante VE228 wheels
  • 275/25R28 Lexani tires

Interior & Stereo 

  • Shop: Brad Hogan at Bomber Interiors
  • Factory seats outfitted with Leatherseats.com leather covers
  • GaugeWerx instrumentation
  • Speedway Boomerang-style billet steering wheel
  • Single DIN Pioneer receiver
  • iPad Mini 2 molded in dash bezel
  • Custom speaker door pods and matching center console
  • Rockford Fosgate 6 ½-inch components in doors
  • Digital Design subwoofers

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