A Hard-Hitting Custom Crew Cab
Extra-large trucks are typically known for their capabilities in hauling people and toys. Vehicles such as crew cab dualies, Suburbans, and Tahoes can be found on many a desert highway, towing boats, jet skis, or sand toys. Their presence within the show truck arena has only recently become prominent. In fact, more and more heavy haulers are hitting the shows these days and putting spectators in permanent shock with their wicked looks. Crew Cab Chevy dualies have been by far the most popular big pickups to slam, shave, paint, cruise, and show. Customizing a Crew Cab dualie in the past was often limited to a mild lowering job, a smooth front bumper and fiberglass roll pan, a billet grille, and an aftermarket set of wheels and tires.
Years ago, this type of mild customizing treatment would be considered cool, but today, it takes a lot more than a few bolt-on components and a subtle slam to collect trophies and turn heads. When Brian Nelson of Union City, Tennessee, purchased this '96 Chevy C3500 Crew Cab dualie, the idea of building something different that could drag body and be a contender on the show field kept racing through his mind.
Brian wasted no time transforming the dualie from its stock state into the rocker-grinding, spark-throwing, two-tone cruiser stretched across these pages, and it currently is one of the most radical dualies dragging through today's show scene. Naturally, Brian's first custom priority was to get the dualie's body to become best friends with the Tennessee tarmac, so he paid a visit to Eric Arrington at Kustomwerks in Union City to ask for his assistance. Eric agreed to take it in and apply his suspension knowledge and fabrication skills to produce a rail-dragger that would definitely garnish its fair share of attention.
Setting up Drag Master's chassis was the first step in creating the sensational stance, so Eric grabbed his torch and welder and started cutting and welding. The rear framerails were boxed and bridge-notched to allow for extra travel of the heavy-duty rear differential, while the frontend received DJM dropped spindles to start the dualie's gradual descent toward the shop floor. Custom airbag brackets and shock mounts were fabricated for the rear, while the frontend was treated to custom-made spring cups in order to allow installation of the Firestone 2600 airbags. Mack air valves control airflow, while Nitrogen provides the get-up-and-go for up-and-down adjustability.
Hammering the frame was a step in the right direction, but Brian wanted more. A wicked body drop would lay Brian's truck out perfectly, so Eric put the dualie back on jackstands and proceeded to body drop it 4-5/8 inches, which laid the once-smooth and straight rockers flat on the asphalt. Sliding a piece of paper underneath this belly-dragger would even pose a challenge. After the truck was successfully 'bagged, body-dropped, and ready to drag, Brian tossed on a set of chrome Concept Neeper N-8 dualie wheels surrounded by Winston P225/55HR16 tires to accentuate the radical drop.
With the truck resting firmly on the ground, the body was the next area to receive custom attention. Smoothing, shaving, and sculpting the body became the new task of the crew at Kustomwerks, and they treated the dualie's surface like a blank metal canvas in which to create super-smooth and seamless beauty. The door handles, the antenna, the tailgate handle, and the taillights were shaved clean off the body, and their mounting areas were smoothed to perfection. Just as a few of the factory features were subtracted, a few aftermarket components were added to spice up the exterior.
Up front, a chrome, smooth front bumper, a steel cowl-induction hood, and a Precision phantom billet grille bring some shine, while a molded Sir Michaels roll pan and Toyota Supra taillights add definition out back. Topping the ultra-clean upholstered bed is a Leer tonneau cover. To give the dualie a classy and timeless look, Brian turned the truck over to Kenny Mayo of South Fulton, Tennessee, for some subtle two-tone paint and graphics. Kenny brainstormed on color and design options and decided Chevrolet Indigo Blue, Ford Frost Silver, and House of Kolor Tangelo Orange would work perfectly to produce the looks Brian desired. A two-tone paint scheme was chosen with the Indigo Blue on top and the Frost Silver below separated by a bright Tangelo Orange stripe. The finished look is simple yet extremely effective.
Brian decided that, in addition to having a set of airbag switches to play with, he needed some serious audio power to entertain himself and passengers on those extra-long road trips. Without hesitation, Brian took the truck back to Kustomwerks to receive a Band Pass speaker box filled with eight 10-inch Audio Art subwoofers. Supporting the subs are Audio Art amplifiers, while Audio Art separates back up the bass. A Pioneer DEH-65 head unit delivers the tunes to the speaker symphony.
After two years of patiently waiting, Brian can finally drive and drag through the streets of Tennessee and show off as the rockers wrinkle around the obstacles below. Drag Master is a truly radical custom pickup that puts most other dualies to shame with its sanitary looks and bad-to-the-bone stance. We think a whole lot more Crew Cabs are going to show up on the show scene, based on Brian's trophy-winning accomplishment. This one will definitely be hard to beat.