Rolling Low on the Sport Truck Horizon Line
Being young comes with a certain youthful spirit that seems to be accompanied by a great deal of energy. Teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 are some of the most vivacious people on this earth and are often unable to sit still for mere minutes at a time. The key is where they choose to focus their energy. For most males, custom cars and trucks play a huge part in their existence. They need a vehicle to be cool and they need to fix it up to be even cooler. Dan Tamm from Corona, California, didn't spend his high-school days trying to get recognized on the football field or basketball court. Instead, he took to spinning wrenches on custom rides to further satisfy his automotive addiction. He started out light with a '93 Nissan Hardbody, but later realized that a low-slung fullsize GMC graced with wicked flames, a low stance, and big wheels would better suit his cruising needs. A '98 GMC C1500 would do the trick, so one was located, purchased, and rolled into the garage for custom surgery.
It is often difficult to find an older hauler in decent shape that is ready for custom enhancement, so Dan decided to start with a newer platform and go straight to cutting, shaving, slamming, and painting. In order to cruise and be separated from the other stock and dull trucks on the road, Black Sunshine had to be planted firmly on the asphalt and fit with modern-day large-diameter rims and rubber for rolling attitude. As a competitive young man of 19, Dan could not hang with a bolt-on and fixed suspension drop. His GMC had to be adjustable for clearance of road hazards and for showing up any other custom truck enthusiast who thinks his ride can hang with the likes of Black Sunshine. Therefore, Dan called upon Master Image Customs in Anaheim Hills, California, to bring the truck down to an acceptable cruising altitude. The welding wizards and fabrication professionals at MIC went crazy on Dan's pickup by step notching the rear framerails through the bed floor for maximum back axle clearance. Setting up the potential for low-down greatness up front are Belltech 2-inch dropped spindles and Toxic shocks. Filling the factory spring pockets are Firestone airbags, appropriately plumbed with 1/2-inch air lines for steady air supply. Enabling the rear fenders to tuck the 20-inch chrome wheels is a matching pair of Firestone airbags.
Rather than fool around with the typical compressor and air tank setup, Dan chose to power the 'bags off of Nitrogen for super-fast adjustability. Once the suspension was quick at the flick of a switch, Dan needed to evaluate upgrading rim and tire combinations so his truck would reflect bigger-is-better trends. The truck previously sat on 17-inch wheels and tires, which would have been aesthetically acceptable a few years ago, but not in today's scene where 20-to-22-inch wheels are the norm. Stuffing the wheelwells of Dan's blazing Bow Tie are 20-inch KMC Hellion chrome wheels encased in Falken P255/35ZR20 low-profile rubber bands. Not concerned with performance, Dan was more focused on looks and bringing out the boldness of the giant 20-inch wheels. This led to his decision to mount the low-profile skins. One look at this decadent hauler and it is obvious that Dan is more concerned about looking cool than setting any land-speed records. Therefore, the stock V-6 was limited to an AIRAID intake and Flowmaster exhaust system. For style, some bright wire loom was tossed into the engine compartment to make a splash at the shows.
Keeping it real and original in the competitive show truck arena these days is a task not to be taken lightly. We have seen paint schemes, body modifications, and interior styles come and go, only to be as hot as an oven one minute and as cold as an icebox the next. Dan wanted to create a look for his truck that would stand the test of custom truck time and look good for years to come. After all, it gets pretty expensive to keep redoing your ride every show season. The truck was delivered to Starbucks Custom in Riverside, California, for a shiny black basecoat and some tribal flames with a '60s glow. Before Starbucks could get wicked on blending and spraying color, they had to follow Dan's pre-paint prerequisite of making Black Sunshine as smooth as glass. Starbucks took Dan's wishes, and the welder and ran with them.
First to go were the door handles, the stake pockets, the gas door, the taillights, the driprails, the antenna, and the tailgate handle. These items were quickly shaved clean and their prior mounting locations smoothed for a perfectly seamless foundation for the black and candy gold pearl. A Sir Michaels tribal flame roll pan was welded in underneath the tailgate to round out the smooth look on the tail end. The taillights were also hidden behind the tribal flame cutout in the pan to be creatively concealed when not lit. Defining the nose is a Trenz billet grille insert, recessed headlights with Trenz billet covers, and a smooth chromed front bumper. Blending late-model looks with classic hot rod elements never looked so good. Bringing Dan's hauler to life is the sizzling fire design that graces its arrow-straight body panels.
Starbucks Custom created the ultimate '60s lead sled custom look on Dan's modern-day pickup by first laying down the deep gloss-black base paint and covering it from front to back in aggressive, candy gold tribal flames. The contemporary flame style blended with the retro candy color choice produces a look that will make your jaw drop. The candy gold flames cover nearly the entire truck and make a wicked statement on the tailgate as well. Highlighting the bright, hot licks is red pinstriping, adding the perfect finishing touch to the intense color combination. Now that the paint and body were in check and looking fine as can be, Dan started focusing on the inside of his pavement-hugging beauty to complete the customizing journey.
Rolling low and tucking 20-inch wheels loses its luster if you don't have some tunes jamming inside the cab. Dan knew that whenever he climbed behind the wheel of Black Sunshine, a high-powered audio system would have to be on tap to set the scene for switch-hitting greatness. A Clarion DRX9375R head unit was mounted in the dash to receive Dan's musical disc of choice. Behind the seat, a custom box was fabricated by Stitchcraft Custom Interiors and Dan to house two 10-inch JL Audio subwoofers, which deliver premium-quality sound to the eardrums. To power the 10-inch JLs and the additional 12-inch JL subwoofer, Dan conveniently threw in two Phoenix GoldZX450 amplifiers. Tweeters from MB Quart and door speakers from Phoenix Gold add some treble balance to all the bass. The stereo equipment was mounted in the cab and the bed to allow for optimal space.
Hooking up a custom truck with all the right stuff is a task that can test one's patience, skills, and pocketbook. Dan Tamm successfully created Black Sunshine as an example of top-notch craftsmanship combined with cutting-edge originality. His efforts have been recognized in the form of awards at several local truck shows and continue to be given credit every time a stranger throws his thumb up in Dan's direction. Keep an eye out for Dan rolling Black Sunshine at a truck show near you. This wicked pickup is sure to turn some heads and generate much jealousy.
Making a bold statement on the inside of Black Sunshine is the crafty stitchwork of Steve "Revo" Reves at the Original World Famous Stitchcraft Custom Interiors in Westminster, California. Revo cut loose with his sewing machine and covered the seats in black tweed, highlighted by leopard-print stars and flames on the seat bases and seatbacks. A custom center console was constructed and fit between the highly decorated seats and adorned with the same stars and flames theme. The wild and wacky leopard print even flows onto the dash and door panels and looks exceptionally wicked above the headliner. Contrasting all the black tweed on the dash are gold pearl-colored dash plastics, a white-face APC gauge panel, and an APC billet steering wheel. Resting comfortably in the center console are the air switches so Dan can conveniently drop on opposing custom traffic whenever he feels the urge.
The bed region was even treated to some custom seasoning as stitch master Steve "Revo" Reves of Stitchcraft Custom Interiors carried his artwork from the truck's interior into the inside of the truck's cargo box. A collection of audio equipment rests in the bed concealed by all of the black tweed and leopard-print handiwork. Once again, stars and flames add a little flash to the overall picture.
Filling the void underneath this radical hauler is KMC Hellion chrome wheels in rocking 20-inch fashion. Low-profile rubber from Falken protects the chrome rollers from any road hazards.