Togetherness in the Form of a ’99 Silverado
Building a custom truck can mean a lot of different things to different folks. While there is no single “right” reason to do it, Elsayet Garcia of Port Saint Lucie, Florida, was looking to focus past creating a truck that was simply just for show or cruising during the weekends. Does he plan on taking his ’99 Chevy Silverado to shows and driving it around whenever possible? Yes, of course. His real reason for building the truck, however, was to honor his family—both those who are currently here and those important members who he has lost over the years.
“Essentially, I aimed at building this truck in the memory of my grandfather,” says Elsayet. “He didn’t get me into custom trucks or anything like that. It has always been something that I liked on my own. Once I started my family and began to place my attention towards starting a career, he pushed me to sell my ‘bagged S-10 I had at the time and spend that money on books for school. Once the chips fell into place, thanks to my wife I was able to purchase this Silverado, which I decided to dedicate to my grandfather because if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Elsayet purchased his Silverado truck back in 2017, and it took him about a year or so to figure out and correct all the wiring and motor issues that came with it. It had been previously ‘bagged on 22s with a cup kit in the front and a 2-link at the rear—nothing too crazy but effective.
“I knew I wanted the Silverado to be a sport truck,” says Elsayet. “I’ve always like the style of a clean, low pickup on big wheels, so that is what I was going for when I started to get to work on this project.”
The suspension system was the first phase of the build that Elsayet began working on, and the one that made the largest improvement on his truck’s overall looks and user friendliness. All the truck’s existing modifications were removed and tossed aside in place of a Twisted Metalworkz front end kit, as well as a Reklez Suspension 3-link rear setup complete with a monster notch kit. Air Lift 2600 Dominator ‘bags and Doetsch shocks have taken up residence at each corner to assist in providing a low stance with a great ride quality. The Concept Shop in Miami was able to pour their expertise into project to ensure everything was done right the first time around.
To take full advantage of the truck’s newfound ability to lay low, Elsayet asked for the ability for a set of staggered 24/26-inch wheels to be unlocked.
“I’ve had an ’06 Silverado crew cab on 22s with a static drop, but nothing like this current setup before,” he says. “I was ready to go above and beyond with this build, so I figured why not have the professionals go big with it?”
Elsayet’s son chose the Intro Rally wheels (nice choice, kid!), which required a 5-lug conversion to make it happen, but the extra work was totally worth it in the end. Getting the large wheel selection to fit properly was one of the most challenging aspects of the build by far, but it was the exact look they were after.
Next, much attention was placed on the rest of the Silverado’s outward appearance.
“I have always loved the SS but never really cared for the ’03-’06 front clip,” Elsayet admits. “Instead of upgrading to something I knew I wasn’t going to love, I went with the traditional ’99-’02 2500 front grille and bumper but added the SS cladding to give it a much more sportier look. Also, I flared out the front and rear bedsides for a wider appearance.”
To add to the Silverado’s sportier demeanor, Elsayet included an AMD cowl hood, and went ahead and had the bed pockets and antenna shaved right off. While the truck is currently waiting in line for a fresh paintjob, the GM Jet Black paint has been buffed and polished to a brilliant shine to make the most of the existing factory spray job.
The factory 5.3L engine was upgraded a bit to encourage better air circulation, but Elsayet really stopped and took some time to outfit the interior with a much needed overhaul. A custom bench seat from Snowden was covered in a deep burgundy vinyl material to offset the dark paint found on the exterior. Upholstery by Greg was happy to join the project, as was Chris Rawlings who cooked up custom door panels and speaker grilles for the redesign. Automotive Designs fabricated a custom sub enclosure, and a generous helping of billet accessories was peppered throughout the cab for good measure, although most eyes land on the matching Intro Rally steering wheel for obvious reasons.
Far from Complete
With the Silverado currently sitting in such great condition, Elsayet will be the first to admit that the truck is far from being complete.
“My grandfather loved how the truck was taking shape, but he wasn’t able to see it in its final stage. He passed on March 3, 2021, and since then I have really jumped on finishing it up to honor him.”
Even though the truck was dedicated to his grandfather, Elsayet was able to recognize the gift of being present and cherish the time working on it with his wife, kids, as well as his Aftermath Florida family as well.
“This whole process has inspired my kids to build an S-10 and a Tacoma to be their first custom trucks, so we have those to look forward to in the future,” Elsayet says. “We have a lot of great ideas for those two minis, and we are eager to enjoy more quality time together in the garage and at shows.”
Port Saint Lucie, FL
1999 Chevrolet Silverado
- Factory 1999 Vortec 5.3L V-8
- Texas Speed long tube 1-3/4-inch headers
- S&B cold air intake
- MagnaFlow X Muffler
- RK Speed custom tune
- MSD wires
- 1999 4L60E transmission
- Corvette servo
- Escalade transmission cooler
- Shortened rearend with Moser Axles by Ryan @ Pro Fab Florida
- Shop: The Concept Shop, Miami
- Twisted Metalworkz front end kit
- Reklez Suspension Works 3-link rear w/ monster notch
- Air Lift 2600 Dominator ‘bags
- Doetsch shocks
Wheels, Tires & Brakes
- 24 and 26-inch Intro Rally wheels w/ reverse lip
- Lexani tires
- Powerstop 13-inch brake kits
- OEM master cylinder
- Hydrobooster swapped
- Paint by Benny/Craig @ The Concept Shop, Miami / Rainier and Vidal @ Kangoo Collision / Scott Refice @ Intense Works
- Factory GM Jet Black
- OEM Silverado 2500 grille and front bumper
- AMD cowl hood
- Shaved bed pockets and antenna
- Webasto spoiler sunroof
- Factory SS cladding and wing
- Shop: Upholstery by Greg (interior) & Chris Rawlings (custom door panels)
- Custom bench by Snowden Seats
- Covered in red wine colored vinyl
- US Speedo instruments
- Intro Rally steering wheel
- Custom door panels and speaker grilles
- Maxima door handles
- Billet accessories
- Custom subwoofer box by Rob @ Automotive Designs
- Pioneer double-DIN receiver